If the forecasters are to be believed, The Beehive finds itself in the path of hurricane Rita -- well up the path, but still, there it is, flickering at us from every TV screen in the county. This comes as something of a surprise. As urban inlanders, we have reckoned a great many things as potential dangers to our well-being, but a hurricane never crossed our minds.
So Great Scot and I had a staff meeting to create a preparedness plan, and very early this morning I set out posthaste to procure the goods. Purchased the last of the bottled water at our neighborhood grocery store, and headed over to Home Depot for... well, you'll see. Keep reading.
I had loaded up the big orange cart and was headed to the cash register when I was abruptly accosted by a microphone attached to an arm, beyond which flashed a pageant-ready set of pearly white teeth belonging to a very beautiful black woman in a luscious suit. Behind her was a man I would have mistaken for a Cowboy linebacker were it not for the massive camera perched on his shoulder, which he was swinging round to barrel down on my face.
Microphone Beauty cooed that she was with Channel 11 and wanted to interview me about storm preparation. Well, fine, huh, okay. Like I know a lot about prepping for a hurricane, but...
"Roll," she barked to the linebacker, then turned back to me and waxed all coo-ey again.
"So, you're preparing for the storm. Why did you decide to do that?"
She must be kidding, right? Instead of saying "because you people told us it was coming, hello?" I chose rather to coo something back about taking care of my children. A nice touch, I thought.
"And what are you doing to prepare?" she crooned while smiling from ear to ear and peering into my cart... "Plastic sheeting, I see -- what do you plan to use that for?"
Here's where it gets interesting.
At this, she looked uncharacteristically tongue-tied for a reporter type.
Her: "Ahhh... bookcases."
Me: "Well... yes. We have a large family library, about 3000-4000 books, to which we're rather attached, and we don't want to take chances on the skylight getting smashed."
Made perfect sense to me. But she was clearly thrown off her game. I didn't think it was possible to shut up a reporter without a remote control, but hey, it can be done! She was visibly bumfuzzled. I believe I even saw a flicker of a furrow flash across her botoxed brow. She paused to regain her composure, mustered up her plastic smile once again, and said...
"Yes, yes. But what about... lawn furniture?"
Lawn furniture. She's worried about my lawn furniture. Which probably took about one hour to purchase -- no wait, even better, it was given to us. Free. Easily replaced. And she apparently thinks I'm a space alien because I'm taping a few tarps over a family library that has taken over 20 years (and many postal shipments from Great Britain and elsewhere) to assemble and could never be exactly duplicated.
Well, we've all got our priorities. But okay, sometimes we just play along.
So I proceeded to try to be normal and speak to the normal needs of the normal masses. I spoke responsibly about things like bottled water, peanut butter and flashlights. The pearly teeth flashed. She was so happy.
So. Channel 11. Get a load of that.
Then I got a good look at my reflection in my car windows. Ambleside Online t-shirt, no makeup... and bedsheet marks across my left cheek. All on Channel 11. And they asked me for my name.