By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
By Jeff Balke
Dear Shaggy: Adios, MoFo.
HONORABLE SPECIAL TURKEY MENTION:
The overwhelming news event of the year (we sincerely hope, in terms of what the rest of the year might have in store for us) was, of course, Hurricane Ike.
Ike started as a storm that we were told no one around here needed to pay attention to. Then we were kinda told to watch it a bit, but no worries. Then we were told to get off Galveston OR WE WOULD DIE.
Ike sucked in a multitude of ways, providing a veritable cornucopia of suckage.
The deaths, of course. Tragedy abounded.
The rest of us, who weren't touched by death or injury, can't complain. But, being human, we will.
The Ten Degrees of Ike Hassle:
1. You lose your house. And not just your summertime, weekend-getaway, built-with-outrageous-lawyer's-fees second home, but the place you live. It's now gone, and good luck getting it replaced.
2. You have hefty damage to the house. You're now in the insurance hell of deciding whether to rebuild or write it off as a loss. There is no part of this that is any fun.
3. You have minor damage to your house. A fence down, some siding off, a little roof damage: Try getting a contractor who's not busy racking up the big bucks on major projects. Oh, and when you do, be prepared to pay through the nose. Just a little bit over the deductible, in fact.
4. You lost electricity for two weeks or more. Looking back, it doesn't seem so bad, does it? A fun interlude of getting to know your family and finally putting away the distractions of modern life? Fuck you. It sucked. The "distractions of modern life" include air conditioning and not having to go to bed at 9 p.m. And your family is probably doing nothing but a) bitching and b) asking when the power is going to come back on, so "getting to know them" is no prize.
5. You lost electricity for a few days. Boo-hoo, dude. What, did your kicky little jar of crème fraîche spoil? Did you miss an episode of Mad Men? Try living with a 16-year-old going through computer withdrawal and get back to us.
6. You had electricity, but everyone else didn't. Yes, you had to be very, very careful not to mention how funny 30 Rock was last night. You couldn't bring in a fresh lunch from home for fear of being killed by dirty looks from co-workers. Our hearts go out to you.
7. None of the traffic lights were working. Never before had we realized what an intricate, confusing, highly complicated maneuver the four-way stop was...to some people. Oddly enough, chances were pretty close to 99 percent that you would get stuck behind the grandma who would inch out into the intersection, slam on the brakes when someone on the right glanced her way, and then repeat that two-step process for oh, say, 15 minutes or so. The only fun part was watching her burn rubber when she finally just closed her eyes and took the plunge.
8. You had electricity, no need to get on the road and plenty of time to kill. Sounds good, but the airwaves and papers were filled with sad-sack Ike stories. Who needs that buzz kill? Plus, you had to put up with friends and relatives calling breathlessly from out of state to check on you, only to be disappointed that you had no real horror story to tell.
9. You had a greedy owner who idiotically waited to make plans for a crucial series against the Cubs until it was too late.
10. You weren't living in Texas or Louisiana. In which case Ike was a one-day story. But then again, that just meant you had more time to worry about the market crash, which we barely heard about.
We can't really honor a hurricane as a Turkey of the Year, but if we could, Ike would be the one. And it wasn't even the Big One. What wonders do we have in store next hurricane season?
We don't want to know. In fact, we are putting our faith firmly in the belief that 2009 will offer no hurricanes, no imploding DAs, no sports disasters, nothing that could provide any nominees for next year's Turkey of the Year.
We're sure you won't disappoint us, Houston.