It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

We had a ‘possible-tornado-producing’ storm last night with blowing sirens and one-inch hail and minor flooding in Ypsi and a house burned after a lightning strike. It was all higgledy-piggledy for awhile around midnight.

The native Californian was in denial about it all for at least a few minutes, lying in bed as the sirens blew before getting up, while the (somewhat) native Okie opened the window to get a better listen and then got into some shoes and grabbed flashlights and prepared to hit the basement.

We Okies don’t mess with tornadoes; when the sirens blow, that usually means bidness and bidness means getting into the cellar and tying the kids down with the rope so they don’t get all sucked out the door.

The frustrating thing about being up here with Yankees who don’t understand tornadoes is the absolute dearth of information. You know, call me weird, but once warning sirens blow I like to have as much information as possible … such as, what’s about to descend from on high, where’s it coming from and when, things like that. There’s a write-up in today’s AA News (Motto: ‘Absolutely Still the World’s Worst Website’), but, ya know, I kinda like to know where the tornado is BEFORE it blows me away, not reading about it 12 hours later.

I slam my ancestral state where I lived for 20 years often about its politics and general cluelessness, but on weather forecasting and information, it has no peer anywhere in the world. Even in that god-awful movie Twister, starring that actress that Frank likens to broken glass being scraped across a chalkboard, the only realistic parts were those starring Oklahoma’s TV weathermen, such as the legendary Gary England of KWTV 9, Oklahoma City.

Gary has been the Storm King of Oklahoma since God was a boy; he’s chased tornadoes and been the target of a few as well, including the May 1999 F-5 monster that ripped up the city. Now THERE’S weather information; channel 9 (and others) have equipment so sophisticated that it can tell you what city block the tornado will be at at what time. Heck, not even United Airlines can tell you when their planes will arrive with as much accuracy.

And so, last night with the sirens blowing and local radio playing the BBC and Dr. Laura as if cricket match scores in Pakistan and Fascist FunDumbMentalist ranting were more important than the wall cloud bearing down on a city of 110,000, I missed, for awhile, Oklahoma, I must admit.

As for the beagle, well, he’s a Texas beagle (loathe I am to admit it); he was born in a double-wide trailer house in Kemp, TX, and thunderstorms make him yawn. During the storm, I had to entice him with treats to get him to come downstairs in reasonable proximity to the basement in case things began to look dicey. Thunder, lightning, wind, hail, floods … these things don’t phase Bayley. But try to clip his nails … now, THAT’S scary.