I arrived at the parking lot in plenty of time for the morning meetings in Topeka. If I’d had a big umbrella, I’d have probably made it to the first meeting in time.
I didn’t have a big umbrella but I did have a suit cover, a nice black one from a men’s clothing store in Wichita. It wasn’t raining all that hard and I figured the suit bag would probably work quite well. I knew it wasn’t going to be all that dignified but I expected most onlookers would be total strangers who weren’t planning to vote for me anyway. Particularly since I wasn’t running for any particular office.
So I opened up the bag, pulled it up over my head and stretched it out to form a canopy over me. Unduly optimistic, I started on my two block journey to the office building. I’m not sure whether I looked like a strange parody of the Grim Reaper or a really dark version of “The Flying Nun.”
Regardless of how the black suit bag made me look, it seemed to work pretty well in the light rain. About halfway through my first block, it started raining harder. There were some particularly heavy drops that hit against my makeshift portable shelter with greater impact than expected. Some of them also bounced rather oddly on the sidewalk. Being the surprisingly bright lad that I am, I soon realized that those drops were actually small hailstones.
I also soon realized that my suit bag was not waterproof. Nor water resistant. Apparently, my deluxe black Johnstone’s suit bag was made of special permeable material that allowed the garment to “breathe.” It certainly allowed the rain storm to breathe right down the back of my neck and on the top of my head. By the time I got to the building, my hair was a plastered mess, my glasses were covered with rain drops and my shoes and lower pants legs were soaked.
Fifteen minutes and thirty paper towels later, I headed upstairs to the first meeting. Since all the chairs were filled, I got one from the hall and slid it into an empty spot at the end of the table area. Two minutes later there was a motion to adjourn.
The lady sitting to my left looked over and dryly commented, “So, it was raining when you got here?” Sometimes it seems like a sense of humor is pretty critical to helping us all get through a day. Even when we find a bit of humiliation along the way…