“There’s no such thing as bad weather. Only the wrong kind of clothing.”
We all turned to look at Nigel as he spoke the words, various expressions of disbelief on our faces.
“What a supremely stupid comment, you stupid fart,” came the reply, “Who the hell told you that bit of crap?” The speaker was Alan, by far the sportiest of the gang and probably the most put out by our current state. He could hardly sit still for a couple of minutes, let alone the fifteen we had been trapped inside the hut by the torrential downpour outside.
He shook his head again to try to rid himself of the rivulets running from his thick, curly hair and down his face, but he only succeeded in splattering everyone around him. A chorus of disapproving hails rose up in reaction and he got up and tried to walk off his excess energy. It didn’t work though, because he could only make three strides before he had to turn around and come back to where we were sitting, hunched up near the front and eyeing the waterfall that was cascading off the roof.
“My Dad says that the right sort of clothing can overcome even the worst weather.”
“My Dad.” Heavy with sarcasm. “My Dad! If your dad’s so bloody clever how come you’re just as drenched as the rest of us then?” That was Simmo. Nigel was the last of our lot to have a dad still living at home, and Simmo resented him a bit for it. Simmo’s dad quit home and moved in with the local pub landlady a year ago after the old bloke died of alcohol poisoning. Simmo’s mum reckoned his dad was going the same way and good luck to him. I think her bitterness just rubbed off on him.
Before the argument had chance to take off, Baz stuck his nose in. Literally. He’d taken his glasses off for about the ninth time and he was polishing them on his t-shirt. He’s close to blind without them and the combination of rain outside and us indoors was making the shed kind of steamy so Baz’s specs kept misting over. He leaned forward so he was only a couple of inches from the others, just so he could see them, and said: “Must be good to have a choice of what to wear.” He was somewhere in the middle of eight brothers so he was always lumbered with stuff that didn’t fit the older ones any longer.
That made us all stop for a while and think, or at least shut up, and all you could hear was a roary sort of noise and the splashing just outside the door. We sat like that for ages, just staring at the rain and listening to that engine sound. Looked like it was going to be a long summer.