Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tomato Warnings

Friday night, May 1st. The Boys were in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, chillin’ out in a mobile home owned by Signe, one of their hosts. They were hoping for a quiet evening – a chance to relax after a long time on the road. Watch a little TV (maybe, thought Hudson, catch a glimpse of his new BFF Ellen DeGeneres), do some work on the computer, have some dinner, snuggle snuggle.

So much for best laid plans.

About 5 PM a warning crawled across the bottom of the TV screen … Tornado watch for the following areas … . A few minutes later the weatherman broke in and anxiously announced there was a tornado warning and that a funnel cloud had been spotted in White Hall, just west of Reynoldsburg.

If you’re in Reynoldsburg in a mobile home, evacuate now!

The weatherman looked right at them. He was insistent. But the weatherman was miles away in a studio with thick brick walls. Luke, Hudson, and Murphy were in a trailer with nowhere to go and no way to get there. The Boys had no transportation so they couldn’t drive away.

By now, Ellen was the last thing on Hudson’s mind. He could hear the thunder rolling towards them and he was visibly shaking. He wasn’t at all sure what tomato warnings were or why anyone would need to be afraid of a funnel. But he’d seen The Wizard of Oz at least a half dozen times and knew exactly what happened to dogs when they got sucked into a storm. He wasn’t having any of it – no yellow brick road, no Munchkins, and no man behind the curtain for him. So he twittered a worried tweet to his friends: Dere Dairy, big storm. whether said tak covr watch for tomatoes. Lots of noise. I was shakin. Will nevr lok at a tomatoe again! Murphy, the smart one, wasn’t too pleased either. He knew vegetables weren’t about to rain from the sky, and that Papi would never let them get sucked into a storm, but he wasn’t convinced that a trailer was the best place to be. Being the smart one, he’d heard that God hates mobile homes, and he wasn’t about to put it to the test.

The rain was coming down in torrents and the wind was kicking up. Hudson was shaking. The trailer was shaking. Even Murphy was shaking. Luke had leashes on the Boys in case they needed to make a fast escape. But where would they go?

Where WOULD they go?

They wouldn’t go anywhere. They’d hunker down and face their Fate. They’d Puppy Up!

And that’s just what they did.

Luke held Hudson under one arm and Murphy under the other and gradually they calmed down. The funnel clouds never formed into tornadoes – or tomatoes – and eventually the trailer stopped shaking too. In 30 minutes the rains had slowed and the weatherman came back on and cheerfully downgraded the alert to a thunderstorm.

The trailer stood its ground and so had The Boys.

And this time – this time – God had looked the other way.

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