I sat watching the weather channel most of the afternoon as a series of tornadoes marched through Mississippi. A particularly deadly one had leveled part of Yazoo City and turned over cars on I-55 as it made its way to Starkville. I was certain of that.
Judging from the weatherman’s projection, it appeared to be heading for my house! I had figured out long ago that the safest place during a storm is my interior hallway – specifically the coat closet. They say to put as many walls between you and outer world as possible. This was it.
Plus, I figured we would be cushioned by the collection of coats hanging in the closet and I could hold the roof up by the dust mop which was the only other occupant. So when the weather man said we had five minutes left and the sirens began blaring, I took Lucky Dawg and Rebel, and we stuffed ourselves in that tiny closet – it couldn’t have been three feet wide and less deep.
It was hot and cramped, but I had the presence of mind to call my son Braddock and instruct him to take his retriever, Sally, and get in the bath tub in his downstairs bathroom.
“Can I go walk her first,” he replied. He never takes me seriously.
We sat and sat, and suddenly the power went off. I knew we were going to die. When the sirens stopped, I climbed out and tried to call my neighbors. Yvonne said blithely that she had called the power company, but that another storm was on the way. She didn’t care about the storm – but she was miffed about missing a reality show she was watching called the “Yard Crashers.”
Back into the closet we went. Lucky and Rebel knew the routine by now and I took some “dotdogs” (their pet name for hot dogs) along for a snack. I found a breath mint in my leather jacket and broke it in half – I might need it later for sustenance.
I finally came out when Yvonne came to the door. My neighbor on the other side, Brenda, joined us and said she hadn’t been watching the weather channel either. They were oblivious to our near death experience – they just wanted their power back on.
What’s with these people? Am I the only neurotic person in this part of town. The weather channel is as close to Reality Television as it gets. My neighbors were cool and collected, but I was a nervous wreck and Lucky Dawg and Rebel probably need counseling. I guess it’s my job to do all the worrying in my neighborhood.
Two hours later, I called Braddock to see if he survived. He said, “Can I get out of the bathtub now?”
What a comedian.
Post script : I just learned that at least 10 people died during this day of terrible storms and many more were injured. Looking at the damage, I am grateful there weren’t more.