: disasters, natural and otherwise :


As a rule, my life is such a yawn I have trouble finding stuff to write about. I’ve settled for socks, dial tones, just about anything. Today was unusual, I had a variety: our recent F4 tornado and the National Book Awards and the ramifications of– da-da-da-dum — a bad omen. Decisions, decisions, right? How could I pick one? I couldn’t, I dithered.

Back and forth and round and round I went, until it dawned on me: they’re all disasters. One fashion, one natural, and one pending, soon to be released.

Let’s start with the posh, fancy-pants National Book Awards. The ceremony itself was held Wednesday night in downtown Manhattan at Cipriani Wall Street and featured a formal dinner of loin of lamb and tiramisu. More than 700 famous authors and big time publishers and hoity-toity agent types were in attendance. We’ll call them the literary glitterati (say that 3 times fast). Fran Lebowitz once described the event as “the Oscars without money.” ¹

But an abundance of geek chic. According to one report, the guests were dressed in tuxedos and gowns, as well as fisherman sweaters, thick eyeglasses, and at least one pair of clogs. James McBride won the fiction prize for his novel The Good Lord Bird. When his name was announced, he took the stage wearing a tuxedo (snazzy) and a porkpie hat (d’oh).  Writers, bless their rumpled, mismatched little hearts, are truly my people.

Speaking of geeks, our local weather forecasters have cried ‘wolf’ so fervently, so routinely, and so wrongly that I’m insensible to their alarms. Besides, who expects a tornado in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving? Ha, not me. 70° in November is a welcome thrill regardless of prevailing weather conditions.

It’s also a big red flag. As was the horizontal rainfall and the airborne debris and the tornado sirens. Even my cell phone tried to tell me, but I ignored them all. Imagine my surprise when I heard an F4 tornado had winged us, touching down a very, very short distance away to devastating effect, scattering personal belongings and building materials from one end of the state to the other. The funnel cloud churned along the ground for 45 long miles while I folded laundry.

Was I lucky or foolish? Well, I’d have said mighty lucky until a blurry, inky smudge shot across my bow this morning. It moved from left to right (or east to west) at the speed of light. The smudge turned out to be a cat, a skinny black one. You know, that can’t be good; disasters come in threes. Stay tuned.

Copyright © 2013 Publikworks

¹ It is worth noting that, while the National Book Awards may not be as flashy and glamorous as the Oscars, the acceptance speeches are far superior.

18 thoughts on “: disasters, natural and otherwise :

  1. Black cats are bad luck, and pork pie hats are bad decisions, but a black cat wearing a pork pie hat? That would be an example of two negatives making a positive.


    1. See? That’s the price you pay for being responsible and alert. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help –I’ve got the strength of ten men and I’m not far (I don’t think).


  2. Are you implying discussions of socks and dial tones aren’t interesting? Uh-oh…there go two of my favorite conversation starters.

    Glad the tornado didn’t muss up your neatly folded clothes. Or you.


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