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Rain, Rain, Go Away 

No matter where you go, you can't escape the dreariest spring in memory. Have you embraced it, or are you just bummed out? Find out where you stand!

Wednesday, Apr 12 2006
It was the rainiest March in memory for San Francisco, and meteorologists say the Bay Area's unceasing wetness will continue for the next couple of weeks. Downtown San Francisco saw 25 days of rain in March (with hail mixed in), breaking a record set in 1904; Oakland (22 days of rain), San Rafael (24), and Santa Rosa (25) also all broke their precipitation records for the month. Amid all the postponed Little League games and flooded park trails, more serious problems have emerged: mudslides that have closed part of Highway 1, traffic jams that have led to an uptick in accidents and delays, and major hits to the tourist industry. The damp weather has had its impact on the city's mood, as well, although many residents have preferred to view the storms as a boon to the ski season. Are you an apologist for spring 2006 in San Francisco? Take our quiz and find out!

1) The inclement weather has caused a bit of a lifestyle shift and some unusual scenes around the Bay Area. What's been the most unnerving sight for you this spring?

A) Snow in the Mission ... and this time, I'm not even talking about cocaine.

B) My kid's MySpace page. Or was that not the question?

C) The following sentence in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Not that Mother Nature is any more responsive than the Board of Supervisors to an editorial opinion, but we call for sun."

2) Spring is characteristically the season of baseball and barbecues, long walks and blooming flowers. What's been your favorite spring activity this year?

A) Sitting in a terminal at SFO, waiting for my delayed flight to be canceled.

B) Sitting in traffic on the Bay Bridge, waiting to sit in traffic downtown.

C) Sitting in a tunnel for no good goddamn reason on BART ... wishing I was sitting in traffic on the Bay Bridge.

3) Complete the following commonly heard phrase, uttered in the most condescending manner possible, usually while purchasing some kind of expensive coffee drink: "If I wanted to live in damp and dreary weather all the time, I would have moved to ..."

A) London.

B) Portland.

C) Twin Peaks.

4) According to the national weather service, the storms have been the result of a westerly wind that is blowing across the Pacific Ocean toward Northern California. The pattern — which meteorologists call a "wind trough" — has been stable for a month, bringing rain over Hawaii and then on through the Bay Area about every two days. Do you think there's relief in sight?

A) A wind trough ... that's the same as global warming, right?

B) Hey, could the wind trough blow us a mai tai, while they're at it?

C) Great. One more insidious example of how tiki culture is slowly spreading its evil tendrils across the Pacific.

5) The endless rain has meant that the city's fashion-conscious set has had to adjust its usual spring wardrobe, a major topic of conversation in bars and restaurants around town. What, in your mind, is the fashion item of spring 2006 in San Francisco?

A) Rubbers. For those dark and stormy nights.

B) Flip-flops. And, yes, I think sewage-covered feet are revolting, too.

C) That third overpriced umbrella you left behind at the bookstore.

6) The rain has wreaked havoc on institutions and activities throughout the Bay Area, leading to canceled events, a downturn in shopping and spending, and increased costs to battle the damage of the storms. What do you think has been the worst side effect of all the rain?

A) The mud in our city parks. You can't even tell what's dog shit!

B) The driving. When you combine slick roads, text messaging, and SUVs, it's a wonder we haven't all been killed.

C) The impact on the tourist industry. I mean, who's gonna buy an "I survived Alcatraz" T-shirt when it's raining? (Lose one point for adding: "Or when it's sunny?")

7) Psychologists warn that extended periods of dreary weather can have a major impact on your psyche, and that gloom and inactivity can foster depression in people who don't make an effort to brighten their day. Has the weather got you down?

A) Is the pope Catholic? (Bonus point for asking, "Or is he rattled by the whole 'Gospel of Judas' thing, too?")

B) No way! It's given me a chance to dust off all of my "What the hail?" jokes.

C) A little. But then I hit the Internet, watch a little TV, crack open a bottle or two of wine, and take a Darvocet. Does that sound like depression to you?

How to score:

Score zero points for every "A" answer, one point for every "B," and two points for every "C."

0-6 points: We know, we know. At this point, your body would welcome the West Nile virus as a change of pace from the common cold.

7-10 points: The best part is that you get all the crappy weather of winter, with all the allergies of spring.

11-14 points: Congratulations! You're a true apologist for spring in San Francisco. Now go sit in Sunday evening traffic on the way back from Tahoe!

About The Author

Matt Palmquist


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