Nature's Big Sneeze

"...The hurricane....?"

"...Wanted to ask you about the Hurricane..."

"...Your dad, how is...?"

"...Evacuation of the Florida Keys, is he...?"

As Tropical Storm Fay makes landfall, folks who know my father lives one island down from Key Largo in Florida all wanted to know about his evacuation plans. And I tell them:

"Ha! Evacuation plans? De Pop don't need no stinkin' evacuation plans!"

And then, because it makes me sound like a horrible, callous daughter (also with a mysterious Mexican accent considering I'm a redhead living in Pittsburgh), I have to go on to explain:

You see, Fay was predicted as a Category 1 hurricane.

The Pop only considers evacuation for a Category 3 hurricane.

Cows and Auntie Em in her rocking chair have to be flying by the window before my father even considers loading up the car and leaving la vida Margaritaville. This has been discussed thoroughly and at length between he and I more than once.

Believe me. It has.

It doesn't matter if the sky turns black and the canals and palm trees swim with blood and pina colada mix. It doesn't matter if plagues of grouper fall from the sky or, say plagues of lawn furniture from a yard three canals over drop in for a visit.

It doesn't matter if the neighbor's cat, Mr. Mittens, will be clinging to the top of the flag pole down at the marina by day's end. Or if Jimmy Buffet himself crashes through the back porch screen with a plate of cheeseburgers and that lost shaker of salt....

The news says Category 1, and one laughs in the face of a Category 1. It is apparently not so much a storm. It is a sneeze... with gusto.

So around 10:30 yesterday morning, I got an email from the Pop. The gist of it was (and I'm paraphrasing here):

I guess I'm not going to get to go to Dairy Queen today for my medium pineapple milkshake and barbeque sandwich which I have every Monday night for dinner. The winds are at 60 miles an hour outside and the neighbor is out in the wind and rain looking for Mr. Mittens.

I don't know why. I'm sure Mr. Mittens has found shelter somewhere.

Now, of course, I am not only worried about my dad. I am now worried about the welfare of the neighbor, and Mr. Mittens. Who I have never even met before. (The neighbor, I mean. I think Mr. Mittens might have rubbed up against my leg once.)

Reading the news this morning, it appears Fay's winds have reached the 75 mile an hour range over the Keys... Just under what it takes to make this tropical storm an official hurricane.

And I know my father is there at home, strapping himself to the mast as the power zaps out, the first floor floods, and neighborhood pets and free-range iguanas everywhere are swimming for higher ground. But let's get back to the really important things here...

The Pop's schedule has been all blown to heck because he never did get his Monday Dairy Queen run.

Gosh, the whole week will have been thrown off!

Stupid Mother Nature.

Enjoy Of Cabbages and Kings? Vote for it at
Or check out the new Humorbloggers website for hand-picked humor goodness, as refreshing as a pineapple shake.


Greg said...

Actually, you sounded kinda like a horrible callous Mexican-Jamaican, Red.

But I've heard tales of De Pop before and so his lack of evac plans aren't exactly a surprise, and I'm glad to see you channeling your concern into's entirely possible those swirly winds brought a milkshake and sandwich to HIM last night.

I'm sure all will be well, with Pop and Mr. Mittens. After all, I've seen "WINGS", how much trouble can Fay cause, anyway?

Anonymous said...

Now that I've been outed on the side as being here (thanks to Blog Catalog), now I feel obliged to comment, not that I wasn't going to comment, but anyway on to my comment...

Fathers: they're funny people, aren't they? Although in his defense, a pineapple milkshake sounds really good.

Anonymous said...

The thought of the sky raining grouper and Jimmy Buffet would have have me fleeing in no time!

Unknown said...

Greg- Mexican-Jamaican? COOL! I wonder what I did so I can replicate that in the future. Hmm... (scratches chin thoughtfully).

Thanks for the reassurances-- given it came in as a tropical storm instead of a growing hurricane, I'm less concerned about the Pop. His lack of milkshake, though, and Mr. Mittens... well, those things are still up in the air. (Er, hopefully not literally.)

