Enough already? Enter the <I>Hook</I>'s rainfall contest

Are you good at guessing how many gumballs are in the big jar? How about how much that average-size dark-haired lady weighs? Do you have a Ouija board?

Even if none of that applies to you, you should still get your entry blanks ready. The Hook's "Should We Start Building the Ark?" contest is under way.

According to the UVA astronomy department, which measures weather-related phenomena at McCormick Observatory, on Thursday, December 11, the Charlottesville area set a new annual record when it topped the previous record for the amount of liquid falling from the sky– 72.07 inches, set in 1937.

At presstime, the new record stands at 74.00 inches and counting. That's where you come in.

Put your finger in the air, scan the heavens with an expert eye, and guess how much more rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc. (not earthquakes) anything that will up the total for the year-­ we're going to get before Old Father Time leaves and that new baby, 2004, arrives.

Send your guess-timate of the total amount of rainfall that will fall in 2003 to rain@readthehook.com by midnight December 23. One entry per person, please.

We'll announce the winner in the January 8, 2004 issue of the Hook and the astute estimator will win a trip to Order From Horder to pick out what else? a glorious umbrella with which to greet whatever may be coming from the skies next year.

Get guessing, and good luck!

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