Sunday, August 28, 2011

There were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident

Yesterday was a pretty tense day around the ol’ Fortress of Solitude.  In anticipation of Irene’s arrival we got our bottled water, filled our bathtub, put away all of our deck and porch furniture and waited.

Thankfully, she didn’t do much damage around here.  Looks to be some localized flooding, but nothing too bad.  Or at least not enough that we can’t look back on some of yesterday’s weather coverage and laugh.  Because, seriously people, some of these intrepid individuals just about hurled themselves into the sea to demonstrate how bad things were.

But first, a brief detour.  As instructed by the good people at The Weather Channel, I texted my parents this morning to make sure all was well instead of calling, to conserve my battery just in case we still lost power.  I did break all of the rules (damn the man, Willard) and called yesterday as Irene cranked up to make sure Mom had filled the bathtubs. 

She did not, however, fully appreciate my kind and thoughtful gesture.  Probably because when I called I told her that I was calling because the people on the TV instructed me to check up on the elderly and infirmed.  And, um, Husband might have been yelling “ARE YOU OK, INFIRMED ELDERS???” in the background.  I kid because I love, promise.  No, really!  (But yeah, we really did do that.  Moving on.)

So after getting my text this morning, Mom (always the rebel!) calls back to tell me that they were fine but without power.  And that they had already driven around to check out the damage.  Teeeeerriffic.  As visions of my parents getting play on the news for being flood-rescue candidates ran through my head, Mom ‘fessed up that the REAL reason they ventured out was to go out for breakfast.  Because what’s a little flooding when you’ve got a hankering for some good diner eggs?

As sane people stayed indoors, all food-related establishments were closed.  Which left Dad with a problem – morning coffee.  Dad NEEDS his coffee.  Strong like hi-test gasoline and piping hot, every morning first thing.  Their power was out and restaurants were closed – what to do?

Dad is nothing if not a modern day pioneer.  As a result, when I called to check in, I couldn’t actually speak to Dad because he was perkily boiling water for coffee. Outside on their deck.  On my parents’ gas barbeque.  Pa Ingalls would be proud.

Beyond Mom and Dad, I have to laugh at some of these weather guys.  Yes, last night was practically Christmas.  Beyond the dangerous potential of the storm, this was the local guy’s big opportunity to finally get noticed and get that big call up to The Weather Channel.  And try to get noticed they did. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of our fine local weathermen, Adam Joseph.  First, the guy was on the air for 12 hours straight.  So he gets mad props from me for that.  However, there came a point where I didn’t think Adam would make it. 

At about 9:30 p.m., a pack of tornadoes started popping up around the area.  Adam, jacket and tie off and sleeves rolled up at this point, basically lost it.  He started gesticulating wildly around the map, spitting out the names of random cities that might be in the path of a tornado.  Which, mind you, at this point basically covered the entire greater Philadelphia region.

“Radnor!  Central Philly!  Conshohocken!  Broomall!  DREXELL HILL!  KING OF PRUSSIA!!!!

Then Adam started screaming for paper.  “I need this written down.  This is too much.  I need paper!  PAPER PEOPLE!”

An hour later, Adam had both his paper and grasp on reality firmly in hand.  But that moment when he morphed into Kermit the Frog-doing-the-crazy-wave will forever make me smile.

Then we have the reporters who feel the need to actually try to get swept away by the ocean to prove their point.  If you tracked The Weather Channel at all yesterday, you may have seen the reporter stationed in Nags Head, NC.  During a hurricane, this guy decided to stand in the ocean.  As the wind and surf picked up in power, this guy doesn’t move to higher ground or even get out of the range of the ocean.  Nope.  Instead, he just widened his stance.  

There you go.  Don't get out of the way, just hunker down.  Because a lower center of gravity can defeat a frieking hurricane.  No problem.
As the day went on, he got closer and closer to doing a full split.  My black heart encouraged me to root for the ocean.  (No, of COURSE I didn’t.  That would be wrong.  Husband did.)

Finally, you may have heard of the enterprising young go-getter who stood right next to the boardwalk railing in Ocean City, MD to give viewers the fullest sense of the ocean’s fury?  He got covered in that ocean foam stuff that doesn’t dissipate and pretty much looked like Foamy the Snowman.

“It’s in my face as well…as you can imagine, it doesn’t taste well…it has a sort of sandy consistency to it.”
Yeah, um, about that foam.  For those of you that go to the beach, don’t ever go near that weird ocean foam again….organic matter is NOT plankton.  Guy pretty much made raw sewage foam snow angels.  (shudder)

For those of you yet to be hit, stay safe out there and please don’t eat any ocean foam!

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