It’s Rained So Long, the Whole World Smells Like Catfish

No Telling

orty days and forty nights, or thereabouts. A break here and there doesn’t really matter, because the rain only eases to lure me outside so it can begin again.

And it’s cold. Well, plenty cold for Arkansas. It’s in the 60’s here and all of us are scrambling for winter coats and portable heaters. It’s like living Portland. Or London.

I‘m guessing that neither place smells as bad as this, though. In the spring, we generally have quite a bit of nasty weather, but the temperature is lifting, greenness is poking out of the ground, and everything takes on a sort of sweet respiration. In the mack-daddy steam of the summer when temps hover in the 100s and 110s, the rain makes a sort of sizzling hot-tar smell. It goes away though, and on the worst days going out smells a little it’s raining tadpoles.

In the fall, it rains mud-bottom river catfish everywhere. It’s thick, I tell you, like the clouds just sucked up the worst parts of the Arkansas River and dumped it on your new shoes. If you stand still long enough in this weather, you’ll smell like you’ve fallen off a river barge. Musty. Mudcat-fishy.

This afternoon I trudged across campus in the mist and landed in a classroom that had the air off, the windows down tight, and the fifth class in a row of twenty or so students dripping catfish-rain all over the industrial carpeting. Ten minutes in, the smell was unbearable.

The Weather Channel – which is unfailingly incorrect most of the time – says we’ll be out of this mudcat-smelling hell by Friday. We get the weekend off, it seems. Monday it’s supposed to throw down again and last for days.

I’m actually looking forward to the ice storms.

18 thoughts on “It’s Rained So Long, the Whole World Smells Like Catfish

  1. Being from Portland myself, I can attest to the fact that we are well versed in all things RAIN, but catfish smelling rain -I cannot even imagine! Hopefully it will be gone soon as that sounds just terrible! I am so sorry for you all down south!

  2. you know its funny, most people hate rain… they think it's depressing, but i find it peaceful… aside from that i am a nerd when it comes to weather. Ugh what i wouldn't give for a good rain storm right now….

    I am now debating moving to Seattle when I get back from this Hell Hole.

  3. Jociegal and Isabella, a good, raging storm would help wash this stink out. We need a gullywasher.

    Kate, I KNOW you remember that smell. Missing home yet?

    Nathanael, I just hope you get back from that hell-hole soon, rain or no rain.

    Peevish and Amuse Me, that's not a bad idea. And some kicky rain boots!

  4. Yuck. You know, I really appreciate living in Colorado when I read posts like this. It may be cold here, but there's no nasty smell associated with the white stuff that's falling from our sky πŸ™‚

  5. Maybe you can start a new trend by walking around with a clothespin on your nose? No? What if you decorate it real pretty like? No? Ookay, then. I suggest you just be a mouth breather for the next few days.

    Hope you have sunny weather soon. πŸ™‚

  6. Well, the rains in my place, Kerala, India only brings the smells of damp earth and there's nothing more rejuvenating like that unless the drainage system over flows which happens every rainy season though. I wait for June every year for the rains to start.

  7. Jenna, you know we won't really mean it if we're stranded in our houses without electricity for a week. Right now, though, anything looks better than all this rain.

    You'd just laugh at us down here, GunDiva. A slight misting of snow and everyone here freaks out completely. Nearest thing to a real panic, I tell you.

    Maybelline, I'll send you some of my rain. I've got extra right about now.

    Sun on Friday, Pat. We may all come crawling out of our dark houses like gophers by then.

    We have that drainage system problem out in the county, Ekantha. It's a dreadful business seeing all that nasty come up where it should not. I'll bet the rain is much lovelier there in Kerala.

    CJR! I don't even have to look at a map to know y'all are the ones sending this rain our way. And thank you so much for the award!

    Go visit CJR – attorney/poet is a powerful combination.

  8. Monda, you've got to hop over to Nathanael's blog…it's pretty amazing today.

    And…just because we live with snow doesn't mean that people don't panic on the roads when they see it. People lose their freaking minds in the snow.

  9. when i lived in Andamooka it rained worms once. and another time red mud. but it didn't rain very often, three or four times a year, tops.
    like the song says, ya want flowers, ya gotta have rain.

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