I got off work early and went for a run along our local waterway. While wrapping up my run – after a depressing chest cramp reminded me that twenty-five is not the new eighteen, I crossed paths with an interesting young couple carrying an inflatable tandem kayak to the base of the severely flooded bayou.
People carrying kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards naturally spark my interest. I make it a challenge to myself to rattle off the make and model before the boat gets close enough to get a good look. But this was different. Instead of my attention focusing on the boat, my attention was fully focused on reeling my lower jaw back into its closed and upright position. There is no way these noobs were going to try to paddle this flash flood, right?
Here is some perspective. Over the last four days, central Texas has been slammed by rain about as bad as this city has seen since Hurricane Ike in 2008. The rain has since filled up all of the rivers, lakes, and bayous. This water, now landed, is en route through South Texas – and through Houston – to its final beach bash in the Gulf of Mexico. The city – while good at producing heartbreaking sports moments and even better at whipping up a hearty plate of Tex-Mex food – is about as good at flood control and water drainage as Kanye West is at conceding defeat.
This brings us back to the overly ambitious couple, the couple that too few ‘we-know-what-we’re-doing’ beams were radiating off of.