(Aug. 29,2011) Well it’s hurricane season in the Northern hemisphere. Hurricane Irene ran up the East coast this past weekend and I hope with every fiber of my being that some forward think musician somewhere created a parody song titled “Come On Irene,” based on the 80’s hit by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.
Fortunately I don’t live in an area that ever gets any hurricanes although I felt some of the wind and rain from Irene. In the U.S., our weather people have a tradition of naming hurricanes with people names, such as Hurricane Phil, or Hurricane Betsy. Then the news people are astounded that people refuse to leave their homes when a hurricane is coming. Who is going to be afraid of Hurricane Betsy, or Tropical Storm Cecilia? Remember innocuously named Hurricane Katrina? Yeah, how’d that work out for everyone? Have you ever noticed that when people are interviewed as a big storm is bearing down on their area the homeowners always use the phrase “hunker down”? The interview always goes like this:
Reporter: I’m standing here with Joe and Jane Homeowner who plan on staying right where they are as the biggest storm of the century bears down on us. Joe and Jane, why are you staying put?
Homeowners: Well this little storm ‘taint nuthin. We’ll just hunker down until it passes. Now the storm of ’68, that was a storm!
I’m not sure I’ve ever hunkered down for anything. I think hunkering down best describes the pose my dog takes when she’s going number 2. If you want people to flee to somewhere safe you have to give a storm a name that sounds as scary as it is. Why not give it an intimidating name? How about something like Mega Hurricane Deathtron? That might get people out of their homes. Or maybe something simple like The Hurricane of Death? If the Hurricane of Death was headed for my house you can bet I’d get the hell out of the way. Then again, if they named hurricanes like that you wouldn’t have people selling post hurricane t-shirts that said things like “I Was Blown By Irene 2011.” When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I will convene a special committee of writers to work on scary, new hurricane names every year.
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