But if you live in this world and have functioning brain matter, you'll know that a mother of a hurricane just pillaged the east coast and left many New York City dwellers without power, heat, or running water for upwards of seven days. Hurricane Sandra is all anyone over here is talking about. Something like this has never happened here, and as a result, the word "Hello" has been replaced with "Do you have power?" followed by "Can I have some of it?" or "Do you know anyone with power?", depending on the answer.
No one was prepared. We were all warned, and everyone braced themselves, but no one was prepared. I think in the back of everyone's mind was a voice that said "Someone's taking care of this. It's Manhattan." And so, people bought their candles and their batteries and made a masking tape X on their windows and bought all the booze in NYC. They gathered with friends and three separate people thought that they were original in bringing a deck of cards. No one went to work last week, and everyone was bored.
I was fascinated by the different ways in which people braced themselves. Sunday afternoon, the day before the worst part of the hurricane, I went to a local grocery store to get a few non-perishables in preparation. The line was, of course, one million hours long. I was bored in line, so I began writing down the items that people were buying.
So, behold: actual products that people checked out with in a state of panic, and the personalities that I invented.
This kept me sufficiently occupied.
Oh and go ahead and text REDCROSS to 90999 if you want to donate $10 to the relief efforts. Or, if you're one of the people that is super mad at the Red Cross right now, donate to some other relief effort. Use the Google machine.