Archive for August, 2008

A library, a storm, and a friend

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

We have been getting a lot of rain lately.

Today I went to the library. I usually go to the library to check my email, and to see if they have any new books to check out. They had several new books, one was on natural disasters, with descriptions, statistics, and pictures. I was reading about an earthquake in Alaska, when a voice came over the library intercom.

Library Intercom: The national weather service has issued a tornado warning for our area. Could everyone in the library proceed to the basement, please?

I looked outside, and it was dark. Then, I heard a siren going off outside the library. You know, the kind that you hear at noon, when there is a tornado, or somebody thinks nuclear war is about to happen.

Down in the library basement there were books, computers, desks, library visitors, and librarians.

Librarian: Ok, everyone please remain calm. We have everything perfectly under control. The tornado warning will probably be over in a few minutes. I repeat, everyone please remain calm.

It looked like everybody was already calm. But, when the librarian said “everyone please remain calm,” I wondered if there was something to be not calm about.

Then, some kids rushed down the stairs into the basement.

Kid One: It’s getting real dark out there. I think there’s a tornado coming.
Kid Two: If a tornado touches the library, will the whole building get sucked up into the sky?
Kid Three: No, the library is full of books that weigh a lot.
Man With Hands In His Pockets: This reminds me of the time back in ’74 when my trailer was hit by an F5 tornado. Picked the trailer right up and carried it five miles away and set it down in the community swimming pool. I was hiding in the well pit when it happened.
Librarian who Slouches All The Time: I don’t think there’s going to be a tornado. I just looked at the weather radar on the internet and it doesn’t look bad.
Lady With Frizzy Hair: Well, I hope there isn’t one. I left my car outside in the parking lot and its full of notes for the book I’m writing. I came to the library to research my book on how to get rid of head lice–I’m writing page 472 right now.
Large Lady in Chair: Are we all going to die?

Then the lights went out. Now, I could just hear voices.

We’re all going to die!
What are we supposed to do if there is a tornado?
I heard that you are supposed to put your head between your knees, hold onto something solid, and count to ten backwards.
I heard that tornadoes sound like freight trains.
I heard they sound like fog horns.
I heard they sound like millions of lost souls crying out in pain.
Nobody knows what a tornado sounds like because everybody who has ever been close to one is dead.
We’re all going to die!

I think some people enjoy making other people scared. Here is a picture of the lady who said we are all going to die. It was dark, but this is what I imagine she would have looked like.

Librarian Who Slouches All The Time: It’s ok, we have light now.

Then a little light went on, it was a lantern and the Librarian was holding it. Guess what happened next?

You know how you can see someone and think you recognize them, but you can’t remember where?

Me: Ummm, do I know you?
Lucy: Oh, Kevin! You were at the wedding in Paris!
Me: Lucy! And you were at the top of Notre Dame!
Lucy: What are you doing here?
Me: I live here.
Lucy: You live at the . . . library?
Me: No, I live in this town.
Lucy: Oh, yes, of course. I live in this town too.
Me: Well . . .
Library Intercom: The National Weather Service has canceled the tornado warning for this area. You may now return to your regular activities at the library.
Lucy: Oh, it looks like the storm is over.
Me: Maybe the rain has stopped. Would you like to come outside and look at my new scooter?