Saturday, August 18, 2007


We have a hurricane approaching the Gulf, and this of course has generated a lot of press, because when a whirly-storm threatens, it gives people an awful lot to talk about. Back in 1983, Alicia did a number on us (almost 24 years ago), and while there was a lot of wind and rain, the most memorable thing about it for me was the fact that the power surges after the storm knocked out the A/C in my apartment for about three weeks. Fortunately, I had the keys to an apartment for a friend who happened to be out of town on business, and whose A/C wasn't knocked out. Thanks, Mike.

And in 2005, Rita, a massive storm, looked like it was going to aim dead on at Galveston/Houston, and people left Houston like crazy, leading to bumper-to-bumper traffic out of the city for scores of miles. We stayed here, and the storm curved off to the right. Yes, we were lucky.

Hurricanes are destructive, but like all intense phenomena, they are also quite interesting. With that in mind, I'd like to propose a writing contest. Let's see who can come up with most interesting, the most provocative, and the most terrible hurricane news briefs. I want bad writing. I want to see prose that will make an English teacher vomit.

I want to see something like this:

Hurricane Dean roared ashore with the strength of 10,000 weathercasters leaning into the gale, trying to get that last piece out to the audience before being blown away in the maelstrom of surging torrents and hellacious winds. Like a giant breaking wind, Dean pulverized the coast, a perfect storm of tidal surge and horizontal rain blasters. We can only wait until the destructive demon that is Dean passes into history before we determine the inevitable heartbreaking losses of this counter-clockwise monster.

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