This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but the Weather Channel
—Tia Selyut, The Ways to Land
Tropical storms should all have Latin American names—because they’re tropical.
Rita, Gloria, Ernesto—Ok—but not Tropical Storm Thorvald. It just doesn’t sound right.
And sounding right is important: there can never again be a Hurricane Adolf, for instance, or Typhoon Jesus, not even in its Latin form Jesús.
We wouldn’t want people to have to board up their houses with spray-painted messages reading “Go away Jesus!”
Even God might get confused at that.
Mohammed, Gautama, Krishna, Moses–these have got to be off-limits too.
Even Hurricane Fidel is too edgy, too political. Especially if it started “brewing up trouble in the Caribbean” and “threatening Florida.”
Hurricane Genghis would piss off the Mongolians, which, according to ancient Chinese wisdom, is stupid.
And Tropical Storm Twelfth Imam is just asking for trouble. Hurricane hunters face enough danger flying into storms, they don’t need fatwas. Much less fatwas with considerable justification.
But the larger lesson we’re not learning is that the weather proves that powerlessness can be good. Yes, good. Because if you could choose your own weather, it would soon become like just another light-switch, boring as hell:
“I can’t hang out with him anymore—he’s always got the rain on during the daytime.”
“It’s that Gothic chick he’s been seeing—she doesn’t go anywhere without mist and fog.”
“Dark, moody people are fine, but when they start impinging on my weather, it gets annoying.”
“You have a constitutional right to your own climate, damn it!”
“Except when you’re drunk.”
“Well of course, no one wants a repeat of the Frat Row Floods of 2072.”
“Or the Oktoberfest Blizzards that same year: thousands of innocent bystanders got wet and inconvenienced.”
“Oh the fucking humanity, or whatever.”
postscript re: Hurricane Adolph (2001) for the Fact-stopo’s:
Wikipedia says: Hurricane Adolph of the 2001 Pacific hurricane season was the first and only East Pacific hurricane in May to reach Category 4 strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale since record keeping began in the East Pacific. The name was also retired due to sensitivities surrounding the use of Adolf Hitler’s first name. Adolph was the first depression of the season, forming on May 25; it became a hurricane three days later. After rapidly intensifying, Adolph became the most powerful storm in terms of maximum sustained winds this season, along with Hurricane Juliette. It dissipated on June 1 after moving over colder waters after briefly threatening land.
So I’m right.