Sunday night, your old buddy (hah) was a breeze away from being spread across the gorgeous Carolina countryside, as I looked out my front door and saw something similar to this on the horizon across the road...and perfectly centered in front of my house:
Aieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Get in the basement! Get the dog! The cat can figure it out on his own...
No, that's not the actual twister. I'm still kicking myself over not getting the camera out in time, but when it's a choice between web immortality and not getting flattened, I'm choosing the one that doesn't involve the potential of testing that theory about the Land of Oz.
As it turns out, somebody sneezed and the tornado swung a quarter mile to the west through a trailer park instead. Cliche? Yes, but that's exactly how it happened. Also several other residential neighborhoods, a daycare center, and hundreds of trees. A lot of those houses looked as if a finger reached down from the sky and just raked them into the street. By contrast, the most "heartbreaking" thing that happened here is a portable basketball goal fell over and now the rim isn't round anymore. We got a reprieve, but I recognize how lucky I am to be typing this from an upright house with fully functioning utilities tonight.
Sadly, some people just can't see it my way...especially if they were attempting to watch Duke's basketball team get into the Final Four. Apparently enough people unloaded on WFMY Greensboro that tonight the station manager actually apologized on-air for preempting the scheduled program for breaking news of what's turned out to be the worst weather event in years. Because God forbid the station actually live up to a federal public service mandate that might actually Why? Because WOOOOOOO BLUE DEVILS, that's why!
What makes this attitude even more inexcusable is that the game actually was on the air over WFMY's secondary channel. That wasn't enough, because oooooooo, it's all pixelated, I can't watch that. You know what else was pixelated last night? Some guy's home in Davidson County. Wait, not "pixelated", what's the other word? Oh yes, "raked into the lake with his girlfriend and her kids still inside". No fatalities, because I'm not that much of a tool just to make a point.
Also, it takes something like being stuck in a blackout with nothing but a radio for information to underline the pathetic truth that our local radio is a cruel joke when it comes to disaster preparedness. Maybe if half of the market wasn't a Clear Channel-owned nightmare, this discussion wouldn't be necessary, but it is, so it is.
The moral? A sizable chunk of college basketball fans in North Carolina are callous, over-entitled, self-centered pigs. Not all of them, just the ones who decided to have a telephone tantrum with the News2 switchboard. As someone who was wondering if he was about to get wrapped around a tree at one point last night, I hope they pre-empt the whole goddamn tournament if that's the type of ass-on-shoulders attitude you're taking.