Saturday, August 13, 2016

Bombs Away

The other day I was in the city and started talking to the cab driver about the heat. How HOT is was all over the country, and how pleasant it was to be in an air-conditioned cab. The weather map for the whole country is showing red and orange, with tons of rain.

The conversation continued on a bit. He mentioned how hot it was in Phoenix. Since we live on a Mobius strip and all things dovetail, this allowed me the chance to once again tell my When-I-Was-In-Phoenix story. Not being famous, and not being on the radio or television has its advantages. I'm able to repeat the same story to anyone I feel I haven't told it to already. This can allow your material to stay alive for decades.

Since I'm seldom in a cab I was certain I hadn't told my Phoenix story to this particular cab driver. This allowed me to tell him that when I was in Phoenix one June on a business trip I saw a digital display on the roadway to the airport that said it was 115. I immediately took this to be the time of day and said to myself there was plenty of time to get to the airport. Only when we got closer to the digital display I noticed it changed to something like 1:01, the time of day.

What I hadn't noticed when I first saw 115 was the absence of a colon and the presence of a small circle where an exponent would go over the 5. Thus, it was 115 degrees. Fahrenheit, thankfully, I guess.

I also got to the another part of the Phoenix story where I mentioned a colleague who was talking a bit from one point to another in the city. Nothing too far. What New Yorkers do. A car pulled up alongside her not to harass her, but to genuinely ask her if her car had broken down somewhere. Did she need assistance? It seems no one really walks around Phoenix in the heat unless it is to get from one air-conditioned spot to another. The cab driver said it sounds like LA. All cars.

He then asked me if I had heard of "rain bombs?" I replied I hadn't. I keep an open mind, and since he wasn't telling me about UFOs or space aliens, I thought perhaps there is something to this. Perhaps it really isn't about something he saw on the front page of a tabloid while checking out at the supermarket.

He said a rain bomb was when it rained so hard and so fast, people drowned. Somewhat like turkeys straining their necks up to the sky and drowning in the rain, only with humans, they know enough not to try and swallow the stuff, but can't get away fast enough and they drown in the incredibly fast accumulation of water.

Yikes, no I really hadn't heard of rain bombs, but it got me to thinking about the ICD-10 mortality codes and did they develop one for get whacked by a rain bomb?  You might remember in a prior posting I pointed out the need for a code to cover death by a maliciously pulled kayak plug, leading to drowning.

Upon reaching home I checked out rain bombs on the Internet. Yes, there were rain bombs, and even video of rain bombs. There were lots of links to rain bomb episodes and data.

Since I'm sure The Weather Channel has been bringing us video of the intense rains I felt a little sorry that perhaps I had been too harsh on the channel when I advised someone who was about to retire to avoid ALL daytime television, even The Weather Channel. Turns out there might be some redeeming educational qualities to watching it. Oh well.

I shared my story with someone I know who works with ICD-10 codes and who is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They confirmed they had heard about rain bombs, and that right then it was raining so hard the rainfall was getting into the double digits. Their home was even becoming threatened with flooding.

A Johnny Cash song about a rising river might be nice to listen to, but it's not nice when the river is really rising and it's getting close to your back door.

And while none of this might sound all that interesting, it shows you that unless a cab driver is talking about aliens, Section 51, strawberry ice cream or UFOs, you should listen.

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