Understatement of the year goes to the chap I heard at the supermarket last week when the monsoon came to town.
"It's a touch damp out there," he remarked to another chap who had clearly arrived to pick up a few essentials without wearing a raincoat.
The dash from his car to the entrance was snorkel material.
"A few spots of rain," he laughed.
Which is all you can do when you too decided to leave the coat and the brolly at home because it was only a few light drops coming down ... then.
But now, at the checkout, you look out the window and realise that the downpour is of the torrential variety and the journey to the locked car, with two bags of stuff is going to be tricky.
So basically one stands in the foyer along with four or five other coat and brolly-less shoppers to wait for a break.
Yes indeed, it was a fine old belt of rain which passed through.
While it is practical of course to stay inside and shelter from the waterworks there are things which still need to be done.
I saw a couple of drain clearance chaps at work out the front of someone's section in the torrential rain and while they were well kitted out it was clearly far from favourable working conditions.
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And I daresay when you're trying to clear a drain the last thing you want is a flow of water you can't control or monitor with a tap.
I also saw a delivery lad bolting from his van and up a driveway with the parcel which needed delivering.
Taxi drivers also have the brave the heavy rain to pick people up and drop them off.
Emergency services, of course, simply take it as read that they will have to toil in whatever conditions are set upon them.
When it rains heavily and for hour after hour, after such a long dry spell, they just know there are going to be a few call-outs on the way.
Wet weather gear at the ready.
Out there in the countryside the folks who farm the land can't stay inside all day ... much as they'd probably like to.
For there are things to do.
And hey, what's a bit of water and mud at the end of the day.
If the poor old baa baas and moo cows have to wander about in it then that's that.
Although if the barn door's open they'll be first inside.
So there I was, driving home (eventually) from the supermarket (with my hair looking fashionably damp) and the rain was bucketing down.
And school was coming out.
Brolly-bearing parents shepherding their young 'uns under their colourful nylon circles and setting out for the distant car.
For many, the journey means crossing the road, and the road I was going down is a busy road.
Now when I was a small lad (which was only 30 or so years after the last tyrannosaurus put its head down) crossing the roads at school time was pretty much a case of "just keep an eye out for cars".
There were no designated school crossings although I do recall that at home time a teacher would be there, by the roadside, picking the right moments for the kids to cross.
Today, this part of the journey to and from school is superbly set up with school patrol groups in action.
Well kitted and well trained school patrol groups who go through thorough training programmes under the fine guidance of police safety teams.
With a parent or teacher overseeing their essential work, they call instructions to each other to coordinate the great pole-attached traffic barriers.
They make crossing safe ... in all weather.
For on that day last week the little one working the lane I was in had a very effective hooded red raincoat and the water was streaming off it.
So did her companion across the other side and their overseer bore a brolly.
And what got me was the little pedestrian guardian on my side was grinning, and passed on a few little waves to passing drivers as if to thank them for stopping.
It was another day on school patrol and that was that.
It was great to see, and I daresay all the kids who use the crossings will grow up, get their drivers' licences, and always be more aware of pedestrian crossings on their journeys.
Good on ya kids and hey, it must be cool to have the authority to stop even the biggest truck.
* Roger Moroney is an award-winning journalist for Hawke's Bay Today and observer of the slightly off-centre.