I don't worry much about the weather. The way I figure it, I can scrounge up enough food to last me a couple days, and I have four batteries for my iPod and HTC and plenty of movies and books stored on them.
The most important thing is booze, of course, and I have lots of wine in the basement, so even if we are trapped down there for an extended period, it will be cool.
Karen worries about this stuff more than I do. "What are we going to do if that tree in the front yard goes through the roof?" she asked. That morphs into a soliloquy about how she's been after me to trim the branches for 18 years and I never did, like I'm really going to climb up on the roof anytime in my lifetime.
It wasn't until I realized that Frankenstorm could impact several NFL games that I began to seriously consider worrying about it. So during halftime of the Giants' game I surveyed the situation:
There's plenty of frozen food: sauce, meatballs, chicken soup, and that sort of thing. But we have an electric stove, and the last big storm we were out of electricity for 10 days. So I bought a couple bags of charcoal.
Then Karen informed me that the raging wind and rain would preclude any possibility of getting the grill going. Hmmm . . . what tastes good cold? Beef jerky, yeah, that's the ticket. I bought a box, and then I remembered beef jerky gives me the runs, and we won't have any running water. That's not a good combo.
There's something about staring into the face of a huge storm, about the inherent and ongoing battle of man against nature. We'll persevere, I told Karen. I'll chop some wood (note to self: buy hatchet), make a fire, and cook in the living room, I said. But Karen pointed out the last time I made a fire I forgot to open the flue and three of our four parakeets died.
"We survived Hurricane Irene, and we'll survive Frankenfurter," I proclaimed.
Actually, we survived Irene by staying at Gurney's Inn, but that's beside the point.
The truth is, as I write this the storm in still out at sea, but it's beginning to be a source of concern – not enough to do any actually work to prepare for it, mind you, but at least we should take precautions: While I watch the games Karen should go out and get pork and beans . . . pickles . . . hot peppers stuffed with prosciutto (I just really like them) . . . Entenmann's, specifically the chocolate donuts, the coffee cake, and the Danish ring. I also love Swanson's Hungry Man turkey dinners, and I figure even if we don't have electricity we can put them under a hot light until that stuff they say is stuffing warms up. And don't forget they come with that nifty little red cranberry dessert thing.
About 10 years ago we faced a big storm, I forget the name. The lights went out about 7 PM. I called Peconic Coast Grill, and sure enough they were grilling steaks and eating by candlelight.
"Let's get over there now before they run out," I pleaded.
"No, I have to go to the supermarket." An hour later Karen came back with 20 gallon bottles of water and every battery in the place. She also had -- and I'm not making this up --about 12 cans of tuna at $3.49 a pop.
You have to understand Karen doesn't get to the market much. Sure, tuna would be a sensible thing to buy for emergencies, but as I pointed out to her, no one buys LIGHT tuna packed in oil, especially at that price. I tried to explain to her what chunk white packed in water was, but she looked at me with that dazed look in her eye.
"We have plenty of Poland Spring at home, so why are we buying all this water?"
"To pour down the toilets," she said. She neglected to realize we had a swimming pool, which perhaps coincidentally was, you guess it, filled with water.
"What kind of batteries did you get?" I asked.
"Aren't they all the same?" she replied.
Finally I convinced her if we didn't go the restaurant right away I would die, because I'd rather die that eat that oily smelly tuna.
We got to Peconic Coast Grill about 9 PM. "I'm sorry, we just ran out of steaks. We're about the shut down so the chefs gave what was left to the dogs."
I'm not making this up — we actually did a story of how the chefs went from car to car in the parking lot feeding the dogs the patrons had brought with them because they didn't want to leave some little spoiled Shitsui home in the darky-warky. In other words, some snippy little mutt got a shell steak God had intended for me.
That night I sulked while eating cold leftover meatloaf with a little fungus on the side. Then I opened up a bottle of 1992 Chateau Brane-Cantenac and things didn't seem so bad after all.
See you on the other side.