Homeless in Vancouver: Rain type 47—vertical light drizzle

How to describe last night’s rain? As I tried to get an interesting photograph of what was admittedly rather uninteresting—neither that heavy, nor  that fast—good old Rob McKenna came to mind.

He’s a character in Douglas Adams’s trilogy in five parts, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

McKenna is a long-haul truck driver who hates rain but can’t escape it. He has no idea he’s actually a Rain God. All the clouds want to follow him and shower their love down on him.

The following is an excerpt from chapter two of So Long, and Thanks for All the Fishthe fourth book in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Rob McKenna had two hundred and thirty-one different types of rain entered in his little book, and he didn’t like any of them.

He shifted down another gear and the lorry heaved its revs up. It grumbled in a comfortable sort of way about all the Danish thermostatic radiator controls it was carrying.

Since he had left Denmark the previous afternoon, he had been through types 33 (light pricking drizzle which made the roads slippery), 39 (heavy spotting), 47 to 51 (vertical light drizzle through to sharply slanting light to moderate drizzle freshening), 87 and 88 (two finely distinguished varieties of vertical torrential downpour), 100 (post-downpour squalling, cold), all the seastorm types between 192 and 213 at once, 123, 124, 126, 127 (mild and intermediate cold gusting, regular and syncopated cab-drumming), 11 (breezy droplets), and now his least favourite of all, 17.

Rain type 17 was a dirty blatter battering against his windscreen so hard that it didn’t make much odds whether he had his wipers on or off.

He tested this theory by turning them off briefly, but as it turned out the visibility did get quite a lot worse. It just failed to get better again when he turned them back on.

In fact one of the wiper blades began to flap off.

Swish swish swish flop swish swish flop swish swish flop swish flop swish flop flop flap scrape.

Comments (4) Add New Comment
Martin Dunphy
I can't find that fifth book anywhere, Stanley!
Where is it?
Is it hanging in the air exactly the way a brick doesn't?
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Stanley Q Woodvine
@ Martin

1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
2. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980)
3. Life, the Universe, and Everything (1982)
4. So Long and Thanks for all the Fish (1984)
5. Mostly Harmless (1992)

Amazon.uk has #5
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Martin Dunphy
Thanks, Stanley
Mostly, though, I was joshing.
I'm a bit of an Adams snob, and I never quite cottoned to latecomer Mostly Harmless. Adams himself wasn't crazy about it.
But I appreciate your response.
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Stanley Q Woodvine
Martin,

Ha. Craft Freemasons I used to know, would look at the Scottish Rite with its abundance of degrees up into the 30s, and dismissively declare they could only count to three (the number of Craft degrees).

I appreciated the extra books particularly as the BBC reunited the original radio cast to dramatize them.

Book 5 was worth it for the "Whole Sort Of General Mish Mash (WSOGMM)" alone.
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