The first thing I did, was spring into action when the radio told me I should start freaking out. That’s a common mistake – hesitation – when the radio is trying to tell you about a Possible Tornado or a Snow Event or some Impending Wind.
Don’t listen to that little voice inside, telling you that the radio is full of crap. How do you think those people got on the radio in the first place? It’s harder to get on the radio than it is to get into Harvard. If they’re telling you that it’s about to rain frogs, then that’s what it’s about to do.
It’s not like they’re motivated to lie to you about impending danger – you don’t hear them insisting that you stay tuned or anything, do you? Hell no – these are scientists and professionals, not hellishly animated News Golems with dollar signs in their eyes.
You might flashback to a newscast you saw a few years ago, for instance, when all the weather guys were insisting it was about to snow three feet, and then nothing happened. You might think, didn’t they look like they were about to cry, when not even one person got injured? When they had all their Action Edge Weather Team Action Hero Reporters out there in the streets, literally holding rulers up to powdery drifts in the gutters, trying to squeeze an actual inch of snow out of reality?
No, this wasn’t the time to second guess the crack reporters of the Central Ohio Local News Force. I heard on the radio that the wind was going to be gusting at about three to nine thousand miles per hour, and I said, this is it. This is where the rubber hits the road.
So I got into my car and rolled through Starbucks and then drove to the bank and made a deposit. It was kind of windy. There was a song on the radio by Mumford and Sons which I like but which I’m getting a little tired of, and to be honest, I kind of forgot about the wind while I was listening to it.
When I got out of the bank, I turned the radio back on and I was advised that the wind was going to be so bad that I should probably go to a mall and start running around stabbing people and cracking their heads open and eating their brains. “For God’s Sake, run! RUN!”
I haven’t been so frightened since the news told me that the computers would kill us all at the dawn of the year 2000. I called the President, got his voice mail – you changed, man.
So I went to a bar. Some folks are more partial to churches when society collapses, but I like to be where the cops are – makes me feel safe.
It was Jimmy V’s in Westerville, where a couple of dudes next to me spent most of the Windstorm of the Century saying absolutely horrible things about local news personality Andrea Cambern, and talking increasingly louder every few minutes, and I think possibly ridiculing me secretly for any of several possible reasons – my dire need of a haircut, the enormous mole on my right forearm, the plastic tiara I was wearing (lost a bet), and the strong likelihood that I was possessed of a horrible odor. It had been a long day.
While I was there, I watched several news stations track the Species Threatening Storm Front, which looked like the living geometric arc blur from the eighties arcade game Qix. I thought, ah, Qix, my old nemesis, we meet again.
Tried to tell the two hard-drinking construction dudes that I was pretty sure the Crystalline Entity from the old Star Trek: The Next Generation episode in which Data’s brother Lore is introduced, was almost certainly a ripoff of the old Qix. They made some kind of kitty reference which I didn’t understand, and then suggested I put my hand up my butt – forget it fellas, you can get kicked out of here for that. Found out the hard way, you know?
So I went back to watching the News Professionals, so they could let me know when it was safe to go back outside and go on with my day. The windows seemed to be lying to me about the relatively normal afternoon going on outside, and I didn’t like to be played for a fool by windows.
I leaned forward and squinted, concentrated on the newscasters, which all of the sudden reminded me of the patrons of Bruce Campbell’s plastic surgery center in Escape From L.A.
Their demeanor was such that they didn’t seem to believe I would ever be able to go on with my day again. Like we were all huddled in the grocery store from that Stephen King story where the nuclear power plant turns all the insects into giant monsters.
I checked the bar for religious fanatics – it was clean.
Then all I could do was watch the Qix rock across Ohio. When it went over the bar – and we saw it on the screen going over us –it really did rain a lot, and the wind was pretty serious. But it lasted for less than ten minutes.
The news got a little defensive about it. Started posting the rainfall as an hourly figure – SIX INCHES AN HOUR!
Sure. For ten minutes. That’s an inch, Scoop. Thanks a billion.
How did I survive the Big Apocalyptic Wind Blow Rain Event of October 2010? I sat in a bar stool and drank two beers, that’s how. It was what we refer to in the blogging industry as a Two Beer Squall – that’s like a Metric Category Five. Serious stuff.
It’s over now. All we can do now is pick up the pieces of our shattered lives, and try to move on.