Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Oh. That.

Many of you ghetto-fabulous commentors and emailers have been asking for a full accounting of my experiences with Hurricane Jeanne, and frankly they’re all starting to blend together, these storms. It’s just de rigueur at this point. We’ve got it down to a system now. You plan for the weekend, you check first to see if the bar you’re headed to is located in a mandatory evacuation zone. But if you must know: 70 MPH winds, mass power outages, death and destruction, blah blah de blah.

One of the local affiliates actually trotted out a therapist to answer viewer questions. People were all, “I can’t sleep and I’m very anxious. What can I do?” And she said that we should all look into some sleeping pills (“but not so much that you’re sleeping through the tornado warnings”—thanks, Dr. Quinn) and that we need to focus on something during the storm, such as, and I quote, “cleaning closets.” Then the doctor she was sitting with added, “You know, I almost hate to say this, but you may want to try a shot of alcohol too.” So if the mainstream media had its way, I’d spend forty eight hours re-hanging all my stirrup pants while two-fisting Schnapp’s and Unisol. And you know what, I’ve had worse Saturday nights.

Some people are just downright refusing to evacuate or storm shutter or anything, because we have absolutely had it with the ravaging and the landfalling and the outpouring of national concern and all. They've actually whipped up a name for this phenomenon of absolutely not giving a hurri-crap: Hurricane fatigue.

Well, that’s just great. The National Guard pounds on your door all, “Dude, you need to get the hell out, your house is going to be blown to siding particles,” and your answer is? You know what, I’m kind of tired. I’ll see you on the next one.”

I can kind of relate, though. With the first hurricane, I was terrified, and also quite looking forward to it, and had the Millennium Bellemobile all diapered up about a day before the storm hit. Frances-- that bitch took forever, and I could tell by the radar that I’d have some time, so everything was taken care of a few hours by the time the first bands came through. Jeanne? I put off my supposedly-daily workout the entire afternoon before she was due to hit The Swamp, and then I actually stood there on my front porch with my rollerblades in my arms, frowning out at the building horizontal rain: So... no swimming then?

I was therefore forced to the gym. I got my umbrella and my water bottle and snarled down the parking lot to the ellipticycle, where I pounded out a good two hundred calories as the first bands came whipping against the window. Stupid hurricane, interrupting my workout. And two or three other tenants were already in there, calmly cycling away right along with me. By the time I was done I conceded that I might as well protect my property, so I half-assedly trussed up The Bellemobile and went inside, poutedly. The next storm, I’ll probably wait until the eyewall comes through before going, “You know what I should probably do? Close the door.”

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