B-B-B-Baby you just ain't seen n-n-nuthin' yet

Sooooooo, we had an arctic blast come through and blow off half the shingles on the front side of my roof the other day. Remember that? Ah, the joys of trying to climb up there and nearly falling, the Mexicans in dope smokers, all the fun. Anyway, following the arctic blast that came through and sent my shingles flying like a flock of birds, we had a warm front. A really, really warm front.

For those of you living in Paradise, that is to say, Australia, while you are having an awesome summer, hitting the beach all covered in sunscreen and bikini, we are at the coldest part of our winter. Or rather, we should be. It would normally be around 20 to 30 degrees Farhrenheit around this time, and we'd all be adjusted to the cold by now, praying for snow and road closings and all that. Instead, for the past 2 days it's been 75 degrees outside. Yeah, that's no scorching heat wave, but it's damned warm for February.

I've lived in the Southeastern United States my entire life. I've ridden out many tornadoes. I have a fair knowledge of tornadoes. I know what causes tornadoes and how useless my slab house without a basement is during a tornado. And I knew, 2 days ago, that we were in some deep shit with this 75 degree weather. I was going around to everybody talking about how bad it's going to be when the normal winter cold front comes back and hits this 75 degree warm front and brings hellfire down upon all our heads. People were telling me to shut up and enjoy the warm weather. And I did, but I was waiting for the inevitable.

Yesterday the cold returned with a vengeance. It hit while I was at work. Before I could even head for home, there were already reports of tornadoes on the ground crashing through Arkansas and across the river into Memphis. I had just returned to work after standing in a long line to vote in the Presidential primary election, trying to decide whether to vote for Hillary or Obama.

No, I'm kidding. I had you going there for a minute, didn't I? Yeah, I wasn't voting for either of those two commies. You knew that, right? Except you guys in Australia, who have no idea what I'm talking about because it means nothing to you. And how lucky you are, too!

So anyway, I flipped a coin and voted for the candidate I hoped would be the least inept as our next President. This coin flipping seemed to annoy the poll workers, who up until then hadn't taken their jobs quite so seriously. But honestly, look at our choices. Ah, but I digress. Sorry. Let me get back to the tornadoes.

When I left the voting booth, it was still almost hot outside. There was a steady wind, but nothing threatening yet. We knew the cold was coming. We were bracing ourselves for the return of Winter. But I still had to go back to work. So I did.

I wasn't at work more than an hour before my coworkers started running up and down the halls, "there's a tornado in Arkansas! And there may be more!" The wind was now rattling our building and the windows were shaking. People were debating whether to stay here or try to make it home. Tornadoes can cross from Arkansas and run right through Memphis faster than a crack-ho-gangsta can drive a stolen Cadillac down the sidewalks from downtown to the border of Mississippi, and for those of you who haven't watched our news, they can do that shit real fast, and often do.

For me, there was no debate. Yes, you don't want to be on the road trying to outrun a tornado in your 4x4 no matter how convinced you are that it's an awesome truck with a kickass V8 engine. I have a friend who was in her truck when a tornado caught her. It rolled her 4x4 over and over before sucking her right out the driver's door window, ripping the skin right off her back in the process and flinging her through the air. She lived, but she tells me it kinda hurt. Yeah, I don't want to do that. Still, given the choice between dying at work while in the middle of blogging, or dying at home in my own closet, surrounding by my own shoes and cats and wife, I preferred the security of dying violently and horribly at home.

I mean, who wouldn't?

So, off I ran to my 4x4 to race home like a lunatic in what I was sure was going to be some bad-ass crazy motherfucker traffic. As I approached my truck, I saw that I had left my lights on. "Oh hell, my battery is going to be dead and I'm going to be stuck here trying to find someone to jumper me off during a tornado. That's just GRRRRRREAT!" I Tony the Tigered.

But my truck started without much trouble. I tore out of the parking lot at a calm and leisurely pace, skidding around the turns and jumping speed bumps like Evil Knievel. When I hit the actual roadway, I began doing the speed limit, as this is The Boondocks, after all, and they will flat out bust you for even 1 mph over if given the opportunity. "Ah, but this is a tornado and the weather is nasty," I thought to myself. "There is no way in hell a cop is going to want to mess with me, standing beside my door asking for my license in the driving rain and winds, with multiple tornadoes heading our way." So I took a big chance at the high school dance with a missy who was ready to play. I stepped on the gas. I was hauling ass. And so was everyone else.

