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7:07 a.m. - 2005-03-28

THERE GOES MISS GULCH


I saw a tornado yesterday.

I know it's my style to lead up to such a revelation by telling the back story first and boring the shit out of you before springing such a revelation on yo' ass ... but I saw a tornado yesterday.

Now ... the back story.

The weathermen had been telling us we were going to have a nasty stormy Easter, but around here a weatherman is about as reliable as a five year-old doing your taxes. They may talk the talk, but they have no clue how to walk the walk.

So Easter Sunday morning was quiet ... no rain or anything.

About 2:00 p.m. we had a good thunderstorm roll through.

Since thunderstorms are the most perfect time to take a nap, the whole family laid down to nap.

About 30 seconds before I passed out, I remembered one little detail ... I still hadn't fed the boss' cats for the day.

The cats need to be fed in the morning and at night.

And it was now 2:30 or so.

So I crawled out of bed and drove to the boss' house because if there's one thing that'll get you fired from your job, it's killing the boss' pets.

I get there and Drunk Assed Jamie and his family are there, having taken over the house for the weekend.

Apparently, the power was flickering at their house on Saturday night so they packed it up and drove to Jamie's daddy's house (my boss).

I'm all "Thanks for calling to let me know ... bitch" to Jamie because I coulda been napping.

I stand there and shoot the shit with him and his wife before getting back in the car and heading back home.

I look up in the sky and notice ... it's turning BLACK.

Maybe the weatherman was right.

I stop and get gas and a Sunday paper.

"It's about to get ugly outside," I tell the guy behind the counter like I have some inside information on the weather.

"It's been ugly all day," he tells me, judging me by my bed head and erratic dress of a sweatshirt and shorts, tennis shoes and no socks as if I'd just gotten out of bed.

I fought the urge to say "No, asshole ... I know it's rained off and on all day ... but it's about to FUCKING EXPLODE."

Alas, I grabbed my paper, went back outside and noticed the blackness was just over me.

Got in the car and fidgeted with the sound system until I got a radio station.

Then ... the sirens went off indicating a tornado was in the area.

I landed on the one radio station that wasn't playing that fucking "Redneck Woman" song and the guy was saying that there was a tornado moving around the interstate.

I looked in the direction of the interstate.

And the clouds were SWIRLING.

And then I saw the black snake-like cloud coming down out of the sky.

It wasn't huge, but I saw what they were talking about on the radio.

THEN ... the DJ says "We're getting reports of a tornado near the Moose Creek subdivision ... "

I was about half a mile from approaching the Moose Creek subdivision.

You talk about feeling your heart racing.

I looked around and saw nothing.

But Moose Creek is a fairly large subdivision.

I had a choice to make.

I could stop the car, get in a ditch and cover my head in anticipation of a tornado.

But all the ditches were full of dirty rain water and I didn't feel like drowning.

Plus ... other cars were behind me and they were in no hurry to pull off and do the tornado-ditch thing.

And I didn't want to be crouched in a ditch full of rushing water, sputtering and spewing while other cars drove past, honking their horns at me and laughing and possibly throwing their trash at me because ... well ... that's what I'd do if I saw some sissy rolled up in a ball in a ditch.

So I kept driving.

I passed the Moose Creek sign and saw nothing.

I looked to my left and saw the original tornado still swirling down towards the ground.

Then ... I got behind Granny.

Granny was obviously a little worried about all this crazy weather stuff so in order to protest against Mother Nature, she was going 35 mph.

The radio stations were saying "Look to your immediate right ... there should be a tornado right outside your car" and fucking GRANNY was going 35 mph.

It. Wasn't. Even. Raining.

The. Air. Was. Still.

And here's Granny, sirens bellowing all around her, the sky as black as a family reunion in South Africa and she's all "Heavens to Betsy! I refuse to drive the speed limit! I'm driving ten miles below the speed limit just in case there's a policeman with his radar gun just ahead."

Ummmm ... we're about to die, Granny. Even the cops have pulled off the road and are shaking in basements.

I couldn't pass her because people were coming from the opposite direction in droves and I couldn't pick up the speed needed to pass her.

Finally, she turns off the road ... that alone took her about three minutes to make the turn ... and I sped home.

I made it home okay ... thanks for asking.

I tried to wake Susie up to tell her that I had just seen a twista, a twista.

"It's a twista! It's a twista!" I bellowed to Susie in my best Bert Lahr impression ... which ... by the way is a helluva impression.

Susie wasn’t impressed because ... well ... see the whole “unreliable weathermen” thing above.

I gave her a few growls and gruffs ala the Cowardly Lion and went back outside to watch the tornado approach us and kill us all.

I turned the TV on as I made my way through the den and the weatherman was telling everyone to get in your bathtub and pray.

HA!!

I’m going outside, Mr. Unreliable.

“Don’t go outside!” he’s chiding me through the TV speakers. “Stay away from windows!”

“Go fuck a flying monkey,” I sneered at the TV. “I’m going outside, bitch.”

The sky was appropriately black. The birds were holding on to the telephone wires with a death grip usually reserved for “Star Trek” films.

Then the hail started.

And I had to switch from digital camera to digital camcorder because I wanted video of this shit.

We only got pea-sized hail while most of the city got golf ball and baseball sized hail.

So I doubt we’ll be getting new paint jobs on the cars which I had taken out of the garage and put the boss’ car in the garage because ... I’ll be damned if he was going to hog all the hail damage. I WANTED HAIL DAMAGE ON MY CARS!!

But I haven’t been out to see the cars because it rained all day after that.

Still ... I saw a tornado yesterday.

I’m a happy camper.

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