We got hit with Hurricane Irene here at the Failure this past weekend. Nothing damaged, nothing flooded, no power outages at my place. Mainly I used it as an excuse to drink alone and not get dressed for an entire weekend, which is how many of my weekends go anyway but at least this time I could say in defense “Hey, what else should I have done? There was a frickin’ hurricane going on out there.”
Sure, I could have thrown a hurricane party, or gone to a hurricane party at someone else place, and not have drank alone. And yes, bad weather parties are fun… until the power goes out, which during a hurricane would be for an extended, unknowable time. Hours? Days? Whatever. Problems arise in a blackout. The beer gets warm because the fridge isn’t working. The initial charm of being in the dark quickly fades when you realize you can’t do much of anything in the dark, except maybe screw, but if you had someone to screw you’d have stayed home with them in the first place (note: look out for the Hurricane Irene babies in late May of 2012). Board games by candlelight get old very fast when you have to strain your eyes to read whether that Chance card says you go to Boardwalk or pay 200 bucks in income tax. Time progresses and people start getting on each other’s nerves big time, unable to alleviate that inevitable proximity tension by going somewhere else because there’s a hurricane outside. Testy words are exchanged, maybe someone gets punched, and friendship schisms develop, all because of one hurricane party.
Note: This happened to Avonia the Wiccan Pimp in her early Wiccan days. She and her first coven had a hurricane party/ritual, a spiritually fulfilling and fun time until highway flooding stranded the coven at their high priestess’s house. By the time the roads were open again, Avonia had bitch-slapped two covenmates hard enough to draw blood, leading to her expulsion from the coven.
Some might say it’s not wise to get drunk during a hurricane, as it’s better to keep your wits about you during a time of disaster. But it’s not like you have to drive anywhere, it’s a hurricane. In fact, being drunk will give you extra protection against the urge to drive during a hurricane. Drunk drivers are always on their way home. You’re already home. And everyone on the news is telling you to stay indoors, stay at home, just hang tight and ride the storm out. What better way to do that than to get blitzed on pumpkin ale or box wine or some other bottle of liquor that you were saving for some special occasion that will never come?
Note: Being high might increase your chances of driving during a hurricane because you’ll want something for the munchies, something you will invariably not have in your house at the time, and you’ll wander outside in the storm to be one with nature. Then you drown or get impaled by a tree branch.
But what if there’s a flood or a tree comes through your window? What are you doing to about that sober? If you have to evacuate the area, the disaster crews come by to get you out of there because the last thing your local government wants is for people leaving their houses en masse and not knowing where to go. And if you’re sober when you’re being evacuated, you’re a lot more panicked than when you’re drunk. Unless you’ve been drinking gin or tequila because that’s like drinking the Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde serum.
And another thing: it makes much more sense to stock up on booze (and bags of ice and a cooler) for a hurricane than what everyone else usually stocks up on: milk and eggs. When the power goes, are you going to start chugging milk from your non-functioning fridge? Going to make a whole lot of scrambled eggs over a pile of burning furniture because your stove doesn’t work?
The only person who didn’t spend the hurricane indoors was Tag Larkin, who was outside fighting the hurricane. Tag Larkin says he made the hurricane run away with his fists of fury and his heroic nudity. That doesn’t sound right, but I don’t have the meteorological background to dispute Tag Larkin’s claim.