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5:44 a.m. - 2005-07-13


I'm alive. I know ... "whoo-hooo" and all that.

By the time the "hurricane" reached us it was nothing more than constant rain and the occasional wind gust.

To put it in perspective, I purposely left one of Andrew's wiffle balls in the yard in hopes that it would become a dangerous missile due to the hurricane-force winds and maybe ... just maybe ... take out the eye of the rotten kid down the street who refuses to yield the right of way to cars when he's on his bike.

The ball NEVER moved. It's still in its same spot today, serving as a testament to the wimpiness of Hurricane Dennis ... at least in our area.

We did lose power for about an hour. And I think that was only done so I could write a rhyme here.

As always, the most enjoyable part of the hurricane was watching the local newspeople become babbling idiots on television during the storm.

Local newsguys always sound fairly intelligent when they're reading a prepared script off of a teleprompter.

But when there is no script and they're supposed to rely on their own wits to entertain us ... hoooo boy! Now THAT'S entertainment, kids!

One of the local newsladies was talking about how we should all keep our fingers crossed in hopes that there wouldn't be much damage here.

She said "I'm not a suspicious person ... but let's keep our fingers crossed."

Uhhhh ... the word is "superstitious", Doris.

The long, awkward pauses in conversation while the cameras rolled ... ahhhh ... I LIVE for those moments, baby. They leave me hootin' hysterically and pointing at the screen and yelling things like "You have no idea how to communicate without reading the words first, do you Hot Shot??"


It cracks me up, anyway.

Due to the hurricane, every single f'n daycare in town decided to close its doors on Monday early Sunday afternoon ... BEFORE we found out that the hurricane was going to be little more than a steady rain shower for seven hours.

Including Andrew's daycare.

Which was okay ... because Susie's new workplace called the TV stations and told them that they'd be closed on Monday as well, in anticipation of the hurricane.

It was amusing to me that large businesses were already deciding to close their doors a day early rather than wait and see just what sort of destruction we'd be getting first.

By 8:00 Sunday night, it was painfully apparent that our city made it through this potential disaster virtually unscathed. About one out of every 20 households had lost power and that was it. The last hurricane last year found about 1 in 2 households losing power.

So Susie and Andrew had the day off on Monday.

I met them at Chick Fil-A for lunch because it sure as hell beats McDonalds ... Andrew's other favorite restaurant.

So we eat.

And I go to my car to go back to work.

And the car is dead.



Deader than Bob Hope, it was.

Naturally, I panic because I'm a complete and utter wuss who freaks out in the face of automotive failure.

I go back inside the extremely crowded restaurant to tell my wife that once again, the car is broken and I can't fix it because I don't know how to open the hood thing.

My wife sighs, grabs Andrew and we all pile into her car and try to decide how to defuse the situation.

My choice is to call one of her brothers who are automotive geniuses and can come to Chick Fil-A, stare at the car without looking under the hood thing and say "It's the capilitator. Should cost you $43.92. I can fix it in about ten minutes."

Susie's idea is for me to take her and Andrew home, me take the car back to work and for her to crawl under the covers and take a long nap on her day off.

I won.

Now, even though I'm no mechanic, I had a feeling the battery was dead.

My EXACT words were "Honey, the battery is dead. Call one of your brothers, have them pick up a new battery and replace the old one."

She calls one of her brothers.

He comes to look at the car and decides to jump it off (recharge the battery using "jumper" cables. I know! They can do stuff like that now!)

It doesn't "jump off".

Long story short, they have the car towed because her brother thought it was something much worse than a dead battery.


A dead battery.

To fix it, a new battery would have to be put into the car somehow and that would fix everything.

And while this is what I told my wife to tell her brother to do ... it's not what he did.

So rather than buying a battery for $50 and putting it in, we paid $150 for someone who we're not related to to do it.

To show my appreciation to her brother for spending several hours on a hot afternoon trying to fix my vehicle and waiting on a tow truck and all that crap ... I cooked for he and his family ... my world-famous Italian Sausage Burgers.

They were much loved and appreciated and belched repeatedly.

We finished off the meal with Blue Bell's latest ice cream flavor ... peanut butter and jelly.

Which sounds kinda gross, but was pretty good. That is ... if you like pretty gross ice cream.

I've had it for a month but haven't mentioned it ... Coldplay's new CD is the best CD I've heard in a few years.

And if there is a God in Rock and Roll Heaven, "Fix You" will be the biggest song of the year.

Ummmmm ... yeah.

That's it.

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