Opposites, Calling My Parents Worried About a Hurricane

I live in Houston and the past several years of crazed weather events, my parents have called me countless times worried about the sensationalized news reports.

As I posted in this blog, my job is to calm them down, even if a 100 year storm is approaching.

Phone rings.

Me: “Hi Dad, what’s up?

Dad: “I just saw the news. (Which I can hear through the phone absolutely blaring in the background at the loudest volume possible, but I shouldn’t talk – with all the rock concerts I go to, it won’t be long before I’m doing that too)
It looks like Houston’s going to get hit with this killer storm.” (slight panic in his voice)
Me: “Haven’t we gone over this before Dad?  I am far inland, and we will be fine.”
Dad: “But the cone of uncertainty…”
Me: “Cone, did you say cone? Remember Dad, when you used to buy me those soft ice cream cones with sprinkles and within minutes it was a melting mess all over my hands, arms, and clothes?” (Obvious distraction tactic)
Dad: “I just saw all those houses in the Caribbean broken into pieces. I think you should evacuate. You don’t want to take a chance that the storm will hit where you live.”
Me: “Dad, do you remember the three little pigs story?”
Dad: (sounding confused) “The one I used to do with your toes? “This little piggy went to market…” (ending in wee, wee, wee, all the way home and foot tickles)
Me: (Patiently) No Dad, the fairy tale about the three little pigs.
Dad: “Yeah, I think I sort of remember that.”
Me: “Well, this big bad Ike can huff and puff and blow all he wants, but I live in a sturdy brick house, not the one of straw or sticks. So I am safe. No wood, Dad, just solid brick.”
Dad: “Brick houses are safe?”
Me: “Yes, Dad, brick houses, well inland, are safe.” (I didn’t go into how many huge trees we have right by our house that also has big picture windows, but then again, do I really want to worry my elderly dad with the interior closet plan?)
Dad: “Well, okay…”
(Until the next national news program comes on. Then repeat.)

Okay, back to the present. What the heck? Here I am in the southern Gulf living in Houston and we haven’t had an inch of rain all summer. Now Philly, where my parents live, is facing a 100 year storm.

Is this weather event happening wacky or what? First an earthquake and then a hurricane. It’s like the ten plagues back in Biblical times.

In the meantime, I will be calling my parents all weekend to make sure they are safe.

UPDATE: Here’s where the hilarity begins. All Saturday night I was thinking about my parents and worrying about them, so the minute I woke up, I called them to see if all was okay. The call went like this:

Me: “Hi, how is everything” (big concern in my voice even though I hadn’t turned on the news yet)

Mom: “This vertigo I have is so annoying.”

Me: ” Um, What about the Hurricane?”

Mom: “Oh that. Just lots of rain here.”

Obviously the hurricane was not on her radar at all when she is dealing with vertigo. Obviously she doesn’t have Dopplar radar. Usually she has the news blasting in the background and anything they are making a big deal about, she follows with extreme interest. They live in a very high up brick home and I wasn’t real worried about flooding or wind damage (they have storm windows, storm door etc) but still that sensationalized news reporting that Philly was a direct hit got to me more than her.

And so Irene is over and I am glad they, and everyone else I know and love in the area, are safe and sound.

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