Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Dark and Stormy night


"It was a dark and stormy night . . . " I seem to remember Snoopy starting many stories with this phrase and never finishing it.

Last evening was truly dark and stormy. We were out in the worst of it driving home from a local restaurant. 

How do you know it is raining hard?

1. The rain comes down in torrents. (I never really knew what a torrent was until last evening)

2. The rain looks like it is running uphill.

3. The tail lights of the car in front are almost visible. 

4. The lines on the road are invisible.

5. The person in the passenger seat asks if the headlights are on.

I receive emergency notices from the county and my phone was blowing-up last night. Between the tornado watch, thunderstorm warning, and flood warnings it was difficult to concentrate on dinner. Even though I had the sound turned off, the phone was still vibrating in my pocket every few seconds as the storm raged around us while we were in the restaurant. 

Where does the phrase "It was a dark and stormy night . . . " come from? 

According to Wikipedia, the phrase comes from the original opening sentence of the novel Paul Clifford:

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
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Last night, the opening sentence was all too true, except I was in Elkridge and the flame of the lamps was in fact the glow of the headlights.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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