#319 – Drain

I wasn’t sure I was going to be posting a comic tonight. On the way home from work I think I may have driven through a tornado… or at least something really close to one. The drive started out nice and clear and then my wife called to say that the power went out and the tornado sirens were going off. Just then I came to the top of a hill and I could see ominous black clouds in the distance. It started to drizzle a little so I put on my wipers and seconds later it turned to hail that quickly turned into full on fire hose in your face rain. I was shocked at how violent it was and thought that maybe I should get off the highway. As soon as I made that decision I realized that it was raining so hard I had no idea where I was or which way the car was pointing. The highway had become a parking lot. All the cars had stopped. My car felt like it was surrounded by a bunch of guys that were joking around trying to see if they could flip it over. I was gripping the wheel tightly, bracing for what I thought was the inevitable road sign or street light to come smashing through my windshield.

But it never came. The rain let up and was reduced to a trickle. The weird part was that the cars were all still stopped. A few minutes went by and then 3 police cars, 1 fire truck and 4 tow trucks squeezed by in the emergency lane. It took me about an hour to go the quarter mile from where I stopped to where the accident occured and all I saw when I passed was a semi being lifted up by one of the huge tow trucks. The cab of the semi was blackened and charred from some sort of fire.

The rest of the trip home was pretty uneventful until I got a few blocks from my house. I had been running on an almost empty tank of gas for the past hour and successfully made it to the gas station only to find out that the power was out. Dang fancy electric gas pumps!. So I decided to just go home. The last block leading up to my street was littered with leaves and branches. There was a tree almost split in half, a pair of gorgeous weeping willows that were now missing their top halves and 2 full grown trees completely uprooted. Luckily my actual neighborhood was spared the major damage and only had to suffer a few hours without power. Hopefully I’ll make it to the gas station on my way to work in the morning. Maybe I’ll bring an empty gas can with me in case I have to walk that last block

Thanks to everyone that has bid on the Biff art auction so far. I’m getting excited that it’s almost time to send the files to the book printer.


0 thoughts on “#319 – Drain”

  1. AJ says:

    Whoa, sounds like a real gullywasher! Glad you and the house managed to make it through unscathed Chris!

    As for the comic, I can happily say I’ve never lost my keys that way. Looks like Biff might need to start carrying around a magnet on a string!

  2. Lucretiel says:

    heh…. Biff is so, like, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
    @Chris: thats sounds like what we at camp call type 3 fun: Not fun at the time, but a fun story (y’know, seeing as no one you know was seriously hurt n stuff)

  3. Avale says:

    I once lost my keys in a similar way to Biff. Fortunatly I was able to lift the grate out to retreive them, more fortunatly It was not one of the 30 foot deep stormdrains towns in the ottawa area seem to favour, but a 2 foot deep storm drain that runs just under the sidewalk. Although for the embarassment of the event, I did however come into the posetions of a wonderous cat who felt the need to dig her claws into my arm when I removed my keys from said grate. Shes watching my type this right now, plotting to steal my keys. No wait, shes just smacking the letters that time typing now.

    Crap about the story though, hope you can make it to a gas station.

  4. Revmen says:

    O_o Wow, that sounds intense. It’s my best and my worst road trip memories made into one. The worst being when I was eight and the car I was in almost got blown over during a windstorm, and the best when during a storm I was able to count over 300 lightning bolts in a hour through the rain.

  5. Ryan says:

    Very funny! Biff’s expression kills me.

  6. Melindotty says:

    I love the pure dispare (sp?) on Biff’s face. It looks like someone died.

    Your story made me almost pee myself; I am terrified of weather. All of it. Even sunny days, because they could get too hot and you could die.

    I think I am quickly becoming agoraphobic.

    I am terrified of tornados above all other forms of weather, because you can’t predict them. They could just come out and kill you.


