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8:26 a.m. - 2004-09-20

HOW DID LAURA INGALLS DO IT?

(This entire entry is to be read in a very tired, drained voice for full effect.)

Oy. The hurricane.

(My Jewish grandmother impression, thankyewverymuch).

We were among the lucky ones ... no real damage here. I'll get a new paint job for my car outta the deal since it ripped the paint off my car in places, but that's about it.

After my last entry here, power went out roughly three seconds after I uploaded it. Honestly, I was sorta proud of my exercise in timeliness.

Then ... the power stayed out.

Lemme tell you guys ... there’s not a whole lot to do when your power is out, Mother Nature’s pounding on your door like Michael Jackson at Webster’s house and you have a three year-old kid who just wants to watch his Thomas the Tank Engine tapes. That’s all, Daddy. Just make the TV work and he’s happy.

Sorry kid. You’ve got about 500 toys in a playroom. Knock yourself out.

“THOMMMMASSSSSSS!!”

Gawdammit.

We turned on the battery powered radio because we were f’n PREPARED for this bitch and the strongest signal was coming from our local country music station.

My God.

I was reminded why I’ve never been a big fan of country music repeatedly for the next two days.

Because country music fans in this city/state/region are some of the dumbest bunch of cockknockers you will ever run across.

The DJs had ditched their playlists full of Alabama and Hank Williams Jr. tunes in order to give the young and toothless a venue in which to express their hillbilly rage at the storm.

“When’s mah power comin’ back on?” one lady asked.

“Ma’am, the power company’s are waiting until the storm passes and it’s safe to get on the streets and access the damage.”

“What time though?” the lady asked.

“When the storm passes, ma’am. Probably in eight to ten hours.”

“Will ah get to see mah shows?” the lady had the nerve to ask.

I busted out laughing as my house creaked.

This was entertainment!!

For most of the afternoon, the calls were all about the power company who had an automated message that greeted every caller which said that “worst case scenario” saw their power coming back on by 5 p.m. ... October 1st.

This sent the hillbillies into a rage.

“You mean ah ain’t go’ have me no power ‘til Ockytober?!?” the freaks complained.

I swear to GOD at least 30 calls in a row were these idiots complaining about this same message. Each time, the DJs were trying to explain to these idiots who had been kicked in the head by a bucking mule one too many times that the message was automated and that it was recorded BEFORE the storm hit and that the pat answer to give people is always two weeks away because you’d rather tell them two weeks away and have their power restored in a week, blah blah blah.

This was not getting through to these inbreds.

One lady called and said she never lost power, but she was wondering when in the world her cable TV would be coming back on.

This enraged the toothless population who called for the next two hours to bitch that they didn’t have power until one man (who must have had more than three teeth in his head) called to tell them that they should be lucky that all they were lacking was cable and power ... people three hours south of us had lost their homes, jobs and beer coolers.

(Apparently, and I didn’t know this ... but it really is a southern tradition to get drunk during a hurricane. I found it unusual that for every case of bottled water I saw being bought in the stores, I saw two cases of Bud Light being purchased. Now I know. However, like I explained to my neighbor who was sitting on his patio Wednesday night icing his cases down “Do you really want to go through a life-threatening storm shitfaced?” He replied “I never thought of it like that.” I did a quick check of his teeth. He wasn’t missing any.)

Anyway, then the radio station had a barrage of drunken hillbillies calling in who wanted to thank God for their blessings and even though they were going to sleep in a darkened room in a darkened trailer park that evening, at least they still had a trailer unlike their cousins/siblings down south.

Of course, then you have the rumors starting up on the radio.

One in particular was that a popular Waffle House had been destroyed.

Some hillbillies were calling and saying it wasn’t, while the rednecks (totally different from hillbillies ... rednecks like to fight you, hillbillies like to fight you ... and then fuck you) were saying it was still standing.

