The Flood – Post Mortem #326 – 10/4/2016

The reason Mayberry was so peaceful and quiet is because nobody was married. Andy, Aunt Bea, Barney, Floyd, Howard, Goober, Gomer, Sam, Earnest T Bass, Helen, Thelma Lou, Clara, and of course, Opie — all single. The only married person was Otis, and he stayed drunk.

Welcome to Drivel Over Coffee. We are the only group who proudly dribble our French Roast down our shirt while Driveling about our fate in life. Sometimes our view becomes slightly skewed while looking through dog licked glasses.

The flood of 2016 is history. It came, we saw, webrought-my-umbrella evacauated possessions, we fought back, and we WON!!!! It came with a roar, much fanfare and left with it’s tail between it’s legs whimpering not to be heard from again. Cedar Rapids suffered minimal damage from the 2nd worst flood in our history. What’s that? What about its impact on Hysteria Lane? Well, we are purposely located atop of a hill. Noah will be floating by if we see water up here. The flood’s impact on us was merely situational. A few of us took on extra furniture and possession of our kids for a few days causing minor inconvenience. Someone said, actually Jenny the CR Elder, it is preferrable to move dry things twice to wet things once. I couldn’t agree more. Daughter Debby was not impacted at all as far as water goes. She did acquire a bunch of sandbags though. She moved all of her belongings out to our house as well as other friends. She and her sister, friends and neighbors did the heavy lifting. She even had a total stranger help with a load. I was the resident old man supervisor and dog watcher. All in all, we give Cedar Rapids city government, city workers, thousands of volunteers and neighbors two big thumbs up.

Due to flood clean-up, the Cedar Rapids Solid Waste and Recycling Division will delay the start of our 2016 Fall Loose-Leaf Vacuum Collection program. Instead of starting on Oct. 3, as originally planned, leaf vacuum collection will begin on Oct. 10, with collection starting in the northwest and northeast quadrants. If residents would like to dispose of leaves the week of Oct. 3, we ask customers to first fill their YARDY cart and use paper lawn and leaf bags for any leaves that do not fit in the cart.

Flood clean-up will present unique challenges for our leaf vacuum collection crews. We encourage citizens to sign up for text and email alerts at to ensure they have the most up-to-date leaf collection information.

Leaf collection schedules were sent with Cedar Rapids Utilities bills, and a calendar is also available at to help customers identify when their leaves will be collected. Customers can also call the Solid Waste & Recycling Division at (319) 286-5897 to determine their collection day. This was the body of an email I received from the city. I for one was clinging by my fingernails wondering about fall leaf pickup. Guys, let’s not rush this “fall” thing ….. Okay?

Surely many of you are curious as to how the flood impacted Jimmy’s Grill and Bait Shop. Hey, don’t call me Shirley! I was as well. Once the streets were opened up, I went over to see Jimmy. Jimmy’s Grill and Bait Shop is having a Flood Sale. It starts tomorrow, Wednesday. It will continue until all of the inventory has been sold. Although Jimmy’s remained high and dry as it overlooks the river far below, the road leading into the fine dining establishment through the woods was submerged by flood waters. Knowing he’d be closed until the waters went down, and not wanting to waste electricity, Jimmy shut everything off. This included all of the lighting inside and out plus the display lighting as well as the coolers. Jimmy said he just pulled the main breaker. Jimmy decided to stay in the shop to ward off potential looters. He had ample supplies including candles and cooking stoves so he could get by.

Jimmy threw the breaker back on last Thursday. The water had receded enough so the road could be used. He thinks the temperature in the self-serve coolers should be back down sometime tonight, so sale starts tomorrow at 6AM. He has reduced the price of all the perishable foodstuffs 80%. First come first served. All sales are final. No returns on sale items. Jimmy is offering breakfast on Wednesday also. The breakfast special is his famous mystery meat burrito and a pitcher of Blatz for $2.00. Jimmy is really in a customer centric mood these days. Stop by for some great deals.

As with most floods, streets are closed for periods of time. It was that way here also. For several days the only way to get from the west side to the east side of Cedar Rapids was to take our interstate 380. The bad thing about this was that several exits around downtown were closed. Traffic was awful. It slowly creeped along and was backed up for miles. On Thursday, we had to go to the other side three times. Our travel times were in the area of 30 to 45 minutes compared to 15 minutes normally. Travel was so slow, I got passed by a jogger. Ahead of us were two cars that were playing Yahtzee. The guy next to me was napping. Eventually roads and bridges began to re-open. Last Saturday, I think all were open to traffic once more.

