Tornado

Wednesday was sunny and hot hot hot, and I was driving to work later than usual because I could, on the highway, from one end of Our Fair City to the other. At about the halfway mark there is brand-new digital signage for one of the many institutes of higher learning, and, due to things like trees and other obstructions, as I approached at first the only word I could see on there that morning was Tornadoes.

This is not very unusual for that particular spot, even though tornadoes are, because Our Fair City hosts a baseball farm team of that name. I’ve got to be honest, though. After the weather disasters in places like Tennessee and Missouri this year, the baseball team was not the first thing that came to mind when I saw that sign.

After Tennessee and Missouri came to mind as I carried on my way to work, my thoughts went something like this:

After a year like this one, what a dumb name for a team . . . Not that anyone was anticipating a year like this one when they named the team . . . Because we never have tornadoes out here . . . I wonder why teams try to come up with ferocious or scary things as mascots . . . they’re not opposing knights or anything anymore . . . But tornadoes? We don’t even have those out here . . . They should have called the team ‘The Nor’Easters” . . . except probably someone would have objected because the word Easter is in there . . . Tornadoes is just random . . . I bet we’re going to have a tornado.

(In case your wondering if my brain normally sounds like that, the answer is yes.)

Sometime in the early afternoon, the Man With the Eyebrow of Truth (long story–just go with it) texted me, “yay tornado watch!” Since I couldn’t view the eyebrow in question (and for the record, he has two, not one, but only one of them seems to be the truthteller), I couldn’t ascertain if the “yay” was sincere or sarcastic. I certainly didn’t feel any sort of yay about it, but I did think, What? Weird.

Apparently the Man with the Eyebrow of Truth had a nice sunny evening up where he lives, but by the time I was driving home, the sky was that impossible slate colour which is always what I imagine it to have looked like when everything went dark on Good Friday, and rain was pelting out of it like it couldn’t get to the ground fast enough, and then hail started pelting, and it sounded like I was driving a tin can and one of the hailstones was going to puncture through. I ended up pulling over about two thirds of the way home and waiting in a CVS with Oscar in hopes of avoiding the wind-monster’s path; all reports had it touching down very near my town, if not even my house.

In the end, the morning dawned and nothing around my house looked like much had happened except a lot of rain. But other people did not fare so well, and even though the casualties and destruction were nothing like people experienced Down South, still, they were casualties and destruction for the people who experienced it, and numbers don’t really matter a whole lot when you’re a person touched by it.

I’m not really one to change all the masculine references in old hymns to more gender neutral ones to make them more politically correct, nor am I into censoring fairy tales (although some of the older censorships make for delightful stories). But I’m still feeling a little weird about the name of that baseball team.

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