THE SONIC BOOMER
Well, that was fun.
Nothing like a good hurricane to reset your priorities. Just when you’re feeling confident, like you’ve got it all and you know where you’ve put it, Mother Nature intervenes to remind you that she is still in charge, you little twerp.
The weathermen go absolutely nuts. After months of predicting Florida as “hot and sunny with afternoon showers” like a team of robots, they finally have something new to report. People are tuning in! People care! I don’t even need to turn up the sound on my TV. I just watch the hurricane icon, its track and the weatherman’s tie, which is the real giveaway that danger is approaching. If he has loosened it, the hurricane is one day away. If he is in shirtsleeves, batten down the hatches.
Here’s what you’re supposed to do to prepare for a hurricane: get water, get a generator and get gas for the car in case you’re evacuated or to run said generator.
Here’s what I do to prepare for a hurricane: fill a bucket with water, buy several pounds of m&ms and organize my reading material with the Valentine’s Day magazines on top. I will get through the stack. My life does have purpose.
Loss of life and billions of dollars in damage aside, I enjoy the excitement of a hurricane. I love rushing around, not knowing for sure what’s going to happen. I love the sudden drop in air pressure and the eerie feeling I get from it. And I really love having a break from the electronics that usually run my life.
At first, that is.
The aftermath isn’t as much fun. The cleanup, the erratic schedule (what’s open and what’s not) and, worst of all, the seemingly endless deprivation of the electronics that I depend on to run my life.
Not having air conditioning, refrigerated food and access to a television set gets old fast. I mean, after you’ve taken a tour of the neighborhood, oohing and ahhing over downed trees, flooded streets and overturned patio furniture, you head on home to what? A cold beer and Game of Thrones? No. You just sit in your hot house with a warm water and a cell phone that you’re afraid to use because you don’t want to run down the battery.
Loss of power really makes you appreciate what Thomas Edison did for us — Benjamin Franklin, too, if you want to factor in the whole kite thing. Turns out those idyllic days of yore may not have been so idyllic. Bored people going to bed at 9 p.m. and getting up with the chickens. Bleah.
On the other hand, going to bed at 9 p.m. is great if you need 13 kids to help you on the farm. Because you’re going to get them. There’s nothing else to do.
Which brings me to my point — the minute those tickers were up and running again, I hope you bought stock in pregnancy tests, diapers, formula, baby food and cribs. Because next spring we’re gonna have a baby boom like you haven’t seen since the 1950s. That’s the real aftermath of a hurricane.