When Disaster Strikes, Drink Vodka

by LOLA TUCKER
edited by ANDREW HICKS

Shoulda got here a little earlier, lady. The good toilet paper is long gone.

It’s been a rough week for people who live close to the nation’s capital. An “earthquake event” this week led straight into a massive “hurricane event.” Hope you got out your ark and your paddles, folks. Hope you loaded up the animals, and battened down the hatches. Irene’s a real frog-strangler.

Here is the really interesting part. Virginia declared a “state of emergency” on Thursday. First thought in my brain when I heard the news: I wonder how late the liquor store is open. I was out of vodka, and there was no way in hell I was going to weather a Category 3 hurricane without some hooch. While the rest of the world stuffed their grocery carts with non-perishables and toilet paper, I was wondering if I should use grenadine or sweet and sour in the Serene Irene cocktail I was inventing.

(By the way, have you NOTICED how many hurricane names start with the letter I? Ike, Isabelle, Igor. And this is the second Hurricane Irene in 12 years. We should start at “Z” next year and work our way backwards through the alphabet, just for a change of pace. We can call the first one “Zazoo” or “Zippy”.)

It’s always such fun to watch the masses scramble to clean out every item known to man from the grocery store shelves. Hell, chaos reigns supreme after a half-inch of snow is forecasted in the metro D.C. area. I challenge you to find anything worth eating, drinking or wiping your butt with when a snowstorm is approaching around here. The Charmin and Angel Soft are the first to go. Arrive too late, and you will be wiping with house-brand sandpaper during the storm.

My pre-Irene shopping list was as follows — vodka for me, bourbon for my husband, club soda and Pepsi for mixers, a couple of limes, maybe some champagne for mimosas, and of course, Charmin. I didn’t buy any food, because I don’t cook on weekends, and I definitely don’t cook during Category 3 hurricanes. Hot dogs and PB&Js have sufficed just fine, and it’s great to make the Domino’s guy drive to your house during a hurricane.

As of midnight Sunday, my power was still on. I got some pre-season football in, and some booze, and I’ve been using the softest of toilet paper. I never thought I’d say it, but hurricanes can be pretty cool sometimes.

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