Sunday 25 Sep 2016

Tornado Drill
Jennifer Flaten

Our area tested the tornado sirens, or as I like to call them ‘the scare the crap out of you sirens‘, last week. I am all for early warning for natural disasters and zombie invasions, but this particular test took me unawares. Yes, the local news did mention that they would be conducting a test; mostly what I heard was blah, blah, weather, blah, blah.

Besides, tornado-siren-test-day isn’t exactly something you write down on the family calendar. An assumption is that if you write something down on the calendar you would look at the calendar every day to see what you needed to do that day and you can guess where this is going. I don’t. I know complete surprise right?

Therefore, when the siren went off on the very, blustery rainy Thursday afternoon, I was justifiably concerned there was an actual tornado.

Okay, maybe concerned isn’t the right word, maybe I was more like annoyed. I was in the middle of an important project, no it wasn’t playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook, who told you that, actually, it was almost time to head to parent pick up.

I certainly didn’t want to end up in Oz on the way to get the kids.

Riding the tornado express to Oz is not how I want to spend my afternoon. Mainly, because I hate munchkins and arriving even five minutes late for after school pick would doom me to hearing about how I forgot to pick them up from school for the rest of my life. It might even affect the quality of Mother’s Day gifts I receive. 

I decided to check with the animals, they are supposed to be super sensitive to impending weather, right? They were all snoring blissfully away, either they are completely useless at telling the weather or there was no tornado.

Regretting once again that I was too cheap to buy a weather radio, I turned on the television. Figuring if there was a storm there would be some poor intern out in doing a live on the spot report.

After flipping around past Judge Judy, Judge Maria and Judge, Jury and Executione, a new program on Fox, I failed to find any weather alert of ankind.

You would think that the TV stations would at least put a scroll on the bottom about the siren test something along the lines of “hey idiot we told you about this last week”, but alas no such luck. Probably would have interfered with their scrolling update of Kim Kardashian's marital status, still single.

This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had a critical fail during a tornado drill. During a fourth-grade tornado drill, I was so engrossed in a game of cat’s cradle with a male classmate that I followed him into the boy’s locker room. I’d just completed my move when I realized it was quiet, too quiet.

Everyone was staring at me; I dropped my string and scurried to the girl’s locker room where I belonged. Yes, my school segregated the sexes during tornado drills; what can I say it was the early 80s.                           

I am very happy that our tornado system works and I hope it doesn’t go off again during the whole tornado season.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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