Robins are often credited with heralding the arrival of springtime, but here, in my little corner of the world, we rely on a more persuasive indicator: tornado sirens. And last night they went off, deafening the citzenry with their bloodcurdling lament — twice. Within 30 minutes. Followed seconds later by a dire warning from my cellphone — take shelter now.
It’s official, boys and girls, spring is here!
But keep your hat on. There is no tornado, there never is. Well, that one time, but that was an aberration. A funnel cloud just dropped out of the sky one November afternoon and flattened a sizable area, scattering family pictures and bank statements and roof shingles from one end of the state to the other. The tornado sirens and my phone went off that time, too. They go off so often I don’t regard them as credible. I regard them as entertainment.
When these storms don’t pan out, and they so scarcely do, the weather people wipe their powdered, untroubled brows dramatically — phew, we dodged that bullet. What bullet? It wasn’t even windy. And those same weather experts, the ones who constantly interrupt programming to assure us they’re tracking the path of this wicked storm relentlessly, don’t have a hair out of place or a wrinkle in their clothing. Right-oh. They’re snatching a little extra airtime is all.
Now, watch, tonight I’ll be sucked into a gaping black vortex as I sleep. Fair enough, but guess what, Toto. I won’t be in Illinois anymore.
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