The 5 Stages of (Tropical Storm) Grief

I’ve spent most of my life living in a tropical system-prone area. While Hermine is the first hurricane to darken the state’s door in over a decade, we’ve had our fair share of tropical storms over the years and plenty of hurricanes before that.

Since we have so much experience, the community here tends to talk about any tropical system lackadaisically. Before you get the wrong idea, we do actually take them seriously. We’ve witness firsthand how destructive they can be. Three hurricanes hit us over the course of two months several years ago. One of them was completely unexpected. It was headed a different direction and turned, so we only had a few hours to prepare. Board up windows, bring everything inside, fill the tubs with water, get propane, make sure the cars’ tanks were full. It wasn’t nearly enough time. Two more hurricanes followed it almost immediately. It was a rough summer.

But during that summer, the whole community banded together and we made it through. One of the best ways to deal with hard situations is to laugh, so the storm-related jokes started to roll. Jokes that we should change the state flag to a tarp. Jokes about the phrase “hunker down,” which was the weathermen’s new mantra that year. Jokes that anything less than a category 3 isn’t that bad compared to what we’d been through. Now, whenever storms come, social media and conversations are filled with jokes and memes.

As Hermine made her approach last week, people stocked up on water, food, and batteries and let the jokes roll. Since I can never resist joining in the fun while I count water bottles, here’s a satire of the way we talk about storms here.

The 5 Stages of (Tropical Storm) Grief

  1. Denial
    These weathermen are too excited. That storm’s not coming here. It’s not even a tropical wave yet.
  2. Anger
    What? The hurricane is coming over the weekend? But I wanted the day off!
  3. Bargaining
    If we get the edge of the storm, it won’t be too bad but we’ll still get the day off. Just as long as we don’t get the northeast corner of the storm again.
  4. Depression
    I’m out of white chocolate chips and the stores are mobbed. How am I going to make hurricane cookies?
  5. Acceptance
    Regular chocolate chips will do. We’ll call them tropical storm cookies instead.

Does your community have jokes about the common weather issues in your area?

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3 responses to “The 5 Stages of (Tropical Storm) Grief

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