The bad new is the weather guys have told us that the real action will come tonight between 5 and 12 pm.. As you can imagine, everyone is hunkering down in anticipation. I called my brother who lives in OKC. He and his wife were out buying some duffel bags for their valuables. They plan to spend the night with their daughter who has a newly-installed saferoom. Their daughter is understandably spooked. She, her husband, and their two kids live near the path of the sidewalk-roller tornado that hit Piedmont last year. What I failed to understand was why my brother and his wife planned to spend the night with the daughter. After all, my brother has a cellar which would be even safer than a saferoom. The answer is my brother suffers from a family affliction, that of procrastination. The rusted hinges on the cellar door are in need of repair.
That reminds me of an old story.
The small town where I grew up had only a few well-off citizens. Among them were owners of the only bank in town. The owners shared a city block on the outskirts of town. Actually, thinking about it, that's not a good description since our small town was pretty much all outskirts. Anyway, one owner, an elderly widow, lived in a large house on the south half block, and the other owner, a never married elderly bachelor, lived in a little shotgun-styled single bedroom house on the north half. The widow's only daughter and son-in-law lived across the street from her. They all shared the cellar at the widow's house, except the old bachelor rarely bothered going to the cellar.
So, a tornado blew through one night taking the top half the town with it. The widow, the daughter, and the son-in-law spent the night in the cellar. The cellar was old, built when the widow was a young bride. It had no door latch, which was normal for that time and place. Closure was accomplished by a rope long enough to be dogged secure when the door was shut or when partially open. The rope dog in that cellar was as old as you'd expect. The wind that night broke the dog and the door was loosed. Fortunately, the son-in-law grabbed the rope and was able to pull the door shut. The violence outside increased and it took the man, his wife, and the old widow all frantically pulling on the rope to keep the cellar door from breaking loose at its hinges. The wind shrieked and howled its displeasure.
Imagine the excitement of the moment and the story they had to tell the next morning at the bank, one of the few buildings in town that had escaped major damage. That is, until the other owner showed, battered and bandaged. The tornado had taken him for a short ride. As usual, he'd procrastinated, deciding to seek shelter at the last moment. He'd pulled on the cellar door and had it half-opened only to have it jerked from his hands and slammed shut again. The old bachelor desperately screamed and tugged and tugged on the door until the wind finally carried him off. Imagine his excitement.