Toad Strangler Oklahoma Rain


I’ve lived in Singapore, and I don’t think monsoon rains come down as hard, or as sideways, as what poured down on me as a kid growing up on Nebraska Street.

When the skies opened up in Oklahoma, man, that was something to behold.

I remember water gushing out of the downspout so hard that it ripped up the grass and turned the yard into a mud bog.

The volume of water was so huge it would pour out over the sides of the gutter, and come down in absolute sheets.

If you ran underneath, it was like having a pitcher full of ice water poured right down your back.

After these Springtime cloudbursts, just about every street in Norman became a lake.

Nebraska Street would overflow its curbs and, after a really bodacious toad-strangler, the water would lap up again the water meters that were way up in the front yards.

On those days, it was so cool to put on your cut-offs and water-bike.

It was just like going in s-l-o-w motion as you plowed through the water.

But, ever so slowly, the lake in front of our house would disappear.

That’s when you hurried down to Flood Street (before you Mom could tell you not to).

The water there was always at least to the top of your bike tire, and sometimes up to your banana seat.

It probably wasn’t the brightest thing in the world to do.

But if you built up a full head of steam and rode into Flood St., it felt like a giant grabbed the back of your bike and stopped it dead.

If you managed to stay on your bike, or if you flipped into Flood St. and didn’t get run over, it was a total WIN.

It was even more fun to get down on all fours and stick your head right into the wall of water that cars splashed up as they chugged by at about 20 mph.

Once we tried to surf those car-waves using our home-made skateboards.

Dead Man’s Curve

But the best surfing came when they put in a three-foot-tall culvert on Barbour Street.

Man, after really big cloudbursts, you could butt-surf Dead Man’s Curve if you had a Mayflower Moving box to use as a surfboard.

The boxes would last about 10 minutes before turning into a giant spitwad.

That would lead to a new game of Cream Your Best Friend Right in the Kisser And Then Run.

Sadly, I’ve noticed that getting old has taken all the fun out of torrential rains and flood water.

A couple of years ago, I was about halfway through my 40-minute commute when I got an urgent call from the Missus.

She was more than a little agitated because water was coming over the TOP of our front door, and she wanted me home RIGHT NOW.

I started driving like a madman trying to get home, while at the same time answering phone calls from the Missus who was in tears and totally freaking out.


Turns out that the downspout had been clogged by Oklahoma-size hailstones.

That caused the rainwater to overflow the gutter, “back flush” over the door awning, and flood into the front hallway.

No question about it, crazy torrential rain is WAY more fun when you are eight years old.

Before you have to learn about flood insurance and wet, angry women.


One Response to “Toad Strangler Oklahoma Rain”

  1. Lillian L.. says:

    If Mother had known you were doing all these things, she’d have had a hissy fit and your hiney would have been paddled. Amazing that you lived thru it all.

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