Shaddup Already!





















2004-08-12

Rampant Panic

Well, it seems that we are in the direct path of a hurricane named Charley. This stuff always amuses me. The weather people and newscasters devote 24 hours a day to telling you about the "worst storm to hit Central Florida since 1960" and then they tell you to remain calm.

Someone sent me this in an email and it is so appropriate.

Living in Florida

We're about to enter the peak of the hurricane season. Any day now,

you're going to turn on the TV and see a weather person pointing to some

radar blob out in the Atlantic Ocean and making two basic meteorological

points:

(1) There is no need to panic.

(2) We could all be killed.

Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be in Florida. If you're

new to the area, you're probably wondering what you need to do to

prepare for the possibility that we'll get hit by "the big one." Based

on our experiences, we recommend that you follow this simple three-step

hurricane preparedness plan:

STEP 1: Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at

least three days

STEP 2: Put these supplies into your car.

STEP 3: Drive to Nebraska and remain there until Halloween.

Unfortunately, statistics show that most

people will not follow this sensible plan. Most people will foolishly

stay here in Florida.

We'll start with one of the most important hurricane preparedness items:

HOMEOWNERS' INSURANCE:

If you own a home, you must have hurricane insurance.

Fortunately, this insurance is cheap and easy to get, as long

as your home meets two basic requirements:

(1) It is reasonably well-built, and

(2) It is located in Nebraska.

Unfortunately, if your home is located in Florida, or any other area

that might actually be hit by a hurricane, most insurance companies

would prefer not to sell you hurricane insurance, because then they

might be required to pay YOU money, and that is certainly not why they

got into the insurance business in the first place. So you'll have to

scrounge around for an insurance company, which will charge you an

annual premium roughly equal to the replacement value of your house. At

any moment, this company can drop you like used dental floss. Since

Hurricane George, I have had an estimated 27 different home-insurance

companies. This week, I'm covered by the Bob and Big Stan Insurance

Company, under a policy which states that, in addition to my premium,

Bob and Big Stan are entitled, on demand, to my kidneys.

SHUTTERS:

Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows, all the

doors, and -- if it's a major hurricane -- all the toilets. There are

several types of shutters, with advantages and disadvantages:

Plywood shutters: The advantage is that, because you make them yourself,

they're cheap. The disadvantage is that, because you make them yourself,

they will fall off.

Sheet-metal shutters: The advantage is that these work well, once you

get them all up. The disadvantage is that once you get them all up, your

hands will be useless bleeding stumps, and it will be December.

Roll-down shutters: The advantages are that they're very easy to use,

and will definitely protect your house. The disadvantage is that you

will have to sell your house to pay for them.

Hurricane-proof windows: These are the newest wrinkle in hurricane

protection: They look like ordinary windows, but they can withstand

hurricane winds! You can be sure of this, because the salesman says so.

He lives in Nebraska.

Hurricane Proofing your property: As the hurricane approaches, check

your yard for movable objects like barbecue grills, planters, patio

furniture, visiting relatives, etc... You should, as a precaution, throw

these items into your swimming pool. ĘThey will end up there anyway.

(if you don't have a swimming pool,

you should have one built immediately. Otherwise, the hurricane winds

will turn these objects into deadly missiles aimed at your hurricane proof=

windows.)

EVACUATION ROUTE:

If you live in a low-lying area, you should have an evacuation route

planned out. (To determine whether you live in a low-lying area, look at

your driver's license; if it says " Florida ," you live in a low-lying

area). The purpose of having an evacuation route is to avoid being

trapped in your home when a major storm hits. Instead, you will be

trapped in a gigantic traffic jam several miles from your home, along

with two hundred thousand other evacuees. So, as a bonus, you will not

be lonely.

HURRICANE SUPPLIES:

If you don't evacuate, you will need a mess of supplies. Do not buy them

now! Florida tradition requires that you wait until the last possible

minute, then go to the supermarket and get into vicious fights with

strangers over who gets the last can of SPAM. In addition to food and

water, you will need the following supplies:

23 flashlights. At least $167 worth of batteries that turn out, when the

power goes off, to be the wrong size for the flashlights.

Bleach. (No, I don't know what the bleach is for. NOBODY knows what the

bleach is for, but it's traditional, so GET some!)

55 gallon drum of underarm deodorant.

A big knife that you can strap to your leg. (This will be useless in a

hurricane, but it looks cool.)

A large quantity of raw chicken, to placate the alligators. (Ask anybody =

who went through Andrew; after the hurricane , there WILL be irate alligat=

ors.)

$35,000 in cash or diamonds so that, after the hurricane passes, you can

buy a generator from a man with no discernible teeth.

Of course these are just basic precautions. As the hurricane draws near,

it is vitally important that you keep abreast of the situation by

turning on your television and watching TV reporters in rain slickers

stand right next to the ocean and tell you over and over how vitally

important it is for everybody to stay away from the ocean.

Good luck, and remember: It's great living in Paradise.

I know it was long, but very funny, eh?

School was cancelled for tomorrow. Awww, I'm so sad *sniffle, sniffle* I think somewhere inside my psychic side I knew that school would be cancelled on Friday because I only had enough clean work clothes through today. Thank goodness for Charley, or else I might've needed to do laundry.

I went to the store tonight and stocked up on pizza and junk food. Hey, there's a hurricane a'comin'.

Oh yeah, some exciting news, I signed up for Team in Training. For those who don't know, it's by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They train you to run or walk a marathon (or half marathon) in exchange for fund raising. They pay all the expenses and just ask that you raise a certain amount of money. Plus you can walk/run in honor of someone.

Considering the foot situation, I will be walking. It will be at the Disney Marathon in January. I'm not sure if I'll be doing the marathon or half marathon yet. I'm going to see how the training goes.

I have thought about doing this for several years, but felt like it was something out of my reach. Having Aaron die of leukemia was kind of a kick in the butt for me. I will be walking in his memory. I hope his family won't mind.

Well, I'm going to watch Last Comic Standing becase, according to the news, this may be the last night on earth for those of us in the well-inland Central Florida. After all, we barely scraped by in 1960.

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