I love our apartment in Brooklyn, but it has one nasty design flaw: The downstairs plumbing can back up during torrential summer storms, turning the toilet and tub into geysers of dirty water until the city’s sewer system catches up with all the water falling out of the sky.
It’s gross, y’all.
As you might imagine, this has made me a bit edgy during bad weather. When I know potential trouble’s coming, I fire up the computer, monitor the radar map and start asking frantic questions. Is the water in the toilet starting to shimmy and shake? How hard is it raining? How long will this last? Do I get the pump ready? No? How about now?
Weather.com’s radar shows light rain as pale green; downpours that could do us harm show as red. But Weather.com only updates every five minutes, which is annoying when you’re a paranoid bathroom defender.
Another site, Weather Underground, updates every minute. Much better! But here’s the thing — Weather Underground’s color gradient is more … let’s say alarmist than Weather.com’s. Weather Underground’s red is the equivalent of Weather.com’s yellow, which is a level of rain I keep an eye on but not enough to be a problem. Weather Underground’s yellow is the same as Weather.com’s green, which is routine if-you’re-going-out-grab-an-umbrella stuff.
I’ve lived in this apartment for nearly two decades. I know how this works. But knowing it doesn’t help when I load Weather Underground during a summer storm and see a wall of red coming at Brooklyn.
My heart pounds.
My breath gets short.
Even though I know that the red I’m seeing is not actually red.
So Matt Harvey  was pretty good for five innings. Then he left and the Mets commenced to play stupid, to quote a man who saw a lot of that. Daniel Murphy  yakked up a ball he should have ate; David Wright  made an error; Hansel Robles  gave up a whole lot of runs. The back end of the bullpen then gave up a whole lot more. Meanwhile, the Mets weren’t hitting. They let a shaky-looking C.C. Sabathia  off the hook in the first and never put him back on it.
As things cratered , there was a lot of bile directed at Scott Boras (I contributed my share on Twitter), which wasn’t really relevant considering what went wrong in the game, but at least made us feel a little better. And then there was the collective nervous breakdown one expected, which I tried not to contribute to but probably did anyway.
The radar looks red — the crimson of anger, of BLOOD, of DOOM. And my trying to tell you to flip over to the other, more sedately colored app showing the exact same weather isn’t going to help. Because we remember, and we react.
The Mets are not phoning it in or lacking cojones or choking or trying to kill us or anything like that. The problem is several talented members of the team are simultaneously not getting hits. This is an unfortunate confluence of unfortunate things that happens to baseball teams periodically. We — the poor blighters who live and die on the outcome of games we can’t affect — call this thing a slump. And then we desperately try to make that slump conform to our insistence that everything has a reason and is part of a larger story.
And, well, when we’re laboring under the collective memory of some bad shit, the story we tell ourselves is a tragic one.
I get it. I do it too. But check back at mid-week and we’ll see what the radar looks like, OK?
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First the New York Times, now New York magazine! It’s a Faith and Fear media bonanza!
Thanks to longtime pal of mine and reader of the blog Will Leitch for his kind words . Here’s hoping Will has a reason to check in on us to get our dazed reaction to confetti and champagne. He’s familiar with our dazed reaction to less happy events.