On Hurricane Laura.

Hurricane Laura is coming. To be more accurate Hurricane Laura is here, if by here you mean there and if by there you mean Louisiana, one of the more delightfully named US states. Hurricanes are always given names, perhaps to make them seem more human, but also because saying you survived Hurricane 3772F doesn’t have the same ring to it. Hurricanes of yore have had a very mixed bag of names: Keith, Isidore, Fabian, Dennis, Wilma, Gustav, Otto, Irma, Igor and, for some reason worst of all, Noel. You could almost get over your house being demolished by a Mitch or a Paloma, but a Noel? What’s key is that when it comes to Laura well that just seems like a really decent name for a hurricane. In fact I’d go as far as to say that Laura is a magnificent name for a hurricane. Hurricane Laura is the sort of hurricane that’s going to make you feel the pain and show you who’s really in charge, and the one over there is one of the most powerful seen in the Gulf of Mexico for a long time. Some prat has described the impact of Hurricane Laura as “unsurvivable”, which apparently is a word but doesn’t look or sound like it should be. And surely you can only call something “unsurvivable” after the event which nobody has survived: we live in an age where even hyperbole had been hyperbolised.

Moving on, I’m here to tell you that though a Hurricane Laura can be quite hard to handle it is possible to survive one if you know what you’re doing. All you have to remember is that for 99.99% of the time Hurricane Laura is just a gentle breeze, tickling and playful, a soft pulse of positive energy, warm, generous and giving of life – the kind you’d want whispering in your ear as you take a nap in a sun dappled forest clearing as the squirrels giggle and the bluebells ripple in unison. Usually Hurricane Laura is as fine a thing as you’d find in all the universe. Until something goes and pushes her too far and almost from nothing she becomes a force of nature that even nature gets a bit scared of. We don’t really know what kicks her off but it’s usually the accumulated idiocy of Typhoon Twat, a band of hot, daft, almost pointless air that she usually hangs around with on the other side of the Atlantic. Typhoon Twat will prance up and down and side to side, restless and mocking, moaning endlessly through the shrubbery until whatever it is he’s doing he’s done too much of it and Hurricane Laura decides it’s time to make herself known. There isn’t much point battening down the hatch: you reap what you sow.

And moving back, soon enough Hurricane Laura, the one in Louisiana that is, will blow herself out but for the many Americans cowering under mattresses and in damp, claustrophobic basements, hand in hand with their loved ones, knuckles white with fear, every second will feel like an hour and every hour like a lifetime they’ll never want to go through again. I expect there are some quite God fearing people down there in Louisiana, the kind of people who were sort of looking for a break after the year they’ve had so far. They must keep praying and trying to keep the faith and it must get hard but then if they do survive they can just ease the pain by telling themselves the hurricane was a test and that God delivered them from death, so He’s really quite a nice chap after all. Whatever happens I hope the people over there do survive the “unsurvivable” and then if they’re sensible I might advise that they move to a part of the country that doesn’t get hurricanes, only unfortunately in America they just spend their time dodging one natural disaster after another: from earthquake to drought and twister to blizzard; it must be God’s testing ground. Meanwhile over here we’ll just carry on dealing with our own little hurricanes, the ones close by; the kind that happen very rarely but when they do it’s usually for a good reason. All hail Hurricane Laura.

G B Hewitt. 27.08.2020

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