Today there's a wicked fierce thunder storm pounding Boston, and my mother told me not to use any appliances or a phone while there's lightning in the neighbourhood. I always imagined that if I did pick up the phone during a storm, a huge ball of fire would leap out of it and bounce around the room, like in Tintin and the Seven Crystal Balls. As I write this on an index card for later, safer transcription, I am using the "5-seconds-per-mile" formula to count how close the lightning is striking. According to my calculation, it is now...ZERO MILES AWAY.

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