Unfinished- Heh, sorry. I didn't know visiting Cabbages was a covert operation. If you like, I can call you "The Mysterious Mr.X" instead though. Or something else with flair? Just let me know. I'm happy to oblige. We can even give you a secret virtual handshake or knock to use.

Unknown said...

Tiggy- Yeah, you don't want Jimmy Buffet dropping from the skies, let me tell you! He's put on a bit of weight over the years, so he could do some serious damage.

Da Old Man said...

I'm glad the Pop weathered the Storm, so to speak. And I feel for him missing his Dairy Queen repast. Normally, I have an omelet on Saturdays. This week, I had something different, and it has pretty much thrown my whole week off.

Unknown said...

DaOldMan- It's been quiet from him today, but I imagine its probably related to a power outage more than actual damage. You just look at the power lines cross-eyed down there and they get tempermental.

And re: the omelet- well, can you make up for the missing Saturday omelet on some other day and then recoup days for the balance?

Anonymous said...

Those FL people are a special breed of insane. We had a couple working here in merry MT and when we'd get a report of a tornado touching down nearby they'd just shrug it off with a comment about being from FL and such things don't concern them. Oh yah a funnel of spinning wind full of cows, rocks and miffed snakes are just childs play. Well they don't get that bad, this isn't tornado alley or anything but we do get some nasty hail and I for one don't like being pelted with white round ice cubes shaped like sports equipment.

B said...

I'm gonna presume Mr Mittens is either a pet... or a very strange man.

I know nothing about hurricanes so I always imagine that everyone in america ties themselves to those big poles like Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt in Twister... or have a big fat woman to block the door like in the start of the film.

Unknown said...

Chyna- Yes, sometimes they have hurricane parties. So I can only imagine the reaction to twisters they might give... LOVE your description of the cow and snake infested cyclone. Poor Dorothy would have had a very dodgy trip to Oz. :)

B- Yes, Mr. Mittens is a cat, thankfully. :) Hurricanes are much, much larger than your average twister... or average fat woman to use as leverage. So they cover a very big area all at once leaving, you nowhere to go to escape. Even if you are Bill Paxton.

Alice said...

Here's hoping that they find Mr. Mittens and that your dad is safe!

Bee said...

:o( Stupid mother nature is right! I hope everything turns out hunky for your pops and Mr. Mittens! (I love the name!)

Ummm also, wuz up with the unfinished dude? Yikers! ;op

MYM said...

A dairy queen-less week. Damn. Too bad about the hurricane too.

Anonymous said...

ROFL! That is so funny - I love the imagery. Jimmy Buffet crashing through the door with the plate of cheeseburgers and long-lost salt shaker! Mr Mittens clinging to the flagpole! LOL!

I know people like your Dad. I do. There's no budging them - and I know how miffed they get about their schedule being thrown out too! I can see him sitting there brooding on that milkshake all week!

Seriously, I hope your Pop is OK, and the neighbour and Mr Mittens, too. Pop is probably right though, Mr Mittens has almost certainly found shelter somewhere. ;)

Unknown said...

Alice- Thanks! I imagine everything will be fine. Still haven't heard from him, though.

Bee- Heh, I dunno. Unfinished was I guess looking for greater anonymity in his blog visiting. Go fig. :)

Drowsey- It's very serious. It'd be like being on a Tim Hortons schedule and missing doughnut day!

Jay- I think that sort of thinking does end up in variation all over the globe. Thanks for the consolation on the Dad and Mr. Mittens situation! :)

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mittens probably has built a boat by now, or has hijacked someone's dog to use as a flotation device.

Has your father announced any other mealtime inconveniences? [Because we _know_ he isn't going to announce he's moved to a safer location]

Unknown said...

Rhet- Possibly so. I've received updates from Dad himself, but nothing Mittens-related. I'm certain there was SOME Monday milkshake withdrawal, but as for how he made up for that and got back on schedule, well, I still haven't heard that story.

Possibly on Sunday when I typically speak to him on the phone.

The location IS lovely. It's the continual Man-Against-Nature struggle literature is so fond of that gets to be a bit of a strain.