Tornado Drills


By Scot Northern, Angelic Whippets

Having grown up in tornado alley, I have become used to the sirens and warnings. All night last night I watched as tornado after tornado popped up all over Iowa City and my area 5 miles north (North Liberty - a 2 stop-light town). I heard the news say that the Menards I had driven past less than a week ago no longer had a roof, and that many buildings at the University were ravaged. I still felt safe, even as the golf ball size hail covered my porch like a sheet of new snow, and the vents on my roof slammed open and closed due to the wind. As I talked on the phone, I paid little attention to the TV . . . "blah blah, storm of the century, blah blah . . . . I hear that every year.

When you see the weather man reach his finger to his ear piece and go silent as he listens to damage reports, you get a bit more fearful. But even that doesn't compare to seeing BIG bold letters on the TV screen:

"TORNADO SIGHTED IN NORTH LIBERTY!!"
"SEEK SHELTER!!"
It sends a shiver through you like no other.

Immediately, you realize that every room in your basement has a window, except the bathroom . . . which is the size of your average coat closet. You then find yourself grabbing a handful of dog treats, because you know that you have to cram a 75-pound Greyhound (Cannon), an intact male Whippet (JJ), and a Whippet BITCH IN HEAT (CC) into that bathroom!!!

What you don’t realize is that you are about to somehow go from a scene out of Twister to a scene out of a Three Stooges movie. In fact, the only difference between that moment and a real Three Stoogest movies is that I was about to play all Three Stooges.

Here is how it went:

  1.  Grab two handfuls of treats.

  2.  Peel CC out of her kennel since she thinks its bed time and raced there to be first.

  3.  Get dogs down steps to basement.

  4.  Shove dogs into bathroom. CC? Check! Cannon? Check! JJ? JJ? . . . JJ!!!!

  5.  Wrangle JJ back downstairs since the cats have now run upstairs and JJ wants to make sure they are ok . . . by putting them into his mouth . . .

  6.  Throw JJ into bathroom, and watch CC pop out since she is now convinced it is bath time and is having NONE of that.

  7.  Pick CC up and carry her back downstairs into the bathroom.

  8.  While carrying CC back downstairs, try to shove JJ off of you since he is now convinced you are bringing him his own personal bitch in heat to pass the time.

  9.  While shoving JJ off of said bitch in heat, try not to trip on the 75-pound greyhound who is now going back upstairs since he found himself alone in the bathroom and was scared.

  10.  Put JJ and CC into bathroom and close door so you can get the greyhound back downstairs.

  11.  What's that sound? SHIT! While you were involved in steps 8 and 9, one of the cats went into the bathroom and is now locked in there with the intact male and bitch in heat.

  12.  Open door to bathroom and have cat scream past you.

  13.  Thank God for having an intact male so confused over what to do that he is now frozen in the bathroom… Bitch in heat? Chase cat? Bitch in heat? Chase cat? Such decisions!!!

  14.  Shut door behind you, and arrange dogs so they stand side by side. You sit on the sink.

  15.  Press ear to door to try to hear the TV since you have no radio, and confirm that you didn't leave the TV up loud enough to hear.

  16.  Realize that your cell phone battery is about done since you were on the phone the whole night and now have no way of knowing when you can come out.

  17.  Laugh out loud as all three dogs stand before you. You swear you can hear their thoughts. Cannon: "The sky is falling!!!" CC: "I REALLY have to talk to the staff about these accommodations!!" JJ - "Bitch in heat? Chase cat? Bitch in heat?? Chase cat??"
We stayed in there for about 15 minutes. Thankfully, by this point the dogs were so tired and so cramped that the "fun" had ended.

And we are supposed to get more storms tonight. Thankfully, I think I have steps 1-17 all worked out now . . .



"Tornado Drills" Copyright © 2008 Scot Northern.
All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by permission.

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