Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricanes are only fun in Scorpion songs

Dear Ike,

Please be nice. You are gathering strength and heading straight for the Texas coastline, where one of my good friends (who lives in Corpus Christi, right by the bay) is currently in the process of not evacuating. Her line of reasoning (which I guess isn't totally illogical) is that the projected storm path follows the highway on which she, her boyfriend, and their dog and two cats would be traveling anyway.

It's not just Corpus I'm worried about. Sure, sometimes I like to gripe about Houston, but it's really not a terrible place. I mean, the pollution is partly due to the fact that the refineries there provide fuel for a large part of the rest of the country. Plus, Houston has pretty decent museums, and really, it's kind of interesting that someone could build a porn shop right next to a church.

The smaller towns on the coast are pretty cool too. Galveston is a great little island. The last time I visited was right after Hurricane Rita in 2005 - a lot of people there who evacuated for that storm (which didn't end up hitting Galveston) swore they would never do it again, no matter what the officials told them.*

*One woman told me that she and her boyfriend fought, broke up, and got back together seven times as they attempted to navigate the evacuation traffic. She said she kicked him out of the car near San Antonio, but made him get back in after she realized he was moving faster walking than she was driving. "And when we got back, all that had happened was that my potted plant had blown over. My dumbass boyfriend probably just knocked it over running to the car on our way out."

The thing about Galveston (and a lot of the Texas coastline) is that a lot of the people there live from paycheck-to-paycheck. If they spend money on gas to evacuate (and lose potential hours of work at their jobs), that's just money they don't have for groceries and rent.

If it seems like I'm hoping that you'll come ashore further east, I'm not. Those parts of Texas and Louisiana are barely recovering from the effects of Rita and (to a lesser extent) Katrina. I just want you to take a breather, and surprise us all by weakening a little. Dump a little rain on us, then head on up to Arkansas. I hear it's becoming a popular place to retire; you should check it out.


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