Audio Story: The Fantabulous Cumulo-Nimbuli Pump

story length: 8 minutes
written by: Chuck Brown
read by: Chuck Brown

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It happened to me for three days in a row
The first day brought rain, then came fog, then the snow
But each day, the weather just ruined my plans
For hot dogs and baseball and fun in the stands

So I called on my scientist friend, Dr. Sam
I said, “Are ya busy?”…he said, “Now I am.”
“I know that you’ve come here with some hair-brained scheme.
So tell me which problem’s inspired this dream.”

I said, “Doc, now listen…you must understand.
Wet weather is messin’ up all of my plans!
There must be an answer to clouds in the sky,
That pour on my head and drip in my eye.

“The doc scribbled somethin’ on his drawing board
Pulled parts from his Chevy, took parts from his Ford
Some wire, a hose, an old motor (and tape)
And he moved things around ’til it finally took shape

“There!” said the doc, with his hands on his hips.
But I…scratchin’ my head and lickin’ my lips…
I said, “I don’t get it. What’s this gonna do?”
He said, “Help me move it. You’ll see in a few.

“Moved it out to the yard…it looked rather odd.
And then he unfolded the telescope rod.
‘Twas about 10 short inches…then more like 10 feet…
And soon it was longer than Mulberry Street!

He lifted it up, ’til it reached to the sky
Then turned to the west…and what caught my eye?
But a tiny white cloud just afloat in the breeze
It was gliding as gently as ever you please…

Well, the doc held it still ’til the moment he knew
That the edge of the cloud, in the sky of blue
Was touching the end of the telescope rod
Then he turned his head slowly and gave me a nod

Well, I don’t know too much about science and such
But I knew what to do when he gave me that cue
So I bent down and leaned over, touching the switch
I paused for a second and my finger twitched

Then I flipped that old switch toward that little word “ON”
And, my work being done, took a seat on the lawn
Then I heard a low rumble…it became a loud roar
Like my cousin Jimmy at night, when he snores

Then another noise slowly began to come forth
Like a giant sucking sound from the south to the north
So I looked to the sky and I squinted my eye
‘Cause I couldn’t believe that I saw what I’d seen

That little white cloud (this is really quite odd…)
Was vanishing into the telescope rod
Little by little, the cloud disappeared
And, in a few seconds, the blue sky was clear

I looked at the doc…he looked back at me
I opened my mouth, but I just said, “Well, gee!”
Now, Doc was a true man of science, you see
Sought knowledge, not fortune…so he said to me

“We’ve found a solution, my eager young friend.
It’s yours now. Enjoy it! I’ll give it, not lend.”
So I started thinkin’ and started to plan
A contraption like this could make me a rich man


I figured I had to come up with a name
That folks might remember when skies threatened rain
I wondered and pondered
I simmered and stewed

My thoughts changing faster than chews of my food
I thought of it this way…I laughed at it that
I mulled each one over…gave each its at-bat
Like “Suction Unlimited Cloud-Moving Pros:

Just call us whenever you fear rain or snow”
Or “Vacu-Puff Cloud Cleaning”…there’s quite a name…
But I couldn’t imagine it bringing me fame
They all were so boring…they put me to sleep

But, there, I discovered the one I would keep:

“The Fantabulous Cumulo-Nimbuli Pump”
I woke with a grin and a small joyous jump
“If you fear bad weather, give us a call…
with us, every cloud has no lining at all!”

Within a few hours, a call rang my phone
A local girl’s soccer team’s coach sighed and moaned
They had a big pic-a-nic planned the next day
But it looked like a thunderstorm stood in the way

It was scheduled for noon, so I said with a thrill:
“Let’s meet at the park at, say, ten minutes ’til…”
We met there, and sure enough, as they’d been warned
The dark clouds had gathered, the girls were forelorn

I said, “Never fear…and never say ‘yuck!’
Just write me a check for a cool fifty bucks
They handed it over, I turned from the crowd
I flipped on my gizmo and sucked up those clouds

The girls and their coach gave me high-fives and smiles
Their picnic was saved…no small storm cramped their styles
I drove away smiling and thought in my heart:
“Not bad for a guy no one thought was too smart!”

For the next several weeks, I was one busy guy
Rescuing plans as I vacuumed the sky
I made lots of money…it made lots of friends
This power I had to control weather trends

And then, in the winter, some odd things began
A businessman called and he said, “Here’s my plan.
I don’t want to see any snow here all year.
‘Cause I know this could help me sell more camping gear.”

This seemed quite a reasonable course to pursue
To keep the sky clear, a bright sparking blue
But then came some carolers…store Santas, too
Who said: “It’s not Christmas when no snow’s in view…!”

Then farmers came calling and offering me dough
To let the clouds rain, and let their crops grow
Umbrellas and wiper blades, raincoats and boots
The folks selling those things then offered me loot

Well, they all said they’d pay me…to do work…or not
But I had to decide which ones I’d give a shot
That’s not such a bad proposition, you see
If I could collect for just letting things be

Well, soon…I was rich, without lifting a hand
Just watching the rain and the snow wet the land
All the rain rusted my weird wind machine
Way too much hassle to keep dry and clean

Finally, I junked it…it went to the dump
My Fantabulous Cumulo-Nimbuli Pump
And so ends my story…I’m happy, not sad
I bought a pro baseball team…things aren’t so bad…

It’s such a long story…to tell it, such strain
I think I’ll relax…with a stroll…in the rain…

1995 – Chuck Brown
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