M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Monday, May 05, 2003  

Not In Kansas Any More

A couple of weeks ago Trash and I paid a visit to my aunt in southeastern Kansas. Crawford County, to be exact.

Yes, that Crawford County.

I admired her porch at the time, which is good because it’s not there any more. Her actual house is still standing and so is she, but there’s quite a bit of damage and her large yard is pretty much defoliated. Nobody else in my extended family was directly affected, which is kind of remarkable. I mean, Crawford County probably has a higher concentration of people who are related to me than any other county in America. There were times I couldn’t walk through downtown Girard without seeing a relative. And yet the tornadoes missed everyone but my aunt, who rode out the storm in a house without a basement. I can’t even imagine. Sitting through that once in my life was quite enough, thank you.

By the way, why do so few houses in that part of the country have basements, considering the frequency of tornadoes there? Or, considering the way severe weather seems to be magnetically attracted to trailer parks, are the tornadoes a result of all the basementless homes in the region? I’m just thinking out loud here.

In any case, it was kind of a strange feeling earlier today to look at the top photo on the top story at CNN.com and see a photo of an F3 chewing up land I was driving across two weeks ago.

Not that that’s how I found out. Dad called me at work this morning to let me know that my aunt’s house had been damaged by the storm. “Uh, what storm?” I replied dumbly. I spend eight hours a day sitting fifteen feet from three giant TV screens that show three different cable news stations 24 hours a day, but because they’re pointed away from me I had no idea that half of my relatives had ever been in danger of being blown into Arkansas.

Add that to the horrific car accident that took place the other night on a road my parents thought I was on at the time, and it kind of adds up to a stressful twenty-four hours for them, I would imagine.

Bad things come in threes, they say. I wonder if that also applies to scares about the safety of family members courtesy of the news media? Maybe I should dummy up a news story about an earthquake or something in New Jersey, where my younger sister lives, send it to the folks, and get it over with. If only I could be sure that they would receive the gesture in the intended spirit of genuine concern for their emotional well-being.

* * *

Pamie is busy saving the Oakland Public Library, but she needs your help. Okay, given the percentage of my readers who also read her, you probably already knew that. But, for the benefit of my one reader who doesn’t also read Pamie, check it out. And if you really want to impress her, you can make the OPL the first* public library with an entire aisle of Why Girls Are Weird.

*I was going to say “only” there, but “first” seems less limiting.

posted by M. Giant
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