Hurricanes: The definition of insanity

You want to help world hunger? Stop sending them food. Don’t send them another bite, send them U-Hauls. Send them a guy that says, “You know, we’ve been coming here giving you food for about 35 years now and we were driving through the desert, and we realized there wouldn’t BE world hunger if you people would live where the FOOD IS! YOU LIVE IN A DESERT!! UNDERSTAND THAT? YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING DESERT!! NOTHING GROWS HERE! NOTHING’S GONNA GROW HERE! Come here, you see this? This is sand. You know what it’s gonna be 100 years from now? IT’S GONNA BE SAND!! YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING DESERT! We have deserts in America, we just don’t LIVE in them, assholes! Sam Kinison

I was listening to the news yesterday and they interviewed a lady who had lived in Florida for 50 years. Apparently, the ladies house had been reduced to matchsticks by Hurricane Ian. She was recounting that this was the fifth or sixth Hurricane she had dealt with and the second time her home had been destroyed.

This lady was complaining that the Federal Government wasn’t being responsive enough to her needs. She also noted that FEMA was focusing too much attention on the Cape Coral/Fort Myers area rather than where she lived, which I don’t recall the name, because those areas were more affluent.

She was angry, she was emotional, and she was discouraged, which I get. The lady had just lost her home, for the second time. I honestly cannot imagine how she feels. Losing my home once would have been enough for me to rethink my geographic residential choices. But as she was talking all I could think about was the late, great, Sam Kinison skit above, YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING DESERT!

I am sure, if you like the ocean, heat, humidity, sand, bugs, and Frump supporters, Florida is an absolute paradise. But in my very humble opinion, if you are going to live in Florida or any other coastal community you should have to sign a waiver that stipulates that you understand the risk you are accepting and you are not going to go on television and bitch that FEMA hasn’t brought you a cold bottle of water.

Just so you know this flatlander understands the power of a hurricane, 33 years ago Hurricane Hugo hit the coast of South Carolina. It made landfall just north of Charleston in a little fishing village called McClellanville. In the early morning hours of September 22, 1989, McClellanville was hit with 140 mph winds and a 16-foot storm surge. My wife and I saw the aftermath of Hugo in McClellanville two weeks later when we travelled to her family’s beach house built with the best “Hurricane Construction Knowledge” available in the mid 1980’s.

The only way I can describe what I saw is that it looked like an atomic bomb of wind and water was dropped on this picturesque community. Even two weeks later people were still walking around dazed. It was very sad. My in-laws beach house (which they have since sold) suffered minimal damage, torn screens and a few shingles blown off. But the house directly in front of them, a classic 1940’s SC beach house was gone, gone! No rubble, no wood, no nothing, just the telephone pole piers in the ground.

I guess I can understand the appeal of living on the coast. Personally, I like to visit the beach occasionally (a week is my limit) but I have zero interest in owning a home on a piece of sandy soil dealing with hurricanes, beach erosion, or rising ocean levels estimated to be about one inch every three years. It is, and will continue to be, a very risky investment and one that when I get my annual homeowners insurance renewal I help pay for. Yes, ladies and gentlemen we all share the insurance companies’ “burden” of having to payout claims to rebuild homes, and other property destroyed by hurricanes. Don’t believe me? Ask your insurance agent.

I am sorry that people lost their lives, their homes, their belongings, their cherished memories, but remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. You can rebuild but the risk remains the same. It is a scientific fact that today’s storms are bigger, badder, and more powerful and they aren’t going away. YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING DESERT!


About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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6 Responses to Hurricanes: The definition of insanity

  1. I wonder if Bad Sam ever imagined that we’d be quoting him so many years after his death. That was one of my all-time favorite bits, just for the sheer audacity.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nan says:

    It seems the old adage continues to ring true: “I think I’ll take my chances” … followed by a litany of reasons why it “probably” won’t happen again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. William Tell says:

    I don’t know about this one, common, complaining woman, but there are other cases I regard as more egregious.

    Years ago, I worked for a while as a temporary legal secretary at the Maryland Insurance Administration. There was a particular gadfly making lots of noise about Marylanders who were still inadequately housed behind Hurricane Isobel. But there was another story, about some other people.

    There are certain extremely rich individuals who insist on building their mansions in flood plains, where they cannot be insured. They build them there anyway. And then when the mansions are destroyed, they cry for the Feds to pay to rebuild. And some of them do it repeatedly.


  4. What gets me is how many people who live in FL are people from up north who hate winter … a mere three months … hate snow, hate shoveling, hate the the cold … which is understandable … but manageable … quite manageable … so they move to FL & invest in a home down there … & then lost everything they own in a hurricane. If they had stayed up here & dealt with the occasional snowy day, they wouldn’t have lost their home, their investment, their memories, everything they own. I don’t feel sorry for them in the least.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. maryplumbago says:

    I can speak to Fla., since I live here, but not on the coast..70 miles inland. You are correct about repeating the same error over and over..building or moving to where you are asking for trouble. The coasts should all have been preserved for their beauty and natural wildlife, not for humans. But as we know money talks. And many are vowing to rebuild again..same spot or almost.

    Same thing happens out west after the horrific fires. They rebuild same spot. And they aren’t even thinking about water shortages to come, although I see desalination plants in the future, but at a high cost.

    And I agree about the deserts, as well. But then, where are they going to move and by what means and money? No one wants these people, which is extremely sad.

    And just so you know, I love the weather here, no more bugs than when I lived in NC, except mosquitoes. I’d rather have a little heat than ice and snow any day. I have liberal progressive friends here and love my home. Yes it is crowded the state has a morally bad governor and they build, build build here with no thought to the environment and there is much corruption. But I think other states suffer the same. Just look at other Republican controlled states.

    I’m old with no energy to move, even if I wanted to…which I don’t.

    Liked by 2 people

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