Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Super Storm

Having nature and karma all collide at one time does produce fearsome results.  I had a pretty good idea that yesterday would be rough seas, but what a day.  Today is sirens, receding waters, and crawling out from the wreckage to see what’s left.  In the movies there would be a ray of sunshine and inspirational music to let you know “It’s all going to be OK”, but life is so seldom like the movies.  Instead it’s going to rain some more and life is probably going to be kinda fucked up, but what are you going to do? 

Today is one of the worst days for anyone that has to deal with the public.  Today, if you live anywhere on the right side of the US map, you will have to fill your entire day with “storm small talk”.  These storms with high winds are so less satisfying than blizzards, aren’t they?  You can’t engage in the one-upsmanship that is so important in major snowfalls.  “Oh, you had seven inches of snow at your place?  Well, we had nine with drifts over a foot!  Our youngest son froze his leg off!  We had to saw it off with Willard’s circular saw in the garage!”   

It’s impossible to stand by the water cooler and mention “it was windy as fuck” and have it make an impact.  Everyone can say it was “windy as fuck”.  And who has the time or resources to buy and install an anemometer?  (I will freely admit I had no idea what an anemometer was until I looked up “wind speed instrument” on The Google Machine.)  It would be great to calmly sip your coffee, and look up while casually mentioning “Oh, you had gusts of 64?  Yeah.  We had 71.  64 is still pretty strong though.”  Just think of the smug look of superiority you could give… 

The news coverage was as outstanding as I had hoped.  There must be some sort of playbook for how to handle these events.  Every media outlet looked the same.  You have to have someone with sporty rain gear standing next to something that has been destroyed by water, or will display great gusts of water spraying in the background.  That person will struggle against the elements providing clearly evident information like “it’s windy as fuck out here!” and then kick it back to the studio.  The studio anchor will then ask a clearly evident question like “What are authorities telling you about having people standing on the breakwall while 20 foot waves crash against it?”  While the anchor asks this question, the person struggling in the wind will nod knowingly as in “Yes, I understand what you are asking me and I am poised with the answer.”  They will then verbalize this evident answer into the shaking camera something along the lines of “Authorities are telling people not to get swept into the turbulent waters and drowning at this time because it is windy as fuck out here.”  It’s all very helpful. 

My goal today is to transcend the usual conversation.  No one really wants to hear about what your experience was in the storm.  God knows, no one wants to know about my real day.  What they really want is to tell you about themselves, or to hear a story so amazing they can tell it over and over again all day.  That is why I am going to tell everyone I come in contact with that I took my kayak out in the 15 foot swells yesterday afternoon, and worked my way from Edgewater Park on Cleveland’s Westside all the way over to the East 55th Street Pier.  That feat would have been roughly equivalent to have calmly paddled ashore on Normandy Beach during D-Day.  I will then tell everyone that I badly bruised my right side when I was thrust out of the water and up against the rocks of the breakwall, and lost my very expensive new paddle.  Looking back, I feel foolish for engaging in such risk taking behavior, but I suppose this nasty bruise and lost paddle will be my penance.  I think people will like that.  Gotta be better than the truth.


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