Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Hurricane Fever

I have managed to survive through another long Labor Day holiday weekend unscathed. Albeit, my usual Labor Day routine had been slightly altered from my holiday norm, but the same Labor Day mission of accomplished in that absolutely nothing was accomplished. The only real change in the whole bizarre was that all my television programs were preempted by constant update’s from this fucking Hurricane Frances*.

Normally, I sit on my couch like a caged gorilla watching Spaghetti Westerns and exerting no more stress on myself other than that needed than to refresh my bowl of Corn Chips and to crack another cold brewskie. But this year took on a more ominous nature with the constant bombardment of the Hurricane Frances updates and development broadcasts as Frances unleashes its fury on the Florida coastline. Geez, you’d think that Anti-Christ himself lived in St. Augustine the way the hurricanes keep punishing this small eastern coastal town and the looks on the faces of the on-location weather reporters**.

By the way, while I’m on the topic, why do all weather reporters feel inclined to broadcast their weather updates from the middle of the storm itself when obviously it is the last place they should be in order to be safe and protected from the very madness that they are reporting on in the first place? Do they think the fact that we can see a flapping neon rain slicker, beads of driving rain on the camera lenses, and the token wind-lashed palm tree bent over at a right angle in the background validates for us viewers that there REALLY is a hurricane running rampant across the Florida state? It’s the coup d’etat of hurricane journalism; the meteorologist’s money shot if you will. I guess the networks feel that each hurricane update must include the reporter being in waist deep floodwater and with a cow flying by overhead into live downed power lined to have any broadcasting worth. Now, THAT’S dedication!

Myself, I’d be broadcasting from an underground bunker or boarded up hotel room being filming up against a window boarded up with plywood in my day old boxers and Hawaiian shirt and swigging from a margarita glass. I’m no hero.

“This is Terry Nash reporting live from St. Augustine, Florida where Hurricane Frances is wrecking havoc across the coastline destroying homes and public property. We understand that there are extremely high winds and massive rainfalls all over the state, except that we are currently situated in a community fallout shelter at the moment and are unable to verify that or actually to see any of it. In related news, I successfully managed a Triple Word Score this afternoon in the current Scrabble Round Robin being played here until the Frances is over.”

Call it “Gonzo Weather Journalism”.

I know I’m taking this too seriously, but honestly…what the fuck do I care? I live in Canada. Why would I be interested in hurricane updates every 15 minutes on the hour? For me, it’s just an unwelcome distraction on the World Cup hockey tournament. I never asked to be an expert on the atmospheric and meteorological anomalies currently taking place in the mid-south Atlantic regions. By now, after being force-fed so many digital weather satellite displays and wind charts that I’ve probably achieved a correspondence degree from Florida Tech through osmosis. I spent at least 2 hours zoning out and allowing myself to be drawn into the spinning vortex’s of the swirling weather patterns behind the reporting weatherman as if I was being wisked away inside the funnel of a tornado. “Auntie Em! Auntie Em!” When did the weather become so trippy? I wouldn’t have been surprised to see the Wicked Witch of the East to go sailing past my window on a broomstick.

I really don’t give a flying fuck about Hurricane Frances to be honest. “Yeah, yeah, yeah…high winds, heavy rainfall. Let’s get back to Jerry Springer before I miss the Lobster Twins confronting the Lesbian Transexual Midget!”

* Or Hurricane Charlie, or Hurricane Ivan, or Peaches, or Snoop Dogg, or whatever it is that’s next on the list of whatever it is that the NOAA, National Weather Service, use to name their future Hurricanes.

** Otherwise, God is punishing the elderly retiree’s and Disney character sex predators.


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