  7. CojoinedCows says:

    Hey Chris,
    that sounds apocalyptic. Glad you made it without getting hurt. That you still put the comic up shows that you’re a hero of the webcomicosphere. 😛
    Enough brown-nosing now, although the comic is funny as always. 😀

  8. Ben says:

    That is some storm!
    I was fortunate enough to be on a roof 50m up when a storm like that hit.
    It was insane, holding onto the scaffolding, trying to tie down and secure sheets of tin.
    I went home afterwards. The next day a safety meeting was called. Scaffolding planks had been ripped free and dropped onto surrounding cars.
    I love extreme weather.

  9. 3686 says:

    hehe. love the expression too. he’s screaming nooooooo!

    looking forward to the book! how many people do you have now?

  10. Elli says:

    I’m glad you and your wife are okay! I hate tornados. I seen what they can do at full force (on TV, thank the Powers that Be), and it scares me.

    A week or so ago, my father watched a funnel cloud form, but fortunately, it idn’t reach the ground. That is pretty rare and especially frightening, because I live in Arizona, in a rather mountainous region at that.

    As for the comic, it made me grimace. I can’t imagine what I’d do if that happened to me.

  11. Sam says:

    Glad you and your home are ok, Chris.

    My mother dropped her keys down a drain once. The drains flooded a couple days later and I found her keys half way down the street.

  12. Jackson says:

    What’s this? Biff afflicted with *realistic* troubles with which we can identify as readers? Where are the spring-loaded washing machines, man? Where’s the faulty dinosaur repellant?

  13. Kanki-chan says:

    @ Jackson: They’re back at his house, which he can’t get to cause he dropped his keys to his invsible car >_>

    But yeah, Chris, it sounds like you’re getting what I’ve been going through, since last night we had anoher bad storm. First five minutes, and the parking lot to the campus was FLOODED with lightning everywhere. Good thing I live on the 7th floor ^^

  14. Toshmate! says:

    that was like.. the best personal comment ever, it went for ages and was great, haha. I live NorthEast NSW in Aust, and at the moment SouthEast QLD is going through its worste storm since the 1800’s.. so we are kind of getting half the wrath, but without all the damage.. I wish my drive home from work was as exciting as that.. i nearly died in the surf today, thats about the extent of my day.

  15. trueblaze says:

    Personally I’ve only had two tornado related expereances that I can recall. One was when I was around eight or nine I remember hearing there was a tornado in the area so me and my mother started closing all the doors and windows in the house. Suddenly the wind picked up while I was trying to push our side door shut and it blew so hard I couldn’t get it shut far enough for the latch to catch.

    The other incident happened just as me and my school mates were getting back from a week long school sponcered trip to Chacago. Just as our bus pulled stopped in town I looked out the window in the direction of my house, and almost directly where I lived I saw a funnel cloud forming in the sky. I kept trying to get someones attention so that someone else would see it, but everyone ignored me until about thirty seconds later when tornado sirens went off. Everyone ran into the shelter near by except me, I wanted to watch and one of the teacher/shaparons had to drag me inside. Fortiantly it never actully became a tornado, but it was still an interesting experance.

  16. Pride says:

    I locked my self out once but that is really all that I have done wrong with my keys

  17. Seraphine says:

    I did that once! It wasn’t a storm drain, it was the little crack between the door and the elevator. My keys slipped out of my hand and scrambled down like cockroaches into the elevator shaft before I could react.

  18. Scipo says:

    Happy to hear that you’re safe. And, as always, thanks for the great comic. I don’t know if this would be more or less frustrating than locking your keys in your car, but it’s definitely not as frustrating as locking your keys in the car twice in the same weekend (guilty). The worst part about it was that the same locksmith came out to get my keys out both times. The second time he came out he said “Did you have a good weekend?” I just wanted to say “Dude, you’re not funny.” Even though it kind of was. 🙂

  19. Kailen says:

    Been there, done that. Keys down the storm drain, oh what a fun day that wasn’t.

  20. I’ve never dropped my keys, but I’ve parked over the storm drain at work a few times and been very paranoid and held on tight to the keys as I’m opening my car.

  21. Jenna says:

    I am SO glad we don’t/can’t get tornados where I live… I’ve always wanted to SEE one – and almost did once out in the prairies, but it was just the beginings of a funnel cloud and it never touched earth.

