Rob McKenna was a miserable bastard and he knew it because he’d had a lot of people point it out to him over the years and he saw no reason to disagree with them except the obvious one which was that he liked disagreeing with people, particularly people he disliked, which included, at the last count, everybody.
And as he drove on, the rain clouds dragged down the sky after him for, though he didn’t know it, Rob Mckenna was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be be near him, to cherish him, and to water him.
He was in a bad mood. It wasn't that he was naturally predisposed to be so surly, at least he hoped not. It was just the rain which got him down, always the rain.
It was raining now, just for a change.
It was a particular type of rain that he particularly disliked, particularly when he was driving. He had a number for it. It was rain type 17.
He had read somewhere that the Eskimos had over two hundred different words for snow, without which their conversation would probably have got very monotonous. So they would distinguish between thin snow and thick snow, light snow and heavy snow, sludgy snow, brittle snow, snow that came in flurries, snow that came in on the bottom of your neighbor's boots all over your nice clean igloo floor, the snows of winter, the snows of spring, the snows you remember from your childhood that were so much better than any of your modern snow, fine snow, feathery snow and snow that despite all your efforts to train them, the huskies have pissed on.
He himself had two hundred and thirty-one different types of rain entered in his little book, and he didn't like any of them.
Since he started his shift the afternoon, he had been through types 33 (light pricking drizzle which made the roads slippery), 39 (heavy spotting), 45 (drizzle that starts immediately after you wash your car), 100 (thick drops which hurt when you hit them in freefall), all the seastorm types between 192 and 213 at once, 127 (syncopated cab-drumming) and now his least favourite of all, 17.
Rain type 17 was a dirty blatter battering against his windshield 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.