I remember it like it was yesterday.
Actually, I can barely remember yesterday so let me start again.
I remember it like it was 4 minutes ago. I was visiting my cousins in Tulsa, and alone in the house because they’d gone grocery shopping, when a tornado warning appeared on the television.
There was no break in regularly scheduled programming. No “This is a message from the Emergency Broadcast System”. Just a nonchalant box in the top right corner showing a little map of the where you may not want to be if the funnels of doom touch down. Where was the warning of imminent death and destruction? The sirens? The army marshaling people to the nearest underground bunker/missile silo? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for James Earl Jones’ voice to come booming through the television telling people to flee for their lives?
One minute I’m happily surfing through the multitude of channels that are not offered north of the border, the next I’m plotting the quickest escape route and packing a survival kit. And I had no idea where they kept their flares.
While simultaneously trying to start the generator and calculating the length of time and dimensions required to dig an underground shelter that will house two adults and one neurotic teenager, my cousins came home.
We were in no danger. The little map only warns of the possibility of a tornado. There was no need to panic and could I please put the shovel down. Ungrateful bastards.These are things you could have mentioned to an out-of-towner before leaving her to fend for herself! I live in Toronto for crying out loud. Nothing happens. There will never be a disaster movie set in Toronto. Picture it. Two hours of a white screen while Morgan Freeman narrates the story of a man, determined to get home in time for the hockey game, weaving his truck through cars upon cars driven by people who’ve never driven in snow before. (Wow, James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman in the same blog. Even I’m impressed with myself).
No disasters here. No hurricanes. No volcanoes. Well, there was an earthquake back in 2010. I thought it was the subway passing under our building.
The most excitement I get is storm watching. No, nothing as cool as a meteor storm or dust storm. (Which I’m sure is totally not cool if you got caught in one). Just good old-fashioned thunderstorms. And we get warnings. Oh yes, we are warned of impending heavy rain and high winds. So basically it’s a bring-your-umbrella kinda warning. (Unless of course you own a crappy umbrella that could fold inside out in the wind thereby rendering itself useless, in which case it’s a make-sure-you-have-a-hood kinda warning). They issued one yesterday, as a matter of fact.
I hate scary movies and haunted houses, but I get a certain pleasure out of being scared by a sudden clap of thunder. Living in a high-rise I have a great vantage point. And yesterday it was dark. Real dark. A key component of a potential scared shitless-fest. I got home just as the storm reached the city.
There was a soft grumble of thunder. And then another. The anticipation built. A flash of lightning. Another rumble. And then the rain started to fall.
And then it was over.
No thunder loud enough to wake the dead. No torrents of rain. And one measly fork of lightning. Thanks Weather Network, for the complete let-down.
I’m moving to Tulsa.