The Dry Garden: Grand illusion

Posted on | February 5, 2010 | No Comments

In his 1982 autobiography “My Last Breath,” film director Luis Buñuel wrote:

A year can go by, even two, without so much as a single cloud in the impassive sky. Whenever an adventuresome cumulus wandered into view just above the mountain peaks, all the clerks in the grocery next door would rush to our house and clamber up onto the roof. There, from the vantage point of a small gable, they’d spend hours watching the creeping cloud, shaking their heads and murmuring sadly: “Wind’s from the south. It’ll never get here.”

And they were always right.

May a Los Angeles filmmaker one day match the elegance with which the Spanish-born Buñuel exaggerated the dryness of his native Aragon. Annual rainfall there is much like ours: 12 to 15 inches a year.

But when it comes to exaggeration here, our tendency is to overstate the rain. Ever notice how much it rains in Los Angeles on TV dramas? (Thank the fire hoses.) But when real clouds roll in, it never merely rains in Southern California. As our newscasters style it, we get “slammed” by “storms.”

Click here to keep reading this week’s ‘The Dry Garden’ in the Los Angeles Times.

For preliminary rainfall totals from the National Weather Service for this week’s showers in Los Angeles, click here.

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