In the first installment of Texas flood I told the story of how the UIndy crew braved the elements. It ended with every one of us drenched, dirty, and triumphant. That is usually how the story ends, but it is actually where the story becomes interesting. As we walked back to the minivan, still chirping from our victory and doused from our day, we were faced with an obstacle. We were filthy and the minivan was a rental. In the picture above you can see four sopping souls, none of whom you would let into your own car.
So what could we do? At that point we were the only people left in the cemetery. None of us had brought a change of clothes or even shoes for that matter. The first suggestion was that we just remove our clothes so we could keep the van clean and dry. Here is a question, what do you call a PhD and four master’s students undressed in a minivan? A tailor, maybe? Definitely a lawyer. What if we got pulled over? The next idea was to have someone back at our hotel bring us clothes. This had its own problems. No one had access to our rooms to get our clothes, plus we were asking them to drive through a storm into an area that was prone to flooding. With all other options exhausted, we got creative.
In my first post I mentioned how Baylor supplied us with Tyvek suits. They are synthetic suits that cover the whole body and are made to keep hazardous materials out, but in this instance we re-purposed them to keep the hazardous materials in. We took turns in the field trailer stripping down and suiting up for the ride home. Our new team uniform consisted of a white space suit and maybe a choice undergarment or two. The best part of all is when we returned to the hotel someone was there to document our embarrassment.
The cliché “a picture is worth a thousand words” is an understatement. In this photo you can see us all tightly zipped up into our Tyvek suits for modesty, with our bare feet poking out of the bottom. If you look closely you can see us carrying bags and bins of our soaked clothes. Everyone also has a sly look on their face, as if to say, “I know something you don’t know.” Now the whole world knows the answer to that question. You’re welcome!