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Never let it be said that The Mom passes up a perfectly good opportunity to Panic and Freak Out.

I look forward to my summer visits and know with all certainty that at some point she’ll shout at me to come and see something.

“What? You want me to what?” I’ll say. My hearing is terrible. I blame the sheer number of rock concerts I saw as a teen, The Mom believes it’s selective. Column A, Column B, as L’il Sis would say.

“Come down here!”

I’ll come out of my room and hang my head over the railing. “You what?”

“For the love of God! Come and see this!”

The Mom will be quite close to her wit’s end, and I will have in no way distracted her from looking at the darkening sky.

“You see that?” she’ll say, pointing to nothing in particular, but vaguely in the direction of threatening clouds.

“Looks like rain. We’d best get the cushions inside.”

Putting the cushions inside and then putting them back outside again is the sort of thing that fills our summer days.

“We might need to do more than that,” The Mom’ll say.

“I don’t think so. Just looks like a thunderstorm.”

The Mom will half nod, understanding that she’s been fobbed off for lack of proof. We’ll bring the cushions in together, and there is a fifty percent chance that she’ll say, “Guess I won’t get for a swim today.”

I’ll make my way back upstairs. She’ll go to the TV in the family room/Crazy D’s lair and put on the Weather Network.

Now, the Weather Network is one of my all-time favourite TV channels in North America, right up there with the one that plays Law & Order 24/7, so when The Mom hollers up to me something about an impending storm and I can barely hear her voice let alone the words, I know exactly where she is and what she’s watching.

So I’ll come back downstairs and sit with her as we wait to essentially have our fortunes told by meteorologist.

But the Weather Network is a national thing and so we usually end up waiting some time for it to get back to our neck of the woods. Whereupon we normally find that a severe storm watch is in effect.

The Mom will look at me, and then go to the windows again.

“It’s a bit early to play tornado,” I’ll say.

She might nod and wander aimlessly around the room, pacing, not unlike any of the dogs currently in situ at her house.

If we do have to go downstairs to the basement and cower for a while, it has never once occurred to us to spread our worrying around and include the possibility that electrocution is right around the corner. I save worrying about that for when I’m in the UK.

Here the plugs on the walls have on/off switches and the plugs are these massive things, and added to that there are an infinite number of health and safety warnings on anything and everything… It’s truly a wonder I’ve never electrocuted myself here. I mean, there are no plugs in any bathroom. Except one like you’d get in a hotel for shavers. And it specifically says that it’s only for shavers.

So since The Mom’s little visit from the cable guy, what we’ve learned is that essentially we’ve been worrying about all the wrong things. Our worrying has been insufficient and is wholly out of date. Well, actually, I mean now it’s okay because the risk of electrocution is back to average levels, but think of all that worrying we missed!

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