September 18, 2003

Hurricane Idiots

I've yelped about this before, and I'm sure countless other folks have to, but I must reiterate. Why, I ask you, WHY, when a population is confronted by something as powerful as a hurricane, they simply have to go to the beach to see for themselves?

Seriously, the top story on this morning featured a picture of a woman in a rain slicker walking along the beach, buffeted by strong winds and blinding mist. And she wore a grimace that indicated she was not all that pleased to be there.

Well, what the fuck did she think was going to happen? It's a fucking HURRICANE, dipshit! You don't go for a stroll in a fucking HURRICANE. Why don't you just go and casually pluck daisies from a mine field, or maybe try retrieving a quarter from the lion's den of the local zoo.

It's not just limited to hurricanes. Here in Minnesota, we're treated to a spring and summer phenomenon known as tornado season. And, sure enough, if the weather starts to look like it could harbor a tornado, people start emerging from their homes to take a look-see. It's gotten to the point that the sirens warning of severe weather practically entice people outdoors rather than prompting them to seek shelter in their basements. Sure, everyone KNOWS that tornados can whip up winds that can send 2X4s through concrete slabs, but that doesn't stop them from wandering around with their eyes looking skyward. Yup, looks like a tornado, all right. Big one, too. Sure wish I were indoors.

Crap on a cracker.

I'm not saying I'm immune from the disease, either. I've done my share of stupid pre-storm wandering. But, when the sky turns a paricularly menacing shade of gray, I head for the bunker. I mean, sure, it would be cool to actually see a tornado forming, but is it worth the potential cost? Hell no.

In my opinion, however, hurricane wanderers are 8,000 percent bigger idiots than tornado wanderers. I mean, at least with tornados, you're never really sure if one is going to coalesce, and even if one does appear, it could be small.

Hurricanes, on the other hand, are practically a sure thing. You know, usually days in advance, that the fucking thing is coming. Hell, you become so familiar with the hurricane, you even get on a first name basis with it. This time, it's Isabelle. Such a nice sounding name. Isabelle. Sounds like a character from "Gone With The Wind," and how fucking appropriate is that?

You don't get that cozy and familiar with a tornado. Tornados don't get names, although it could be argued that every tornado automatically gets the honorary title of "Oh, SHIT!" or "FUUUUUUCCCCKK!"

The point is, hurricanes give a lot of fair warning, particularly with today's satellite technology. So, why, when confronted with satellite images that show a galaxy swirl of a storm that blankets a goodly portion of the planet, would a person decide that it's a good day for a beach stroll? I just don't understand.

But, it's the newscasters that always floor me. I swear, they compete to see who can put themselves in a more precarius hurricane position. You'll see one standing on the beach, screaming to be heard above the gale behind them, and then you'll switch channels to see a newscaster standing on a pier, practically lashed to the rickety wood structure roiling amid the wind, and then you'll switch channels yet again and see a newscaster trying to surf, with chunks of raw meat tied to their leg to entice sharks.

That's the nice distinction between print and broadcast journalism. In print journalism, your success is often based on skill (except for the Jayson Blairs of the world). In broadcast journalism, success is usually based on appearance and stupid human tricks.

So, to wrap up, let me just say: stay the fuck indoors, people. There's a hurricane coming, for crying out loud.

Posted by Ryan at September 18, 2003 10:39 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!