Earline: Mama, I am getting really tired of raking. How much longer-
Mama: Earline- Stop whining. These people have lost so much from Hurricane Irene. The least we can do is help out with some clean up.
Earline: I know, ma’am, but my arms are tired.
Mama: And this house has a hole in the roof from a fallen tree. Suck it up Earline.
Earline: Yes, ma’am. I guess we should be thankful we were a distance away. What can other people do to help?
Mama: Contribute to the Red Cross. They have a site for Hurricane Irene relief. Also, many animal advocacy organizations and local shelters are in need of supplies and volunteer help.
Earline: Mama- why are hurricanes named for women? It seems prejudicial and unfair.Mama: Lots of people think that hurricanes were always named after women - because of our volatile nature, no doubt - and that only recently did they start alternating between male and female names because of feminist outcry. Not true.
Mama: Prior to 1950 storms weren't officially named at all. From 1950 to 1952 they were named simply Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox, George...not very imaginative, but it sufficed. From 1953 to 1978 someone (my guess a man going through a nasty divorce) decided to use only female names. Finally, in 1979, they started alternating between male and female names.
Earline: There should be a hurricane named Muscles. He can pack a punch.
Mama: Hurricanes are named alphabetically, years in advance and starting the alphabet over each year. If you get a Hurricane Wilma, you know you have had a busy storm season! The Atlantic and the Pacific have separate naming lists. I suppose we could suggest it.
Earline: How about Hurricane Mama?
Mama: Some names have been retired. When there is a particularly bad storm that has had a severe impact on the population they retire the name. Really, Earline…
Earline (hiding a smile): Well, you do seem to have a severe impact on a lot of people.
Mama: As well I should. The most difficult part sometimes is prioritizing where to get started.
Earline: So what is the priority this time?
Mama: I may go with housing. We have the people from the Olympic housing project all here, so I’ll put Muscles on the details right away.
Earline: Who was that big guy with the black stripey tattoos helping out? He carried an entire dishwasher by himself up two flights of stairs.
Mama; Oh- that was Zebrudus. He is Herr Hunk’s nephew. His nickname is Zebra. He is a weightlifter.
Earline: He could carry me away any day.
Mama: Earline- Don’t be a twit. He could bench press you with one arm.
Earline: Could he stop a hurricane?
Mama: No, of course not, but he could protect … Hmmmm… Now that’s an idea.
Earline: What? Who’s in danger?
Mama: Earline- Go back to raking, Don’t stir up my gale force .