The idiocy before the storm.

Woke up this morning to my very loud doorbell ringing.  I figured it was either my landlady or more likely the neighbor’s spastic “guest” – a stranger that my neighbor took in over a month ago.  She’s been over a few times, usually ringing my doorbell in a frenzy.  She stomps in, rants endlessly about how much Florida is a festering hell hole, how her host is apparently sleeping with a homeless guy who hangs out in the nearby library, how her host should have a restraining order put on the guy because he’s apparently crazy, how she can’t get a job, how every black guy who sees her thinks she’s a hooker, and repeat until she leaves.

I had to get up anyway by the time the doorbell rang, but I knew better than to answer it.  Then I heard the phone ring.  It was her.  After my shower, cup of coffee in my hand, I finally hit play on the answering machine.

“Hi.  Your landlady was by and wanted me to tell you to put the grill inside so it doesn’t get damaged, or, like y’know damage something else in the hurricane and I was wondering if, like, I could come over for a couple hours today and tomorrow because Kim, y’know who lives here, has this guy staying here, he should have a restraining order put against him, and everything else is closed, so I can’t go anywhere and I can’t get a job and – Mes-sage De-le-ted.”

I don’t deal with this shit – in fact I don’t deal with any person – first thing after I wake up.  I had planned on spending a nice day alone with the hurricane.  The thought of spending any time with this chattering spaz curdles the bile in my lower intestine.  So now I’m periodically looking at the TV on mute, listening to my stereo with headphones, and making as little noise as possible.  The storm isn’t expected to hit until 8 p.m.  I’d like it to hit now.

It’s a shame.  If she wasn’t such a fucking idiot, I wouldn’t mind having her over.  By fucking idiot, I’ll give you an example.  I mentioned already how she gets accosted by black men.  Okay.  Now picture this.  5’10”, anorexic (seriously), stringy blonde hair, 35 going on 45, pink shorts (shorter than Daisy Dukes) that look like they were spray painted on her, a white tube top with something blousy and wavy on top, and she struts like a bad runway model, I assume because she really thinks she’s a model.  Now walk down to the Kash n’ Karry on MLK and 275.  I have friends who live or have lived in some of the most ghettoed-out areas of town, and they call that Kash n’ Karry scary.  They won’t go in it.  You can’t drive through the intersection without seeing a homeless person or a junkie, or some unidentifiable shady person.  She looks like a fucking hooker before she leaves the house, and she honestly doesn’t know why all these black people are trying to pick her up.  I am not making this up.

I’ll give you another example of the idiocy barometer.  Some time last year, she moved from Denver – which according to her is the best city in the world – to Miami to be a model.  Now, when I look at her and hear the word “model”, frankly, I think of the kind of model you see in free, amateur Internet porn and you instantly say, aloud, “ew.”  Then you search for better free Internet porn.  And you find it.  So she moved to Miami to be a model.  Apparently, she struck out.  So someone suggested she’d be better off in Orlando.  She moved to Orlando, which is full of apparently the skeeziest scumbags known to man.  Someone in Orlando suggested she move to Tampa.  Now she’s here, complaining about why the state sucks so much.

I bring this up for a reason.  See, Floridians have a very different perspective than everyone else when it comes to hurricanes.  Granted, it’s not all people from Florida, but the further south you go, the more prevalent the perspective until you eventually reach Key West, where it runs rampant.  The perspective is, “hurricane?  fucking right on!”  You get your water, you get some food, you get something alcoholic, you make sure you have a good book, a candle or two, maybe portable music, and you enjoy the ride, knowing that if a tree is coming through your house, it’s going to happen despite your paltry precautions.  If you’re near the coast, you make sure your inner tube doesn’t have any leaks so you can catch some surf.

For example, my parents raised me in Fort Lauderdale.  One now lives in Virginia.  In the past 48 hours, they have collectively called me (drum roll please) zero times.  The logic is: “Eh, big storm.  If anything interesting happens, he’ll call.  If something devastating happens, and he can’t call because the lines/satellites are down, he won’t call, but we can’t get through either, so what’s the point?  Where’s the church key?”

Non-Floridians, however, don’t believe in this.  For them, this is an earthquake that you know is happening.  You can’t do anything about that either, but you can’t realize that, if you’re running around like a ferret on coke, freaking out about all the things you should be doing to prevent it from happening.  I do not want to be locked in my own apartment, where I know where the Bushmills and baseball bat are, with some fucking spastic babbling nutjob from Colorado when a force 3 hurricane stampedes the windows.

As for the hurricane, I’m not concerned about flooding.  I lived in the heavy flood zone for four years, and I considered this when I moved to my new place.  The area of Tampa I live in is elevated and far enough from the river for me to not worry about it.  The land under my house is elevated above the street, and the house is elevated over that land.  It’s an 80-year-old house that’s seen plenty of weather.  If my house floods, that means the rest of Tampa is 5 feet below sea level, so I’ll have bigger problems than a wet floor anyway.  My bigger concern is trees.  Lots and lots of oaks.  Plus, Tampa surprisingly doesn’t get hurricanes.  I don’t even know the last real hurricane that came through here.  We’ve had some scares in the past 10 years I’ve lived here, but not force 2 or 3 stuff.  Since that last real hurricane, whenever that was, things have had plenty of time to grow in a relatively calm environment. This means lots of things are just waiting to be whipped around by 70 mph winds.

