Friday, August 13, 2004

NOAA insults the Gulf Coast

as I monitor the hourly bulletins about the storm system that appears poised to put a serious nature-boy style figure-four leglock on the former headquarters and spawning grounds of the liberal thunderdome, i'd like to send a message to our friends at NOAA or whoever is responsible for the names of tropical storms, depressions, and indeed hurricanes. 'Charley' is an embarrassment. I can accept that part of the public-relationsization of American society may involve choosing to passover a respectful, dignified, maybe even stuffy proper name like 'Charles'. But if it wasn't bad enough to give the storm a familiar, back-slapping good buddy diminutive name, then they could have at least chosen the spelling that is most likely associated with a human being ('CharlIE') rather than a horse, hamster or otherwise incommunicative animal ('CharlEY'). Having bumbled through a number of near-misses in my youth, and been suitably rattled, I'm of the opinion that hurricane names should closely approximate the names of orcs, or perhaps sith lords. i can sell my grandkids on the fury of 'Hurricane Orgoth' with much greater ease than I might 'Tropical Storm Joey' or 'Hurricane Ashley'.

A competing proposal might suggest that we name major storms for child actors who's careers have truly imploded. the cast of 'Diff'rent Strokes' alone would provide names for three truly disastrous typhoons. Maybe naming the storms after they're over is more sensible - NOAA gets together and agrees "Well, that one mostly only damaged mobile home parks and a few convenience stores, and pretty much washed itself out after a couple days - I'm thinking we're somewhere between Hurricane Alfonso Ribiero and 'Hurricane Dana Plato'. Anyone have a problem with 'Hurricane Dustin Diamond' ?"

Good luck to the sunset coast tonight. . .

- LH


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