I am a champ at the “what if” game. If I could have majored in “what if” in college, I would have. Instead, I went for liberal arts, which is about as profitable. I think of all sorts of hypothetical situations, mainly involving Steve Nash and….well, nevermind.
Then along comes Hurricane Ike, which Myrtle Beach Bum and I have renamed “Hurricane (Fuckin’) Dyke” (it’s a long-running joke between some Jezebel people).
I love Eric Berger of the Houston Chronicle’s SciGuy blog. Regardless of where the hurricane is or even might be, he’s on it. He’s laying out scenarios for a possible Houston evacuation, although Hurricane FD is still very much out to sea and, as of this writing, could hit anywhere from South Texas to somewhere in Louisiana. What I found interesting is this zip code map of evacuation zones for the greater Houston area.
With some squinting (there’s a bigger image available as well), I was able to draw the “Weather” card from the “What If” home edition. See, around the end of my time as a college student, I interviewed at a place south of Houston (Harris County is basically Houston, for you non-Texans). Right on the coast. I wondered what would happen if I got the job (and that looked fairly likely) and a hurricane hit. I figured I would probably have to stay and cover this Breaking News Event. I’d already covered Rita, so I figured I could handle it, although I’d be within spitting distance of the beach if things had worked out. I even checked zip codes, and I would have been in Zone A, which means evacuate now, bitches. But I’d have stayed, most likely. I wondered how newspapers do that-do coastal ones take volunteers for people to stay and let the others flee? Do the low-ranking members have to stay with their lifejackets?
As it turned out, they never called me back or returned my calls and I later saw an announcement on their Web site announcing the hiring of someone else. I’m not bitter, since that was a while ago. I just wonder sometimes. I’m weird like that-I’ll see a dateline in say, some city in Iowa, and go “Hey that’s the paper that wanted to interview me, but only if I could fly out on my own dime! Wonder how those jerks are doing?” (Yes, I had a paper try that).
What’s the point of this post? Well, I’m a nerd. About weather. And what-ifs. As a kid, I’d obsessively watch The Weather Channel or CMT. The latter obsession has faded, while the former has stuck around. Stay safe, everyone. Not that I want Ike to wreak havoc anywhere in particular, but better Texas than Louisiana, I guess, since Louisiana’s already had one go-around this hurricane season. Might as well be fair about it, Mother Nature. Or, as the bumper sticker said, “It’s Father God, not Mother Nature.” I’m guessing that person was not a feminist and would really resent getting hit by say, Hurricane Betty. “Damn women! Why isn’t this hurricane at home, cooking its husband a meal?”
How’s the weather in your neck of the woods? We just got done with some major rain from the remnants of Gustav, although everything here held up pretty well.