NoLa, Weather, Drooling Reporters and a QOD
I'm a weather freak, one of those weird people who has the Weather Channel programed as a favorite. Snow, sleet, hail, rain, gusty wind, lightning - whatever the weather is where you are, I want to know about it. And the more dangerous the better; give me freak blizzards blanketing an entire region or thunderstorms so severe they call for hail the size of footballs.
This isn't because I like disasters, per se. I'm just a student of Mother Nature, always in awe of her incredible strength and powers. I'm fascinated by what makes a storm happen, how it travels, picks up steam and dies off. I'm mesmerized by shows of lightning and thunder, of twisters and ice storms and how all these things can convert a landscape instantaneously, whether by turning it into a white sheened wonderland or obliterating everything in its path.
Nature is something that can't be controlled and I suppose that is the main source of my wonderment. A juggernaut of bad weather headed your way is unstoppable. All you can do is hope you get the hell out of the way in time, or that you are prepared to withstand whatever it brings.
There's something different about Katrina, though. I think it's the sense of impending doom that the media is blanketing their coverage with. The dire warnings about the city of New Orleans disappearing, the death tomb scenario of the Superdome becoming submerged, the somber details of how corpses will float up from their tombs and raw sewage will kill whoever was left standing by this hurricane. It's an apocalyptic scenario and if I'm sitting her frightened, I can't imagine what it's like for people with family in the area, let alone the people who live there.
So I'm watching the coverage now and I see that it's not going to be "as bad" as they first predicted (ohh, only a strong Category 4) and Shephard Smith is standing out on a balcony of a hotel on Bourbon Street and man, he does not look happy to be there.
So hopefully, the doomsday scenario of New Orleans being wiped off the map is just a reporter's wet dream right now. Still, it looks dangerous and scary out there and I do hope that somehow, Katrina leaves us with no more death than she has already caused.
I started writing this at 5:30 (with something else in mind completely) and I got sidetracked by obvious reports coming from my tv (It's raining. It's windy.) and morning news anchors chomping at the bit for a disasters (they could have six, ten, twelve, eleventybillion hours of hurricane weather! Any cars turned over, Jim? Can you show us some damage, please?). As much as I love weather and watching it's fury unfold, I have little tolerance for people sitting behind a desk looking obviously frustrated as they report on....nothing.
Let's cut to Andy again as he stands there in front of the swaying tree.
Andy, that tree still swaying?
Yes...I can't really hear you...
You hear that, folks? The wind is so bad Andy can't hear us...
No, no, my ear piece fell out..
Oh...Andy tell us, are you in fear for your life as this city is poised to be hit by nature's angry wrath any moment?
Actually, Dan, the storm has moved east, looks like the sun is coming out..
God damn it.
I said God planned it. Yea, it's in God's plan that you are ok.
[off camera]Do we have any reporters in Podunk? I hear some lightning hit a barn there...
Besides the two animals and a few clothes and toiletries, here is what I brought:
-- My computer.
-- My copy of A Confederacy of Dunces signed by Thelma Toole.
-- My copy of When the Saints Go Marching In signed by Buddy D.It's at times like these that you find out what you really cherish, I guess.
So, question of the day time. You're evacuating your home town, knowing full well that the potential is there for your home to be gone by the time the storm is over. You can only take five things (I was going to say three, but I'll be generous) with you. What do you take?