There are tons of things I don't like about living on the Gulf Coast (the heat, the humidity, the . . . okay, mostly the heat and the humidity), but one thing I love is hurricane season! Yes, yes, I know that hurricanes are destructive and bad and I shouldn't wish that they come our way, but . . . I secretly do. And now, as long as the massively large Hurricane Ike stays on track, Houston will actually get a hurricane! For like the first time in a coon's age! Amazing!
So here, in case you are wondering, are all the great things about hurricanes:
6) Getting the day off work. My work actually closed the building for Friday! That never happens! Of course, it was our Off Friday and not many people were working anyway, and of course I've been working since I got home tonight, but still! Hurricanes are like snow days but with less chance of frostbite.
5) The names. Every storm which reaches Tropical Depression strength becomes a "named storm," which means that NOAA gives it the next name in the alphabetical rotation (or, in the case of the year of Katrina and Rita, runs out of names and starts assigning them Greek letters.). Sometimes, if you get lucky, they name a storm after you! I've lived through seeing two storms named Erin - both talked a big game and then petered out because it was too lazy to continue. Tell me large formations of oceanic low pressure ridges don't know their namesakes!
Also sometimes NOAA goes crazy on the naming for the year and you get things like Tropical Storm Eduoard. I really wish they'd start taking a page from Hollywood's book and then we could have Tropical Depression Apple and Hurricane Kal-El. Actually, it'd be way better if all storms could be comic book references instead.
4) The weather. I don't know if you've heard this about Texas and the rest of the South, but, um, it gets kinda hot during the summer. Like, "break into a sweat walking to your mailbox"-type hot. Hurricanes drop the temps a good ten degrees and bring tons of fun thunderstorms to watch out on your porch, or from the safety of your plywood-covered windows.
3) The comraderie. Remember how, after 9/11, everyone was really nice to each other? For, like, a few hours? Until the threats against the Muslim communities started? Tragedy brings communities together. When confronted with a giant force of nature (or otherwise), you have no choice but to band together and realize that, as humans, we are merely pegs in the giant cribbage board of Fate. I think that's a proper analogy, anyway. I never actually learned to play cribbage. Plus, it's pretty easy to bond with your fellow man when you're stuck in the checkout lane at wal-mart for five hours with the rest of the yahoos in your town, just to fill up on bottled water. Which leads me to:
2) The hysteria. Okay, okay, the pre-hurricane hysteria's not a good thing when you're stuck in evacuation traffic or can't go to Target to get the latest Jemma Kidd makeup collection cause all of Houston is freaking out over how many bottles of water and D-batteries they have personally stored in their garage. Plus, everyone knows that the only good store to hit up during a hurricane is Spec's, due to the number one, GREATEST thing about hurricanes, which is:
1) HURRICANE PARTIES! Look, when you're faced with the certainty that your power will blow and all your food and beer will be ruined unless you consume it quickly, your only option is to band together with your friends and neighbors and glutton yourself on food and booze. My friend Suzanne's husband owns a restaurant near my house, and during the Hurricane-That-Wasn't (Rita), he lost power at the restaurant for three days. What other option did he have but to liberate all the steaks from the restaurant's fridge and have a bbq? You don't want that sort of thing going to waste, after all! There are starving people . . . somewhere else.
So, I say, bring it on, Ike. Or, shift east to Lake Charles at the last minute like the coward you are. Whatevs.