We don’t get natural disasters here in New York, only manmade ones. Our first “earthquake” in my lifetime was something most of us didn’t even feel. I learned about it on Facebook. We just don’t get hit by stuff here, so we go through life in New York watching this shit happen to other people. We turn on CNN, we watch the coverage for a little while, and then we move on. It never happens to us. It’s been like that for my entire life.
Which, of course, explains why nobody, myself included, took Irene seriously. Instead of packing our survival kits, stocking up on supplies, developing evacuation plans and “hunkering down,” most of the people I know did the exact opposite: we stocked up on booze, got shitfaced and pretended it wasn’t happening.
We started drinking on Saturday afternoon at around 4. I went to the beer distributor, bought a twelve-pack each of Yuengling, Blue Moon and Bud Lite Lime, went to my friend’s brother’s house on Long Island – which is where I chose to spend Irene in case I was needed – and began the anesthetization process very early in the game.
So, Irene happens, and I’m busy sleeping it off on the couch, oblivious to anything going on outside. Then I woke up and watched the Weather Channel for an hour while I drank coffee. There’s a guy on the Weather Channel named Jim Cantore who reported live the entire time from Battery Park, which is 400 yards from my office. Jim Cantore is in good physical shape, so he does his reporting in tight tee shirts with his hands on his hips, wearing a baseball cap. He is also very intense. When he talked about the weather, I listened very closely because a guy who takes the weather so seriously that he trains in the gym to report on it wouldn’t steer us wrong at all. If I’d needed to evacuate, I would have taken Jim Cantore’s advice.
When I was done with my coffee, I went out for a drive. After a while, I got nervous, because branches were still coming down everywhere. It was still windy. I eventually decided that driving was a bad idea, so I went to my mother’s house to see how much damage there was. There wasn’t any, but her power was out. It still is. That sucks for her, so I went back out and bought some food for her to eat, which was a bad idea because she already had plenty. I was unnecessary in that regard, so I went out on the driveway, pulled some fallen branches into the street and chatted up her neighbors about hurricanes and trees and shit like that.
It was all very exciting. Tonight, I will be back at the gym. More tomorrow.