Yikes

Photo by Jason Wagner.

Midwesterners are occasionally not very smart people.

I was starting to get ready to put the boy to bed last night when suddenly the civil defense alarms started going off. Normally the alarms don’t happen until after the National Weather Service has already kicked out some watches and warnings, and I hadn’t seen anything, so I posted a quick message to Facebook asking if anybody knew anything and we went about our business. It took maybe another 10 minutes for my phone to start blowing up, and even when it did, it was all “radar indicates rotation” type of stuff and no actual someone sees a tornado types of warnings. I feel like now that they’re doing “radar indicates rotation” as a threat level, we need a new word for that. Tornado warning always meant someone has actually seen a funnel cloud to me and I don’t know how seriously to treat your radar tornadoes.

Anyway, we didn’t go hide in the bathtub, and we didn’t go into the basement. I’ve been living in tornado-prone areas for 3/4 of my life and I can count the number of times I’ve actually taken shelter during tornado warnings on one hand. I have never in all that time seen one with my own eyes, and the last time we were having tornado warnings I was literally outside taking video on my phone because the clouds were cool.

I am not alone in this, mind you. This is a Midwestern thing. We are used to this shit– if anything, too used to this shit. By the time the warnings were really starting to show up, it was barely even raining at my house any longer, so we didn’t go anywhere.

So, uh, that building in that picture up there is maybe a five-minute drive from my house. It used to be a day care– not my son’s day care, but we’ve tried to get him in there a couple of times because it’s more convenient to where we live than anywhere else we’ve installed him. And it’s, uh, gone now, because tornado. Luckily said tornado was at 8:30 on a Sunday night so the building was deserted.

Maybe next time we’ll go hang out in the basement for five minutes.

Published by

Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.

2 thoughts on “Yikes

  1. Wow, that’s crazy. With the spate of bad weather recently, we got herded into the library stairwell for 15 min during a warning…while it was sunny outside. Another time, my mom called me and asked, “Are you guys in the basement?” Umm, no, my basement is unfinished and I have a toddler. I’m not going down there until the roof blows off.

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