The name game. But why?

As far as I know, we don’t name our Earthquakes. One recently occurred, with an epicenter in Virginia, and a magnitude of 5.8. The people on the news just called it a “substantial earthquake”.

We don’t name our Tsunamis, our Blizzards, Forest Fires, or Tornados. “Tornado Timmy struck Topeka, Kansas today.” Sounds silly really.

So why do we name our Hurricanes? As it turns out, that is a bit of a technicality. We don’t name the Hurricane. We name the Tropical Storm.  (I say “WE” like I am somehow involved in the process.  I can assure you… I have no part in this.)  Anyway….. if the Tropical Storm carries sustaining winds over 74 m.p.h., it switches to a Hurricane, and it keeps the snappy name.

Why the hubbub? As it turns out, a Hurricane named Irene is heading up the eastern seaboard. Irene, Irene, Irene. She is pretty close to South Carolina. I have a lot of ties in the Palmetto State. Hence, I am not very fond of this Irene. But all the worrying in the world won’t make her go away.

One of the really scary things about Hurricanes… is they only have a single eye. I want to know what happened to the other one.  Do they wear a patch? If they use an eye patch, do they talk like pirates?  Most of them are out over the sea… after all.

So far this year, we have had a few Tropical Storms / Hurricanes. They politely go in alphabetical order. In 2011, there have then likes of Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey…. and now Irene.

Who the heck names these things anyhow?  I bet the guy sits in a control room somewhere, pocket-protector in place…. glasses as thick as coke bottles…. works a 12-hour-day and only takes pay for eight…. has a Pez dispenser collection at home… yep. I bet THAT is the guy.

I mean… Hurricane Gert? (Blizzard Nestor hit Milwaukee with a vengeance…. Forest Fire Walter swept through Southern California for the 4th day in a row….. I think this naming of the Hurricanes is somehow intrinsically all wrong.)

Next on this year’s Hurricane Name List is Jose.  And with only one eye… it is just begging me to ask the obvious.

“Jose, can you see?……     …..…   …. By the dawn’s early light…..”


….. Ahhhhhhh……   Good night Irene.  Goodnight.

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