Once again, Alabama is trying to kill me.
I woke up at 4 am this morning to the soundtrack from Pearl Harbor. No, not Michael Bay’s crapwork of a film. I mean air raid sirens. I leapt out of bed and fumbled with the alarm clock for a little bit–at first, to mistakenly turn it off, and then to turn on the radio to find out what the hell was going on.
I couldn’t find the radio button, so I scrambled to the living room. On the way, I tripped over the vacuum cleaner, careening it into the cockatiel’s cage and freaking him out. For good measure, I also yelled out the cat’s name while stubbing my toe on the coffee table.
Assured that everyone in the apartment–human and baser creature alike–was now as panicked as I was, I turned on the TV to see a weather guy flailing his arms at a purple blob and this text crawling above:
TORNADO SPOTTED ON GROUND AT MONROVIA RD …
To put this in perspective, Monrovia Road is only about 2.5 miles from our apartment. It’s also the main road to my parents’ house.
I didn’t crap my pants, so I figured it would be safe for Julie to share a bathroom with me during the tornado watch. So Julie put Spike (the bird) in one bathroom, and we scurried to the other one to wait it out. Buddy (the cat) hid under a couch or something. I forgot about my colony of harvester ants on my computer desk, but they can rebuild their society if push comes to shove.
Disclaimer: Yes, I share my home with animals. That doesn’t make me soft on the War on Animals or a hypocrite. I’ll have you know that the bird and ants live in Guantanamo-style cells, and the cat is an informant.
The alarm shut off 10 minutes later, then started up again after a minute. It sounded like one of those wind-up sirens, so the emergency broadcast guy probably needed a break to stretch and switch arms.
The siren finally shut off, our butts cold from sitting on the tub and linoleum. Julie went back to bed, and I stayed up on watch until the weather service called off the warning for our county. I am writing this on only a constant stream of coffee, hence why it’s a little short and heavy on punchiness.
Reading the news later, I found out just how fortunate we were. The death toll for this storm is, as of this post, 48. Most of these, of course, happened in trailer parks. Other reports described how roofs (rooves?) were torn off of houses with actual foundations and a dorm at Union College, Tennessee nearly collapsed.
Take it from Snee: being the SeriouslyGuys’ southern correspondent is not all it’s cracked up to be. Also, be sure to get a radio alarm clock with a clearly labeled “radio” button. The knees you save may be your own.