    Natural disasters scare the hell out of me, though – I’m absolutely terrified of that whole Earthquake theory that’ll kill Vancouver Island and most of the coast of British Columbia *shudder*

  22. Haragorn says:

    But he has hundreds of them… And can’t he just pick the lock with an eyebrow?

    1. Rik says:

      he has hundreds of them AT HOME!

  23. Sleepingorange says:

    Melindotty: Despair.

    Chris, the way you’ve drawn Biff’s legs in this strip is a bit disconcerting. It seems you’d be able at least to see some of his left leg or foot, so it looks, to me, like he’s an amputee…

  24. LordRetard says:

    Bwahahah, this one is really funny, ‘specially ’cause it’s so mundane compared to the rest of ’em. It’s like, not only is everything completely nuts that happens to Biff, but even normal things go wrong like usual.

    That’s a hell of a trip, congrats on making it out alive! I remember the worst storm that I’ve been in, back in June this year, actually. I was walking down a somewhat main street (I can’t think of anything better to call it), and everything gets really serene and quiet. I mean, really weird, there’s no sound, very few cars passing by, and I just feel like everything’s at peace. Then suddenly, the sky turns black. OMINOUS. Then I see the dust clouds picking up around a block away from me. Suddenly, the winds pick up and the clouds fly toward me, striking my body and my eyes; I can feel every grain of sand or whatever hitting me, and I can no longer see. I have to put my hat in front of my face so that I can open my eyes, even though it doesn’t actually help, and I just break into a sprint to get off the street and to a little side street where hopefully things are a little calmer. Everything’s being tossed around, and tree limbs are falling. Finally, the rain starts pouring, and the wind dies down. It’s the most insane thing that’s ever happened to me. The kicker? I live in Toronto, Ontario. The last major natural disaster we had was in ’54. I have never seen anything like that before.

  25. AG says:

    I got locked out of my house in one of those kinds of storms this summer. I hid inside the garage and watched it through the open garage door. It was possibly the most frightening and exciting experience i’ve ever had. It felt like I was sitting inside of a fireworks display or something.

  26. Micah says:

    I’m guessing Biff isn’t at home. Otherwise he could just get one of the many copies he made and be fine with it.

  27. Elle says:

    Oh, jinkies! That sounds terrifying! Biff’s pose is amazing.

  28. pieman says:

    poor biff.

    woo! 319!! (its PIE backwards)

  29. pieman says:

    electric gas pumps… isn’t that dangerous?

  30. Adam_Y says:

    I was once ‘detained’ for breaking into my own car after a similar incident. Great day that.

  31. Haragorn says:

    Sleepingorange: It’s just his phasing powers acting up again.

  32. Sleepingorange says:

    Haragorn: If he can phase, what’s his problem? He could just phase into the drain and get his keys.

  33. Colin says:

    I went through the same weather during my football practice after school.
    We had to go inside, and we NEVER go inside. even if the THORGuard alarm is going off. (Thats a lightning detection thingy)

  34. Colin says:

    Oh and i dropped my keys down the drain once too. Right outside my house. Luckily I had a coat hanger and some magnets left over from a science project.

  35. Bob says:

    Ive hit blinding rain before, it was awesome, but creepy at the same time, its like 50 firehoses at your windsheld, you cant see anything, not even the little thingy on the hood, the kind whare the wipers have either lifted off the glass due to the intense rain, or the wiped glass is quickly coated in water the instant the wiper cleans it off. when we made it to the hotel, i had to get the ice from the ice machene downstairs, and on my little trip to the ice machene, several cars cought my attention, mainly because they had been heavily damaged from the hail, one had extreme damage to the windshield and hood, and i mean it wasnt safe to drive anymore, the hood looked like someone droped a couple tons of bricks onto it, and the glass had a lot of small, baseball sized disk shaped cracks all over it, and several huge ones, bowling ball and up sizes. the side windows were fine i think. the other car had the sun roof shattered, it was gone, little bits of glass in the seat, and the same little baseball sized diskshaped cracks. it looked really bad in the morning, out in the sun as we went to go get the free cofee and pastries. there was a lot of lighting that night. my trip to texas from southern california

  36. ChefMike says:

    It took me three evenings worth of clicking, but I made it through the archives. I would have been done sooner, except I felt obliged to read the commentary as well. This is an excellent comic, and I regret not having bookmarked it much sooner, as I see banner ads for it on several of the other webcomics I feel a need to keep track of on a daily basis (I think I clicked over here from QC but I’m not sure anymore) at any rate…Excellent job all around!

