January 26, 2011 1 Comment
If the media was to be believed, the storm that was going to move through Orlando yesterday contained not only wind and rain and hail, but Chernabog himself would be on hand to hurl corpses from the sky with The Nothing close behind ready to do to us what it did to Fantasia. After-school activities were cancelled, we were told to leave work early, and everyone basically hunkered down waiting for the cast of Destroy All Monsters to roll through.
It ended up raining really hard for about ten minutes.
Now this is par for the course for us here in Florida. You can count on forecasts of doom at least twice during every hurricane season, with local news stations going into 24-7 mode the second it gets a little cloudy. A gust of wind prompts break-ins into prime time schedules to show us blobby doppler radar images that we’re assured mean a tornado is RIGHT ON TOP OF US. Or at least, a potential tornado. Okay, the conditions that could produce a tornado. Okay, clouds.
The problem is that we’ve had “Wolf!” cried to us so many times, people get complacent. The supposedly killer storm blows through and ends up like the one last night, and people think, “That wasn’t so bad, I can ride out a Category 5.” And then when the real big bad wolves like Charlie come along, they ignore the warnings until it’s too late.
I know the idea is to be careful, to know this weather has the potential to be dangerous, so maybe stay inside and do some reading that night. But there’s ratings in it too. I know I watched the State of the Union last night on a local station instead of CNN so I’d be sure to get any weather alerts that came out, and some people will sit and watch every single minute of coverage of every single hurricane that even comes close to the state. It’s like weather porn for them. Clouds Gone Wild.
Of course, the alternative is to wait until the Finger of God from Twister is howling down Orange Avenue before warning anybody. It’s damned if you do, blown to Oz if you don’t. So I guess we’re better off with a little over-reaction every now and then.
The funny thing is, part of what I’m feeling this morning is disappointment. Somewhere inside, I wanted The Perfect Storm. I was ready for it. I’d moved patio furniture and everything. All dressed up and no wind to blow.
I have to wrap this up; a cloud just moved over the sun and they’re predicting a rain of frogs.