The experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have declared June 1 to November 30 to be “Hurricane Season.” When they did this last year, I thought it was a bad idea, and sure enough, before long a Hurricane with the odd name of Arthur ambled up the east coast, messing up beach vacations. No one declares a Volcano Season or an Earthquake Season for good reason; we don’t want to encourage such things. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) doesn’t declare a Bubonic Plague Period, or Typhoid Time. The Justice Department doesn’t announce a Murder Month, or a Kidnapping Week. This is plain common sense. In the same way, you don’t put a mobile home in an open field in Oklahoma unless you want to attract tornadoes, and you don’t hang a ham in your garage unless you want to attract stray dogs, flies, or Tommy Humphrey.NOAA has even gone so far as to pick out names for each storm this year, including Bill, Fred and Sam for the run of the mill storms; Claudette for a storm of French origin; and for a fierce tempest they never want repeated (or pronounced), Joaquin. I am particularly troubled that they have chosen to call one of the storms Grace. Even if this were not the name of our sweet daughter, it would still be a lousy name for a violent storm. Why not Hurricane Hannibal, or Hurricane Hitler? Or does NOAA think we can tame the beast by assigning it a benign name? I’ve tried it. It didn’t work with Pretty Boy Humphrey.
Talk of violent storms takes me back to South Florida, where we coexisted with hurricanes (sometimes just barely) for several years. Remind me to tell you about playing ball there. Oh never mind---you have enough things to remember. I’ll tell you about it now.