  37. Kae says:

    Never dropped my own keys, but somewhere in a deep drain in Miami there’s probably still a rather large bundle of my mother’s important keys my 7-year-old self accidentally tossed (yes tossed) in.

    As for weather, I grew up with hurricanes out the wazoo, and while they’re more predictable than tornadoes, people forget that the strong ones tend to *spawn* multiple tornadoes, even the big super tornadoes, all throughout the northwest quarter of the storm. Tons of fun, that.

  38. antiproanti says:

    i live near the chicago area too, and the storm decimated our lives for a few days…problem is both my parents and i were moving (them to michigan and me to a house in wheaton) and it literally came right in the most crucial time of when we needed every second to get everything out of our old house…the power was out for two days, we lost everything in our fridges, etc…and then on the way to michigan, my dad got caught in traffic due to a flooded highway, and what is normally a 5-hour trip became an 11-hour trip
    all in all, i feel your pain man…this was the epitome of a freak storm

  39. Bill says:

    Lol. Biff is like “KHAAAAAAAAAAN!”

  40. ehterscythe says:

    I woke up to the worst storm of my life in this last year. Wind howling like you wouldn’t believe. Hail (small here in Texas, but it doesn’t sound that small!). Lightning like crazy. I went online to discover that we were in the middle of a tornado warning and I had no idea… I could have woken up with a tornado knocking on my door. And I had to get a crash-refresher course in tornado safety.

    I’m now the paranoid owner of a weather radio. I highly recommend it to everyone. To those not familiar: a weather radio receives local stations in the nationwide emergency broadcast system, and can turn itself on to alert you of dangerous weather, kidnapped children, and other public emergencies, and also has instructions on what to do. Your life is worth the $40 or so at Radio Shack, trust me.

    You can also turn it on to get the local forecast for your area at any time.

  41. Radical Edward says:

    I have that same look when I lose something…

  42. Elkian says:

    I LOVE that pose!… *bleaches brain*

  43. chrome says:

    biff must know a really good locksmith

  44. Maarten says:

    i know the pain i needed to get the bus and i was running my key flew out of my jacketpocket right in the drain i stressed like sh*t found out there was a level and then the actual pipe and my key’s landed on the level part i still got the bus :p
    its a temperd zone here so were never gonna get a huge storm mostly its some rooftiles that fall or a treebranches that fall

  45. Manji says:

    I hear that the eye of the storm is the calmest part….

  46. Manji says:

    didn’t finish my last post.. xP

    I hear that the eye (center) of the storm is the calmest part… so maybe if you dive in quick enough you’d be safe (think of it like baseball)… and if not… well… it would be a pretty cool way to die.

  47. Lesley says:

    I remember that storm! One of the trees in my backyard partially fell on the house, so I got to call off work the next day and play Lumberjack.

  48. Alice Love says:

    I like to imagine that Biff is mute.
    I also like to imagine that he is screaming “WHYYYYYYYY” in his head.

    I remember in my art class, I had to take pictures as a project. I went outside and took a picture of a funnel forming outside my school. My teacher freaked out on me, but she was impressed after it was over, and I ended up being her favorite =p

  49. Rik says:

    i love how Biff’s expression is often like “Why, God, why??”

  50. Marscaleb says:

    When I was a kid, TV seemed to teach me that dropping your keys in a storm drain was a regular thing. As an adult, not only do I never see that happening, but I wonder how my keys could even fit through the grate without someone pushing them through.

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