So I was surfing the ol’ interweb trying to figure out if Hurricane Earl is actually going to screw up my Labor Day weekend, or is just the product of a slow news week. Some reports made me want to run west until I reach Kansas, and others made me want to get on the phone and lock a sweet deal on a newly available Fire Island weekend rental. This kind of inaccuracy and inconsistency is not really surprising in a world where strippers and janitors are approved for multiple McMansion mortgages and the Kardashians are a cottage industry, but I digress…
In the course of my research something occurred to me. Hurricanes get no respect.
People don’t run from them. They write cute little messages to them.
It becomes a fun game to defy a hurricane. You wouldn’t see a tornado treated with such disrespect.
Why don’t hurricanes get taken seriously? This is a serious problem. If a monstrous tornado or tsunami was headed at New Orleans, I’ll bet people would have gotten out of the goddamn way. I have a theory-
It’s the names.
For some reason we name hurricanes. We don’t name tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. Could this have some bearing on the lack of meteorological respect? You can’t write a cute sign to an approaching blizzard or nor’easter. “NO SNOW!” “RAIN IS A PAIN!” See it’s just no fun. And blow-dried reporters can’t say Pulitzer worthy lines like “Earl is ready to swirl toward the east coast this weekend…” Giving human names to dangerous storms invokes a feeling of lightheartedness, not fear of a windswept death.
And what about the names they pick? The official first five named hurricanes for 2010 are Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle and Earl. Earl? That’s not a deadly storm, it’s your weird uncle in Nebraska. “Danielle”? Come on that’s not an emergency, it’s a Disney character. “Colin” isn’t something to run from it’s the guy who played the cello in junior high. “Bonnie” is the gym teacher and “Alex” is her roommate.
If we want people to take hurricanes seriously and still insist on naming them, let’s come with some appropriate, effective names:
A- “The first tropical storm of the year has been upgraded to a hurricane- and the 2 mile wide “ASSHOLE” is barreling toward the east coast at 120 miles an hour.” I am tipping the fuck out the door and heading inland right quick.
B- “BITCHSLAP” is about to display a strong winded pimp hand to the Carolinas. Anyone who sticks around will be treated like a slim prisoner recently traded for a pack of gum.” See what I mean? That’s not cute. THAT’s a fucking emergency.
C- COCKSUCKER- “Cocksucker is coming.” I am NOT staying.
D- DEVILFUCKER- Again, Seacrest out, I have plans on higher ground.
If any one of hurricanes ELEPHANT COCK, FISTER, GARGANTUS, HEMORRHOID, INSANE CLOWN POSSE, JERKOFF, KOALA KILLER, LACERATOR, MOTHERFUCKER, NECROPHILIAC, OSAMA, PANDA RAPER, QUEER EYE FOR THE DEAD GUY, RAMSTEIN, SHITSTORM, TERRORIST TRAINING CAMP, URETHRA, VAGINITIS, WARTHOG, XXX GERMAN PORN, YO YO MIGHT WANT TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF MA WAY, OR ZOMBIE NUTS are reported to be headed my way, I am not going to be around when they arrive. Frances? Belle? Charlie? I’m inclined to whip out a spray paint can and stick it out.