When Sally Met Harry
But not really. There is no Harry. But there’s everybody else, apparently.
So, Hurricane Sally is coming to town this week. In one form or another, east or west or dead on. Followed by Paulette, which is kind of weird because – aren’t there supposed to be alphabetical protocol with deadly storms?
How did Sally get in front of Paulette? Sally sounds like a bully. Or Paulette’s a slug. But wait!
Then, in proper order behind Sally and Paulette are lined up Teddy, Vicky and Rene.
Wait. Rene? How did she (Or he? I suppose hurricanes have their own cis-gender issues; however the hurricane gender identifies, it still kills you.)
And get this: Wildfred is coming next. I’m not making this up. Has the National Hurricane Center completely run out of names?
More importantly, what’s up with this disoriented name sequence? You damn well know the culprit, Mr. GLOBAL WARMING! Or is it Miss? Or maybe something else, at this point, I don’t know anymore.
But we’re dealing with existential crises – one after another – and the meteorologists can’t keep up with their proper alphabetical hierarchy? C’mon, man!
Or woman. Or storm.
And speaking of alphabetical order. This will be only the second year in recorded history that the National Hurricane Center is going to max out on Judeo-Christian (and the occasional LatinX) storm names, and will have to reach into the Greek alphabet to continue its nomenclature because…
Well because the Universe is pissed off at us? I don’t know. And if you read my blog posts with any regularity, you know I don’t like to get political.
Then again, when did survival become political?
That was just an aside. So judge for yourself, you Alpha males. And Beta girls. And you Meta whatevers.
Wait a minute. Did you know that Meta’s not even actually a Greek letter? It’s like – I dunno – trans Gaelic or something?
It’s a world gone mad.
That observation aside, there’s one last thing I’d like to note as we await the party of our late-in-the-alphabet (alpha-beta; get it!) friends to join us in the coming weeks: Let me toss out a chip here, a reminder.
Did you know that the folks in Cameron Parish – home to Holly Beach, our beloved Redneck Riviera – still don’t have electricity since Hurricane – can you guess?
Lake Charles is in ruins and a mess and nobody seems to even remember that these are the people who came to help us in New Orleans, on the eastern Gulf Coast, in our dire time of need. They belong to a former news cycle. And that’s the way it is now.
One storm or fire of quake or blizzard or volcano or something distracts us so easily, that we forget. (OK, not that many volcanoes, but you just wait!) But how could we not forget? There’s just so much of it.
Cities, towns, places – obliterated. Every year, every month, every week, every day. So some people “ax” (a little Cajun inflection there): Why you come back here if it’s so bad?
Since Katrina, that’s an easy answer, not only for us, but for all Americans. From the burning and scorched hills and forests of Oregon and northern California, to the fault lines of San Francisco and Los Angeles, to the dust bowls and Tornado Alleys of North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, to the blizzard-stricken towns on Lake Superior and coastal Maine, to the ice-melting horrors of Alaska, to the rude and grumpy, cab drivers of New York City.
Natural phenomena, all.
We stay where we are because it’s home. The most powerful four-letter word in the English language. And maybe we’re fools, sitting here in the Cone of Oblivion – or whatever it’s called on TV as storms roil and approach.
Maybe we’re blithely oblivious. But then think about this:
If you live in Biloxi and you see this storms’a coming right now, you know you’ve got to pack up and get out. But then – after you find someplace to lay your head for a few days, a few weeks, a few months – then what do you do? What do you say?
You say: Let’s go home.
Or else, maybe an alternative. Oklahoma? San Francisco? New York City? The Redwood Forest? The Gulf Stream Waters? Those Ribbons of Highway?
Your choice, your call, your bet. You’re home now.
This land was made for you and me.