Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Mass Texodus of 2005

So I finally found gas this morning at the HEB down the road. I hate to wait in line 30 minutes to get it, and they were rationing it to $30 of gas per person, but at least I'm mobile again. I was really getting worried as to how I was going to get to work in the morning.

So let me recap Rita for you.

Wednesday: It's a Category 5 storm. It's headed straight for Houston. We're all going to die. Panic ensues. 2 million people hit the road causing mass chaos and severe gasoline shortages.

Thursday: Nothing happens except more panic. More traffic. More stranded people. I watched Ghost.

Friday: Nothing happens. Traffic lessens somewhat. People are still stranded. Someone set some buildings on fire in Galveston. Some poor old folks get blown up in a bus along the highway. I watched The Rock.

Saturday morning around 2 a.m.: We have windy thunderstorm. My power goes out for maybe 10 minutes. Other parts of Houston lose power for up to 12 hours.

Saturday: Newscasters desperately search for some sort of destruction to glorify. The best they came up with was some missing shingles on a beach house roof in Galveston. People start coming home, but there's still no gas. I go drinking.

Sunday: I'm putting off mowing the lawn, and Buck pooped in the hall. We have gas again. I go to church. An enormous traffic nightmare of people driving back into town is about to start.

Overall, it was a lot of worrying over what turned out to be nothing. The evacuation caused more death and destruction than the hurricane. However, I drove down the beltway to I-10 for church this morning, and while most everything looks the same, you'll suddenly see a broken telephone pole, a street sign bent over, or a shopping center sign knocked down. It's crazy how there can be two signs side-by-side and one is fine, but the other is twisted and bent over to the ground.

I am very thankful the storm missed us. I was gearing myself to deal with the loss of my car, motorcycle, house ... everything. I spent all of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday just worrying about how to financially deal with the losses, and how to start over. Thankfully, I don't have to.

Of course, no disaster is complete without the foolish "this may be the last time I ever talk to you" conversations. I'll admit Friday afternoon I sent an ex one of those letters telling her how much I'll always love her, etc. Of course, I meant it, but now it's just embarassing. In fact, that letter may be what saved Houston. God, fate, circumstance or whatever powers-may-be love pulling those kind of pranks on me. I think their original plan was probably to crush Houston with the hurricane, but after they saw my letter they couldn't pass up the chance to embarass me. Thanks.

Since I've got gas in the car now, I really don't have an excuse not to go mow the lawn. I can't use the "I'm conserving fuel" card anymore. I guess I'll do that ... or maybe I'll wait until it cools off just a little outside.
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