We were sitting in the car on one of our trips to the other side and chatting. You remember my current wife, Sue. If you see her, say “Hi”. She needs a pick-me-up after Iowa got beat by Northwestern. Anyway, I told her a story Tater told me one time. It went like this. A wife treats her husband by taking him to a strip club for his birthday. At the club, the doorman say, “Hi Jim, How are you?” The wife asks, “How does he know you?” Jim says, “Oh, I play football with him.” Inside the club the bartender says, “The usual Jim?” Jim says, “Before you say anything, He is on my darts team.” Next a stripper says, “Hi Jim! Do you crave the Special again?” The wife storms out dragging Jim with her and jumps into a taxi…. The taxi driver says, “Hey Jimmy Boy! You picked up an ugly one this time…..” Jim’s funeral is on Sunday!!!!

Sue gave me a rather forced chuckle. I know what I will NOT be getting for a birthday present. Inez, Tater’s wife, grilled Tater for more than a month demanding to know who this story was about. Tater professed ignorance, a bad memory and invoked the fifth amendment a time or too. He held out for immunity but Inez refused to grant it to him.

I was thinking that the flood was really a good thing. Just think, those impacted had two weekends filled with terrific physical workouts. Think of all the calories burned. All the gyms in the city could not accommodate all of those bodies. Hopefully the workouts will motivate them to continue a workout regime at a local fitness center. Aspen Athletic Club, for instance, is a great workout facility. It even has a pool. My current wife is a supporter of their Silver Sneakers program. She has developed several treadmill buddies also.

There once was a flood and everyone had reached safety except for one man. He climbed to the top of his house with the water lapping at his feet. A helicopter flew over his head and hung down a rope for him to climb, but the man was deeply religious and said,

“It’s alright! The Lord will save me!” So the helicopter flew away. The water continued to rise and a boat came to him but, once again, the man shouted, “No! Go AWAY! The Lord will come and save me!” and, once again, the boat sped off.

The water was getting dangerously deep by now so the helicopter came back and, on cue, the man repeated, “I don’t need saving! My Lord will come”. Reluctantly, the helicopter left.

The rain continued to pour, the water continued to rise and the man drowned. At the gates of Heaven, the man met St Peter. Confused, he asked, “Peter, I have lived the life of a faithful man – why did my Lord not rescue me?” St. Peter replied, “For pity sake! He sent you two helicopters and a boat!”

This guy was climbing a tree when suddenly he slipped. He grabbed at a branch and was hanging in mid-air. After an hour, he felt himself getting exhausted and looked up to the heavens and cried out: “God, help me! Please, help me!” All of a sudden the clouds parted and a voice boomed out from on high. “Let go!” said the voice. The guy paused, looked up at heaven once more, and said: “Is there anyone else up there?”

Okay, Okay, enough of this flood stuff. I’m changing the subject.

A girl asks her boyfriend to come over Friday night to meet, and have a dinner with her parents. Since this is such a big event, the girl announces to her boyfriend that after dinner, she would like to go out and make love for the first time.

The boy is ecstatic, but he has never had sex before, so he takes a trip to the pharmacist to get some condoms. He tells the pharmacist it’s his first time and the pharmacist helps the boy for about an hour. He tells the boy everything there is to know about condoms and sex.

At the register, the pharmacist asks the boy how many condoms he’d like to buy, a 3-pack, 10-pack, or family pack. The boy insists on the family pack because he thinks he will be rather busy, it being his first time and all.

That night, the boy shows up at the girl’s parent’s house and meets his girlfriend at the door. “Oh, I’m so excited for you to meet my parents, come on in!” The boy goes inside and is taken to the dinner table where the girl’s parents are seated. The boy quickly offers to say grace and bows his head. A minute passes, and the boy is still deep in prayer, with his head down.

10 minutes pass, and still no movement from the boy. Finally, after 20 minutes with his head down, the girlfriend leans over and whispers to the boyfriend, “I had no idea you were this religious.”

The boy turns, and whispers back, “I had no idea your father was a pharmacist!”

A man is driving down the road with twenty penguins in the back seat. The police stop him and say that he can’t drive around with the penguins in the car and that he should take them to the zoo. The man agrees and drives off.

The next day, the same man is driving down the road with twenty penguins in the back again. He is stopped by the same police officer who says, “Hey! I thought I told you to take those to the zoo.”

The man replies, “I did. Today, I’m taking them to the movies.”

How many Presbyterians does it take to change a light bulb? Well, it should require about five committees to review the idea first. If each is staffed with half a dozen members, that’s what . . . 30?

The Top 10 Things People Think About While Singing a Hymn:
1. The pot roast.
2. What does the pastor wear under his robes?
3. Will the person behind me ever hit the right note?
4. Ninety minutes till kickoff.
5. Did I turn off the curling iron?
6. The likelihood of the ceiling fan falling and hitting me on the head.
7. How many people have lost more hair than I have?
8. How would the hymn sound if Metallica played it?
9. Are there doughnuts at fellowship?
10. How many more verses?

“It’s not that I can and others can’t, it’s I did and others didn’t.” Remember your Vietnam Veterans – All gave some, some gave all!! If I can make at least one-person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted.
Until we meet again -TA!