A cop passed me going the other way. For a moment I held my breath and watched him in my mirror.

"Yeah, that's what I thought! HA HA!" I shouted triumphantly to myself as he kept on driving in the opposite direction, totally ignoring me.

I made it home in record time. And once there, I of course stood outside in my front yard for about 10 minutes just staring at the purple sky and ominous black clouds that were screaming by. Off in the distance was a constant flash of lightning hitting the ground as the tornadoes were already ripping their way across Memphis.

Why do we do things like this? You hear all the stories of pine straw penetrating an oak tree during a tornado and yet still when one hits we all stand out in the rain and stare at the sky like hypnotized butt-monkeys admiring Beyonce's ass.

After staring at the sky for awhile and satisfying myself that it was sufficiently wild-looking, I finally went in the house. My Wife was already there, with the TV on. The news was going on every local channel, much to our annoyance.

"Are they going to do this right though the new episode of "House"?" I said aloud. "Dammit!"

The tornadoes were spreading out, going man-to-man and hitting Southhaven, Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee, and Atoka, Tennessee just north of Memphis, all at the same time.

News reporters would later tell us that while the mayor of Southaven was on the roof of his office building shouting instructions and organizing disaster relief, the infamous Mayor Willie Herenton, longtime ruler of Memphis, was cowering down in the basement of the City Council building like a little girl.

The walls and roof of our house were creaking ominously. We had a few candles lit and spread around in case the power went out. We threw our coats and a flashlight into the closet we planned to hide in should the tornadoes appear to be about to hit us directly. Little Girl, our black female cat, had never come home and My Wife was worried about her. Spongebob Stinkypants, my Maine Coon kitten, was running around the house stealing our socks as usual, as if nothing was wrong.

And then suddenly he ran to the back doors and stared out at the sky. He started meowing. On the TV, the news was reporting that Hickory Ridge Mall had been hit by a tornado with people inside. Then a report that several warehouses near the jetport were being torn apart by another tornado. Houses were being blown to pieces in Atoka by yet another tornado. And it was all coming our way.

I went into a dark room and looked out the window to see how bad it looked up in the sky. It was just black. The trees outside we blowing back and forth, but nothing dramatic.

The reporters' signals were all beginning to break up. We were getting their reports in little pieces so that it sounded like "four people are trapped ins ...... an .... they ... firemen are .... scene ... " Sooooo not helpful. At first we thought it was our signal being interferred with by the storm. But when we flipped over to other, non-local channels, everything was fine. So My Wife watched a rerun of "Bones."

Memphis - this morning

All night we kept receiving reports of buildings destroyed, people trapped inside, and cars thrown through the air and landing inside buildings.

And then we received a report of a man killed in the city just east of us. He had been out in his field trying to round up his cows or something. A tornado touched down and he jumped back into his truck. But the tornado just destroyed truck and man together, killing him and leaving him out there in his rain-soaked field.

Somehow the tornadoes had gone right past us without doing much to us. And after this, reports were coming in from Jackson, Tennessee, an hour east of us, of more destruction and death. And then in Nashville. And then Alabama and Georgia. It was over. We were fine.

And then the Little Girl appeared at the door, wanting to come inside. My Wife ran to the door and opened it for her. She came running in and went straight back to the back bedroom, as if to hide. But then almost immediately she came back out again and ran to My Wife, practically willing her to sit down and form a lap. When My Wife sat down finally, Little Girl leaped into her lap and layed there for the rest of the night, hugging My Wife's leg like a teddy bear.

Once the cold finally pushed the warm air out of our area, there was simply a constant wind blowing for the remainder of the night. In the morning, I awoke to the sound of that wind, never ceasing or changing direction. As I was leaving for work I saw that part of our fence around our air conditioning unit had been blown down. That was the only damage I saw.

They say so far they've counted 47 people dead. Local news reported at least 60 people in Memphis alone who are hurt. And yet I didn't even see a shingle missing from my entire roof when I looked up as I drove away this morning. I guess we got lucky this time.

Student - Union University in Jackson
You have read this article Memphis / weather with the title B-B-B-Baby you just ain't seen n-n-nuthin' yet. You can bookmark this page URL http://thebohemianbunny.blogspot.com/2008/02/b-b-b-baby-you-just-ain-seen-n-n-nuthin.html. Thanks!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...