Humor–The Silver Lining In The Hurricane Cloud

It’s hard to find much to laugh about in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and with Hurricanes Irma and Jose swirling about threatening destruction. But there’s always a silver lining in any cloud, even if that cloud is a huge, dangerous storm such as a hurricane.  In fact, some of my best memories of past hurricanes and tropical storms are humorous ones. Let’s forget the lack of electricity, AC and hot food I experienced and share a chuckle about the (now) funny storm-related adventures.

“You deserve a break today.”  Boy did I ever!  So, I did it.  I got up and got away to McDonald’s.  A hurricane had knocked out our electricity one sweltering August.  With no power, I was off from work and stuck at home with four kids–four IRRITABLE kids.  They were bored without TV and computers and let me know it in no uncertain terms.  It was only 9:00 a.m., and they were already whining and carrying on about how hot it was.

That’s when I had the brilliant idea to take them to McDonald’s.  No, we didn’t go for hotcakes, fries or even burgers.  No sirree!  I took them to McDonald’s because the restaurant had power.  I bought the kids OJ and some treats and happily read a newspaper from cover to cover for as long as I dared occupy a booth in the establishment.  Favorite trip to McDonald’s–EVER!!!!

A MOO-ving Experience.  The pictures of destruction are all too familiar. Fallen trees, downed power lines, roofless houses, and beached boats all come to mind when one thinks of a post-storm landscape.  Nevertheless, the most vivid image which comes to mind for me is a cow.  Say what?

My husband and I were taking a much needed vacation in gorgeous St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.  Unfortunately, this vacation occurred during August–prime hurricane season.  While we were spared suffering through a hurricane, we did have our vacation rudely interrupted by Tropical Storm Debbie.  This weather event put a crimp in our sightseeing because a curfew was imposed when the storm was bearing down on the Caribbean island.

While stuck in our resort villa, what to our wondering eyes should appear but a broken free bovine outside our windows.  The storm had apparently blown down the fence imprisoning Bessie, and she had decided to go see what tourists looked like.  The power was out in our resort, so there was no television to entertain us.  That’s OK, we were thoroughly entertained watching Bessie explore the resort grounds and savor the sweet freedom the storm had brought her.

Hurricane Hash.  As a parent, you seize teachable moments whenever you can find them even if that moment is in the midst of a natural disaster.  When our area was without power for about a week following Hurricane Ivan, the National Guard made an appearance and set up a local distribution point to give out bottled water.  Although we were without electricity, we did have running water and a desire to assist those less fortunate than our family.  Off my husband and I went to the fairgrounds with one of our teens in tow to volunteer with distribution efforts.

And what did our Erin learn from this experience?  Did she learn about disaster relief efforts?  What people’s basic needs were following a horrible storm?  How the National Guard is utilized in times of civilian emergencies?  Well, maybe.  But what she learned most was all about MRE’s.

Yes, the National Guard had brought a supply of MRE’s which were offered to citizens in need of food.  Erin was fascinated by these rations and insisted that she wanted to try one.  Ever had an MRE?  If not, count yourself fortunate. They are field rations used by the military which must by regulation contain 1,200 calories in a meal.  Although the acronym stands for Meals, Ready to Eat, Erin’s MRE dining experience made her fully understand why they are also referred to as Meals, Rejected by Everyone.  It’s a safe bet that now, as an adult, she won’t stock up on MRE’s when she hears that a hurricane may be approaching.  She’d prefer canned hash over an MRE any day.

Hurricanes are no laughing matter.  But getting through a hurricane and its aftermath might be easier with laughter to grease the way.  Some memories from a hurricane’s strike may be negative and painful.  Nevertheless, every cloud has a silver lining, and the big cloud of a hurricane always has something to make one smile at some point.  This humorous lining may not make the hurricane go away, but it will make the hurricane experience more tolerable and will provide fodder for hurricane stories in the future.

Just WONDER-ing:  What funny memories do you have from experiencing a hurricane or tropical storm? Please share them!




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