All is sunny, bright … If you have a tarp

Burt's Eye View

In the Biblical account, the prophet Elijah told King Ahab there’d be no more rain until Elijah said so. For 3 1/2 years, there wasn’t so much as dew on the ground.

One day, Elijah told King Ahab to batten down the hatches ’cause he was about to get drenched. The blasts from a thousand Super Soakers couldn’t have made things any soggier.

Elijah did this with prayer.

I accomplish pretty much the same thing with my Jeep and an old tarp.

When it rains, the precipitation also pours inside my old Jeep. Water sloshes around the dome lights, splashes onto the dashboard and pools on the back floorboard. My rubber duckie loves going on car rides with me.

The only way to keep the interior dry is to strap a tarp over the roof of the Jeep. Not because it repels rivers of rain from rushing inside — but because a tarped Jeep prevents rain from falling from the sky.

It’s true.

The other day, the sky darkened, the wind kicked up, and droplets splatted my face. I raced to round up the tarp, and fought gales to tie the thing down, covering the sun roof and any other possible passage for wetness.

Immediately, the sun popped out. Birds sang. Gentle breezes nuzzled my cheeks. Nary a lightning flash nor hint of a storm cloud could be seen. It was as if they’d never existed. All was calm. All was bright.

The forecast for the next couple of days called for 95 and 100 percent chances of downpours. I left the tarp in place.

The rain never came.

I had become Elijah. Take that, King Ahab!

Finally, on cloudless, arid day, I rolled back the tarp, got into the Jeep and drove away.

Later, it was said that no storm of such magnitude had ever exploded onto northeast Ohio so quickly or unexpectedly. Fortunately, I carried a pair of old canoe oars in the back of the Jeep. I paddled home.

The great philosopher Charles Dudley Warner once said, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Of course not. He may have had a tarp, but no Jeep to activate it.

“But why,” some might ask, “don’t you hide your vehicle in the garage where the weather can’t see it?”

I once heard of a man who parked a car in his garage. What utter nonsense.

The purpose of a garage is to collect the overflow from the house. Once you jam the garage with things like chairs you plan to repair someday, floor lamps you meant to rewire, bags of clothes you keep forgetting to drop off at the donation place, papers that need sorted, dusty toolboxes, lawn chairs and tables, and bins of baseballs, broken bats, skateboards, kneepads and hockey sticks (even though you’ve never been on a skateboard or played hockey), there’s barely room to walk, much less park a vehicle.

According to a survey conducted by Gladiator GarageWorks, 92 percent of homeowners surveyed said although their homes were somewhat or very organized, it wasn’t the same for the garage. That’s because the function of the garage is to act like an oversized kitchen junk drawer.

The other day in my garage, I tripped over an umbrella. It was marked “Property of King Ahab.” I took it with me. It was time to untarp the Jeep. Elijah would have been proud.

• Get weather forecasts from Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.


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