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MANDY FLYNN: Doggedly predicting the weather

FEATURES COLUMN: Stormy weather can be one big pain in the wrist

Mandy Flynn

Mandy Flynn

She was serious.

“I won’t be leaving the house next week. It is going to rain, rain, rain.”

The attractive older woman wearing a pink and yellow flowered jacket talked loudly to her walking companion as they made their way through the hallway to the cafeteria. It wasn’t hard to hear her.

“I don’t even have to watch the weather; my knees know more than they do anyway,” she went on.

Her niece knows? Is her niece some weather guru, I wondered before it hit me. Oh … her knees! Her knees know!

It made perfect sense now.

My wrist knows when it’s going to rain. I broke it — the right one — when I was 8 years old riding a horse. I say “riding a horse” very loosely. More like holding on for dear life on a horse. The horse, apparently, didn’t feel like someone sitting on him that day and he took off running. I fell off, landed on my wrist, and spent the next few months in a hard, white, itchy cast, learning to write with my good hand.

Now, I can predict the weather.

It aches when it’s going to rain. The doctor says it’s because I probably have a little arthritis in it now and the change in barometric pressure before a storm irritates it. Now I’m getting older and more and more of me is starting to hurt on a daily basis. If I went by all my personal pains to predict the weather, we’d be living in the rain forest.

I used to work with an older gentleman who swore that animals told him the weather. My favorite — when a donkey nods and shakes its head, it means rain is on the way.

I recently learned that there is a difference between donkeys and mules, and was looked at weirdly because I did not know there was one. Also, I learned that a male donkey is called a jackass. I don’t know if it means that it’s going to rain if a mule shakes its head. I don’t personally know any mules or donkeys, so I can’t speak to their weather prediction abilities. I have, however, known quite a few jackasses.

Cats can predict bad weather, too, he said. If they hide under a chair, then it’s going to be rough. I wouldn’t know. We’re dog people.

Our dogs do seem to get uneasy before an approaching storm. Some say if they eat grass that means it’s going to rain. Ours pace and lie in the corner. Especially our older dog. After coming across an article on the Internet the other day, I think I will buy him some lottery tickets to go over while he’s waiting out the weather.

A dog in Massachusetts picked six out of six winning numbers in a Megabucks drawing after her owners realized she was barking at the television during the lottery drawing. They thought she was trying to tell them something, so they printed out numbers on squares, put them on the dining room floor, and put a dog treat on each number. The dog picked up six dog treats and they played those numbers. Now they’re $400,000 richer.

They say their dog is psychic.

I was completely enthralled in the story until the end when the couple was asked what they would do with their winnings. They are going to buy an RV and hair extensions. And they’re going to buy the dog a new squeaky toy.

The dog is getting a raw deal. All that work, $400,000, and all she gets is a squeaky toy?

If I were that dog, the next time they asked me to pick lottery numbers for them, I’d go lie in the corner. Or go eat some grass. Make them think it’s going to rain. Then come on down here and teach my dog how to pick lottery numbers.

Or, better yet, pick them for me. I’ll buy you a steak. And pet you with my good hand.

The other one’s busy predicting the weather.

Email columnist mandy Flynn at flyn1862@bellsouth.net.