Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Where were we?
Chunks of our lives washed away.
BIG BAD REALITY. Let's see. DRV was declaring that debates never change elections despite weeks of evidence to the contrary. Brizoni was still obsessed with proving he's smarter than a God he doesn't believe in unless She's Ayn Rand. Helk was still pumping arterial spray from the compound fracture in his mind. Joe was still pumping out invective culled from Roget's Thesaurus and his Dictionary of Quotations. And the other pessimists were still exposing the polished lead other folks might misread as the silver linings of Obama's storm clouds of disdain.
Forget all that. Thanks to Lake and Brizoni for asking how we were doing in our role as the MSM's designated bullseye for Hurricane Sandy. Short answer? We did okay. The storm was so focused on South Jersey that its strongest winds circled around us doing far more damage directly north, south, east, and west of us than it did to us. We lucked out. Almost miraculously. We were without power for approximately 18 hours, but we were also glad of our two days of (for once) preparations. Batteries, a hotshot Grundig radio, batteries, food requiring no heating or refrigeration, batteries, a bathtub full of water, batteries, LED lanterns, batteries, multi-tasking flashlights, batteries, a week's worth of free detective novels on Kindle, batteries, new iPad video games, and, of course, batteries. Plus some candles, just in case.
A few hours before the lights back came on at 9 pm, I had the pleasure of watching my wife make the acquaintance of Angry Birds Rio, giggling like a schoolgirl. Thanks to batteries and battery backup, there was also the continuous texting contact with family and friends from New Jersey to New York to Connecticut to Maine. Sharing the vicissitudes, warnings, tips, power outages, family members scarily out of contact, and other traumas, including the utter destruction of places we all hold dear. Who was the Command Center? The same one who was laughing at Angry Birds Rio. Good people have a balance in life that no organization or institution can match. It helps, it inspires, it's determined, and it somehow makes something fine out of something bad. I don't have to explain it. That's just how it is.
Today the sun is shining. Intermittently, to be sure, because there are clouds too. I can't tell you we enjoyed the storm because there has been so much cost and pain associated with it. But there's also affirmation. When the usual distractions are gone, my wife and I still enjoy each other's company, with no empty spaces between us. Laughter almost always lights up the dark. What I wish for all of you. And for those who think people are natively bad or mean or vile or selfish, I commend to you the communications between family and friends when life as we know it breaks down. People still without electricity cheer when somebody else gets it back. The people who are sitting pretty, comparatively, are quick to say come stay with us.
I suppose I could make political points about this, given the MSM's determination to make Hurricane Sandy an argument for big government's mission. But I won't. No need. I'm guessing most of those in the storm's path had the same feeling we did when we saw a line of electric company trucks forming in our rural neighborhood. I feared there would be no resources for us the more we learned of the catastrophe at the shore. Not so. They looked like a relief column, all in white, and not one of them said FEMA on the side. Now I expect they are lined up again, still without much sleep, outside the barrier islands waiting for the waters to recede. In retrospect, consider: nobody watched the crisis on a federal channel; nobody got rescued by a federal first responder. When it comes down to it, this kind of experience is always local, usually right next door.
The sun is shining today. For us. What we most want now is for it to shine on those who are the most stricken among us. And they are legion.
LOCAL COMIC RELIEF. Just for fun. The queen of weather in Philadelphia is Cecily Tynan. Always impeccably dressed, Connecticut-born and graduate of tony Washington & Lee University, hair always perfect, and I hadn't seen her in, well, quite some time. As I watched her hurricane coverage and beheld her elegant frock and tastefully too small for TV necklace, I thought to myself (as opposed to when I think out loud to my wife), "What do you you suppose the Channel Six Action News Team think of Cecily?" Curses. I'm thinking I missed this by a scant few minutes. First, there's the incident. Which is cool as hell. Then there's the lamest walk back of an obvious embarrassment I've ever seen on local television.
uh, she said, "Moron."
On the other hand, Philadelphia's Channel 10 was all red dresses and red-breasted breasts, big ones -- for two days. It wouldn't surprise me if they won the hurricane ratings despite Cecily's Leona Helms moment.
As I said. There has to be balance. Both cheerful and jeerful. Cecily's okay in my book...