Blow Hard: A New Hampshire–Based Live Blog of Hurricane Sandy
1:32 a.m. Somehow, I missed all the warnings about the hurricane. I kept catching only the tail ends of the bulletins, mentioning “Sandy,” and, like any rational, thoughtful, well-informed person, I just assumed that every news outlet and weather channel had interrupted their normal programming to report on the long-awaited comeback of Broadway’s Peter Pan, TV’s favorite fill-in surrogate mother figure, and Wheat Thins’ perkiest spokespixie, Sandy Duncan. When I discover the truth of what’s actually happening, I am devastated. She’s so talented. Why hasn’t she gotten another series?
6:07 a.m. Caught unaware during my walk of shame this morning after drunkenly going home with a stranger from the bar late last night and engaging in an uninhibited, hours-long session of bean-baking, I find myself weathering the storm in the most stereotypically New England manner possible. So, here I am, cowering under a covered bridge across from a picturesque cider mill, no one but a lobster to keep me company, no clothing except for pilgrim-style shoes with extremely large buckles. Fortunately, I have enough Yankee ingenuity with me to last for two days, common sense for three, and maybe a week’s worth of thrift. After that, I’m fucked.
8:45 a.m. After deciding to brave the merciless onslaught of piercing wind and driving rain so that I can make my way home, I find myself pelted with raw cranberries, which have evidently blown here all the way from Cape Cod, without even paying the toll on I-95. So painful! And tart!
10:12 a.m. I finally make it back to my place, which is in near-total darkness, thanks to a downed power line and IKEA windows made from laminated cardboard. Fortunately, I have plenty of candles, having requested to take my recent lottery winnings in candles. Unfortunately, I have nothing to light them with. I lost all my matchsticks playing pinochle with the guys down at the VFW hall a couple of days ago. Still, I learned that kids today don’t have no respect for their elders, that those bums in Washington are ruining the country, and that America is going to hell in a handbasket. Fearing severe repercussions, I nonchalantly slid my handbasket under the table when this last point was raised. I need to get a backpack.
11:29 a.m. Having cleverly peeled all the glow-in-the-dark star decals from my bedroom ceiling and stuck them to one of my lottery candles, I’m finally able to find my gym bag. Somehow, I make it to the gym, only to find it closed. My plan to have a tub of cream cheese and a bag of Mallomars for breakfast and then work it all off on the treadmill has been completely ruined. Thanks for making me fat, storm. And now I’m out of cream cheese. I have nothing to spread on top of my cheesecake.
12:30 p.m. The cheesecake is all gone. All I have to eat for lunch is a jar of capers and a jar of maraschino cherries. I try stuffing the cherries with the capers. It’s kind of like a tapenade sundae. Or an extra-salty fruitcake, without the cake part. This observation makes me sad about cheesecake all over again. I do my best to get drunk and forget my troubles with a Shirley Temple made of maraschino cherry juice and caper brine.
2:55 p.m. As the storm rages on, I run out into the backyard to check on my most recent work-in-progress, and my worst fears are confirmed. My half-scale cotton-candy replica of Mount Rushmore is ruined. Now I know how Michelangelo felt when Pope Julius II changed his mind and covered the Sistine Chapel ceiling with wood-grain Con-Tact® paper.
3:47 p.m. Desperate, starving, and unable to finish my Lite-Brite portrait of Mitt Romney for lack of spray-tan-colored pegs, I decide to try my hand at looting. As I exit the supermarket with an armful of peanut butter, I collide with another looter carrying an armful of chocolate, and I realize what a mistake it was not to take the jars as well. I angrily accuse him of getting his chocolate in my peanut butter. He retorts that my peanut butter is in his chocolate. We both realize that it’s a total loss and head back into the store. Unfortunately, most of the good stuff is already gone. In fact, I’m unable to find anything else but an envelope of yeast and some salt substitute, which is the salt that passes out word-search puzzles and threatens you with detention on days when the regular salt calls in “sick” but is actually just hung over. When I spy the other fellow again, this time clutching a box of salt and some yeast substitute, I wax philosophical and comment upon our strange, reciprocal rivalry. He wanes philosophical and punches me in the balls.
4:51 p.m. A brief lull. Am I in the eye of the storm? I look outside. Two-lobed, hairy, a large cleft running down the middle. Yikes. The ass of the storm. This is what Doppler radar never warns you about.
8:49 p.m. I’m freezing. Desperate for something to burn, I head to the basement to see what’s in my kindling box. Fortunately, it’s overflowing with books by Mitch Albom and Dan Brown. Realizing that I’m still without matches, I try rubbing copies of The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The DaVinci Code together. Eventually, a tendril of smoke begins to waft toward the ceiling. It spreads and glows and turns into a genie, who wears a backwards baseball cap, a tribal tattoo around his bicep, and an “I Like Boobies” t-shirt. He tells me that if I close my eyes and concentrate silently on three wishes, he will grant them. In an instant, all of the Mitch Albom books disappear. Then all of the Dan Brown books disappear. Then I’m holding a cheesecake in one hand and a tub of cream cheese in the other. The genie disappears. I look down at the cream cheese and notice that it’s caper-maraschino flavored. Then the guy from the grocery store steps out of the shadows and punches me in the balls. And then, as the wind and the rain continue to wreak destruction and upend untold thousands of lives, I realize what I should have wished for all along: an athletic cup.