So, I can understand that mother nature is completely unpredictable. I can also understand that meteorologists do the best job that they can in explaining the importance of evacuating, the severity of hurricanes, the damage and loss of life it can have, the possible spaghetti projections and…oh screw it. I mean, yeah ok. I get all of that. But, I kinda think by this day and age we’d be a little further along with technology where we could say “Well, there’s a high pressure system over here that’s steadily pushing this way at this rate of speed and so forth, and a hurricane with this pressure in this direction with this blah blah blah, toss it all into a statistics program and get something a little more accurate than what we have. I mean, shit, Tampa? Fort Myers? Nobody saw that shit coming.
You should’ve seen Merritt Island over the past few days. It looked like the damn zombie apocalypse had happened. People were fighting over food and water, price gouging was everywhere, mothers and fathers were making ritual sacrifices offering their first born children to the gods for the storm to shift…ok, that’s a little extreme but at the same time I think I’ve got a valid point.
Our governor also had a valid point. You don’t evacuate based on the projection, you evacuate based on the threat. Well, that’s sort of like saying you don’t drive a car because you could get in an accident, you never drive a car because it will absolutely kill you and everybody you’ve ever known and loved. Don’t get it twisted. South Florida is in serious trouble and my heart goes out to them. I get there’s hundreds of thousands of people who have evacuated but part of me thinks, damn, could there be a better way than this? I mean, hell, when you move to Florida you automatically take some responsibility for knowing what you’re up against. Alligators, snakes, crazy insects and all kinds of other wonderful things that want nothing more than to kill you yet in the back of your mind all you can think of is “Disney World!”
I almost think when you buy a house or renew your car registration you should have to fill out a form “Do you have at least three days worth of water for your family?” Do you have at least three days worth of food?” “Are you a complete idiot or do you understand that living in this state requires a certain amount of understanding that everything here does want to kill you including the weather?” And if any of those questions (and more those are just ones off of the top of my head) have a response deemed incorrect, congrats…you just bought yourself a proper “bug-out-bag.”
Now, it wouldn’t really cost much as everybody should have one anyways. Water, some MREs, bug spray, bandages, just the regular crap that you need to get yourself through a hurricane with a little lock on it and if the shit hits the fan, the governor then says “Hey! Brevard county, get your bug-out-bags! Your number is #### and then tada! You’re already three steps ahead of the game. You’ve got a few bottles of water, a bag to put your crap in, some bandaids, a map of how to get the hell out of the state based on where your car is registered and just like that the stress level of the whole county drops by 75%.
Of course, I am a dreamer. This isn’t something that could actually happen as somebody would just cut the thing open with a knife and throw all that junk on craigslist and make a fortune. Sigh. Humans.
But what a novel idea! Am I right!?
Humans are unpredictable when the unpredictable happens. Models, forecasts five, six, seven days in advance that change three or four times a day…I swear, people are going to have HPTSD – that would be Hurricane Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when this is all over. My poor grandmother is about to have a nervous break down.
I get it, better safe than sorry and all that good stuff. And the Florida economy is booming right now! I just paid some guys 600 bucks to board up my house simply because I couldn’t get plywood. Somehow they managed to have an entire trucks worth of it though. Odd. At least I get to keep the plywood and try to find a nice, dry spot for it so it doesn’t rot and do it all over again next year! Maybe it’s just the price you pay for living in such a gorgeous, luxurious, beautiful utopia…with…bugs…and reptiles and humidity and constant rainstorms and damn, why do I live in Florida? Florida kinda sucks.
Have you ever actually been to Florida and not taken a shower at the end of the day? Dudes, I can assure you, you’ll have jock itch the next day. Gold Bond it up, it’s like A/C for your huevos. Those are testicles if you’re not familiar with Spanish slang. Deodorant/antiperspirant products almost seem useless here as well. You can get the strongest, most potent, cancer causing sprays, gels, creams, sticks and you’re still gonna have pit stains. It’s just part of life.
But, for some weird, unknown reason, Florida is home. We hate it, badmouth it, talk shit about it, call it deaths door, battle the elements, all kinds of various animals and insects and yet as much as we detest this wretched state, many of us just cannot seem to leave it.
Oh Florida, so diverse, so unique. From the rednecks up in the panhandle to the Cubans and Puerto Ricans down in Miami to the crackers in the dying areas of the everglades. Even the residents in the keys decided they would be their own nation one time and decided to secede from the Union. Yeah, it’s true, look it up. It wasn’t that long ago either. Of course, it was mostly political satire but they got their point across and now the locals and the Coast Guard celebrate it every year and it’s a big party. The Conch Nation shall rise again one day though I suppose. I wish them the best at this very moment as they’re getting nailed by Irma.
I often wonder if I’ll stay here. Sad fact of the matter is when I’ll leave as I really don’t wonder about it all that much. The answer is absolutely I will because truly, I do hate this state. I hate everything about it.
Even more sad is that I’m essentially just waiting for my father to pass. UCF plays a major role there as well but as a caregiver I can’t just up and go. I wish I could backpack through Europe or just pick up and start somewhere new and fresh. California, Oregon, Washington. Somewhere I’ve never been and somewhere that I can just create a new life. My addiction? What addiction? It’s apart of me but it doesn’t define me. Here it’s like it never really goes away. Too many people see me and see it as apart of me. My troubled youth? Too many people remember the things I did and said. They can forgive but many don’t forget.
That’s ok, I can live with that but I can also start over.
I will one day. I suppose my spaghetti model isn’t quite right yet. My forecast isn’t really decided. It could go east, or west, or it could just go north. As my own meteorologist, I suppose I have to stop letting the models decide when I have to evacuate and make the decision myself.
All in due time right?
Until then, if you’re in Florida, stay safe, don’t do anything stupid, share what supplies you have with your neighbors if you don’t need them and watch out for animals crossing the street. Just because most of them want to kill us doesn’t mean we have to kill them.