(The neighbor’s stray dog has stomped around the house, entering and exiting her host’s apartment about four times in the last three minutes.)

The calm environment has also been a bit of a hazard for the residents. If this really is a “big one”, about half of Tampa proper is in for a very rude awakening.  South Tampa floods when it’s really humid out.  Davis Island closes when we get three straight days of rain.  If 13 feet of storm swell really is happening, well, imagine standing on the seawall of Tampa Bay with seven or eight feet of water over your head.  Maybe knock a foot or two off of that as you move inland, but south Tampa is peninsular, so you can only go a few miles inland in some areas before you’re getting close to coastline again.  And for those of us who live in my neck of the woods?  The general consensus is: “Fuck ‘em, yuppie assholes.  Hope those four wheel drives came with outboard motors.” 

So here I am, exactly eight hours before the fun really starts.  I’ll keep you posted as best I can.

(The neighbor’s stray dog is now sitting on the front step, talking loudly. To herself.)

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20 thoughts on “The idiocy before the storm.

  1. great post! have fun with the storm, wish i were there to share in frosty beverages. we got way gyped down here in regards to charley. just some wind. booooooooooooooooooooooo.

  2. I already told and if this thing just brings a lot of wind and no rain, I’m going to the high school down the street to fly my stunt kite on the football field.

  3. When I lived in New Orleans, the attitude was pretty much the same. Well, let’s see, if we’re all going to die, might as well have a party, and if we’re not going to die, might as well have a party. Actually wrote a short one-act about it called “Bourbon Scented Breeze.” I was living in the French Quarter when Gilbert roared into the Gulf. It was 29 bars and 200 mph at the eye and so large that when the eye was dab smack in the middle of the Gulf that its arms reached from Florida to Texas. NOAA placed New Orleans as a high probability landfall, making Gilbert the likely “big one” talked about for so many years. There was the usual boarding up, grocery runs, etc., and some nice offers to stay upstate if it really looked hairy, but, by and large, New Orleanians were on the phone figuring where to hook up rather than when to bug out. Gilbert turned south, trashed the Yucatan. We still had 60 mph winds and slanting rain, but it didn’t stop the party in the Quarter. I ended up running into the Honduran ambassador, his flight home cancelled, absolutely filthy drunk in a Bourbon Street bar along with two equally plowed bodyguards. Took him on a midnight tour of the Quarter. My fondest memory of Gilbert was watching the three hombres staggering off in the rain. Chingada!

    For folks who have never been through it, one of the most awesome sights in nature is watching low-flying clouds scud by at 60 mph. The whole sky becomes a vertinginous hallucination.


  4. I picture Martindale riding the storm like a mechanical bull in a bar full of vestal virgins.

    I’ve had to spend a great deal of time talking certain people down this morning. I’m going to get some sleep.

    Oh, this is good… Scooter decided to for once heed his parents warning and evacuate to their house… in Port Charlotte. Guess where Charley is making landfall. That’s right, Port Charlotte.

    It’s distinctly possible that Martindale was steering this beast directly for Scooter this whole time.

  5. Well put. I’m not evacuating and I refuse to spend any part of my weekend in a school gymnasium surrounded by screaming children eating beanie weenies out of a can.

    ps. you’re my new LJ crush. Congratulations!

  6. I have a theory about left-nut currency. In short, there are very things I’d give my left-nut for, but I think in an emergency or serious opportunity, a left-nut should be valid currency. I’d give my left nut to see that.

  7. We’ve been over this a few times. And as I recall, even mulling over the possibility of going to Switzerland for “Sexual Enhancements” wherein we install two ADDITIONAL testicles, just to have them on hand for the giving of left nut purposes. You could do it thrice (assuming you were allowed to rotate them when the slot opened up), and it would in a way be like having three wishes.

    Of course, I think many of us would’ve cashed in one of our bonds for this a long time ago.

  8. I just love that goofy little knucklehead sometimes, him and his crackish ways. Scooter, I mean. Not Wink.

    I seriously think it’s the truth. The storm is after HIM.

  9. Yeah, I love this conversation. Of course, you’d have to do something about that unnamed divider between your balls. Maybe just keep the divider for the natural right, and add two more left ones.

    And yes, that’s definitely a left nut purchase.

    I love that picture of us. I fogot you had that.

  10. See, I always figured they’d be arranged in a 2×2 rank and file, so you’d only need the one divider, so I believe your second theory is more appropriate.

    Oh, and feel free to steal that icon (along with the “fish” one) for an icon, seeing as you’re just as much in them as I am…

  11. *ahem* Hurricane sangfroid aside, NOAA sez 145 mph @ eye. If it tracks north, maybe take a…a…a rain check on the kite flying.


  12. Why do you think it’s called a stunt kite? Okay don’t answer that. It kind of goes along with the New Orleans lunacy you described earlier.

  13. Okay, I’m staying out of the left nut discussion, but I have to comment on that picture. Holy Mary Mother of God you two were adorable!

  14. J.’s going to wake up one of these nights and ask me why I’m cowering in a corner, rocking back and forth. The answer will be: “Can’t sleep. Mental image. Kev and your director. Electric tie-wrack testicles. Can’t sleep. Rotating testicles will get me.”

    Btw, could you please, sometime, email me the full picture of the two of y’all licking that dinosaur or whatever? It’s wonderful.

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