One ignorant person (couldn’t tell if he was a redneck or a hillbilly ... he sounded like he still had his teeth, but had that tone where he could easily break into “Pull them drawers down NOW!” mode) actually got out into the hurricane to check on the Waffle House.

His report?

Still standing. In fact, it was still open. Waffle Houses and Chinese restaurants ... neither let a hurricane deter them from serving the public.

By 4 p.m. on Thursday, the hurricane had passed us and we were left with strong winds.

Which sent us and our neighbors out into the cul-de-sac for a hurricane party.

We ate slightly thawed ice cream and popsicles, drank iced down beer (courtesy of my neighbor) and talked about the idiots on the radio.

Good times!


Friday, Susie left early to go to work and stand around with her thumb up her ass because people no longer needed D-sized batteries and bottled water.

I hung out at home with Andrew, cleaning house and sweating because it got pretty hot yesterday and even with all the windows open, it was stifling in here.

We drove in to town and had lunch with Susie who was all grubby because even while she showered, she hadn’t put on makeup or been able to dry her hair before she went to work, so I was embarrassed to be seen with her in public. Thus ... HELLOOOOOO MCDONALDS! I’M LOVIN’ IT!

(Speaking of which ... am I the only one totally creeped out by that new Burger King Commercial where the guy wakes up and has the Burger King in his bed with him? And the Burger King has this humongous plaster head that changes expressions after the guy eats a cholesterol burger? AAAAHHHH!! If I were five years old and I saw that commercial, I’d be scared shitless to ever eat there again. As it stands, I’m scared to eat there now. Just ... you know ... not shitless.)

So we eat lunch and then go to the bookstore so Andrew can play with trains in an air conditioned environment and then it’s back to the house of no electricity we go.

We get home and all the neighbors are outside in the street, playing football, chatting, the kids are using sidewalk chalk to deface the street ... that sorta crap.

Of course, the major topic is “When will the electricity be coming back on?”

In my infinite wisdom, I predict that it will be on before Monday.

Just as I say that, somebody’s air conditioning unit kicks in.

We all stare at each other in silence.

Then another. And another.

We all scatter like crows into our houses and come back out on our porches, screaming screams of joy.

(Screams of joy go like this: “AAAAAAAHHHH!!! AAAAAHHH!!!” Now, for full effect, some people add a “YIPPEEE!” or a “HURRAYYY” in there. I chose to stay with the “AAAAAH!!” thing because I didn’t want to look too queer.)

That was the last I’ve seen of my neighbors.

But kids, there’s no better feeling than when your power kicks on after a storm like that. We only lost it for 30 hours. There’s others in town who still don’t have power and the people in Gulf Shores and Mobile won’t have power for weeks. So yeah, we were very lucky to have power so quickly.

I threw out anything considered “dairy” in the fridge and some turkey bacon that had expired in May. The bacon was supposed to be an amateur science experiment ... I was noting each day what shade of gray it was becoming. But then, when it went without refrigeration for 30 hours, it went green. Mission accomplished.


When one’s power comes on after a hurricane, the first thing one does is call everyone in their family to let them know they have power. It’s almost like bragging rights. “I’ve got power and you don’t”.

The flipside to this is ... as soon as you call your powerless relatives and brag about your electricity status, it’s basically an open invitation for said relatives to jump in their cars and set up camp at your house.

Thus ... Pervy and Sissy Boy spent the night with us on Friday night.

As much as I’d like to find something to complain about the situation in order to entertain you brats, the truth of the matter is ... they were good kids for a night.

Maybe it was the electricity talking. Having electricity will cause you to look past things like nephews using your half bath as Jerkoff Central.

Anywhooo ... I felt like I had done my Good Samaritan deed for the year afterwards.

I could babble on and on about the storm and its repercussions but the fact is that over a million homes on the east coast lost power due to this bitch, and plenty of people suffered worse losses than I did. I lost a half gallon of milk. They lost their home.

So there you have it ... the last entry about a hurricane.

For a while anyway.

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