January 28, 2023

Earth, Wind, and Stretch Limousine On Fire

Gale winds on Lake Michigan and thirty foot waves on Lake Huron haven’t inflicted any damage like what the East Coast has gone through with the hurricane. But the wind coming hard off the Great Lakes serves as a reminder, and warning, that Mother Nature, unlike the generals, can open up a second, third, fourth front, or whatever she pleases. And when Mother Nature’s in a foul mood, she becomes very hard to please.

The central air and PowerPoint have seduced the leadership into believing She can be tamed. Climate control, cap and trade, click, click, and She’s submitted her power to the leadership that until an ocean of water flooded their boundaries were regulating the belch of a 16 oz soft drink. She can’t be treated like that but the leadership is like the generals in the recent Atlantic article by Tom Ricks who have been promoted out of the mud and into the penthouse. Two centuries ago Napoleon made his generals of mud. Mother Nature buried his generals in the Russian snow. This past week large swaths of property on the East Coast have been lost at sea. The leadership, these computer commandos, went down like Napoleon’s generals.

A relative in West Virginia with the nickname The Great Communicator hasn’t been in communication since the massive snow storm hit that state. Earth quakes are rattling the West Coast. I can hardly wait for Iran to get the Bomb.

On Michigan’s Gold Coast- Lake Michigan- there was a sign warning the structure wasn’t built for the public access. Proceed at your own risk. A news crew was on the beach, filming a story about the storm on the Great Lake. A photographer was sprawled out, his legs wrapped around some rocks as 50 mile per hour wind gusts and cold waves hit him in the face.

Nature understands no jesting. She is always right and the faults are with man- the generals and computer commandos. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said it two hundred years ago, when Napoleon’s generals and men were dying with his glorious dream – “Nature understands no jesting. She is always true, always serious, always severe. She is always right, and the errors are always those of man.”

The kind of risk that is warned of here is not for the urbanologists, until Katrina or Hurricane Sandy come into town. The warning signs along the roads are about deer, as if the deer obey the crossing signs. Urban areas have signs warning of dogs- the attack kind, not the lap poodle. Signs of icy roads, always helpful in the summer heat. Soccer moms have stuck signs in the front lawn warning of children- specifically theirs- at play. I passed a mother and her child riding a horse. It was a beautiful fall setting. The child was wearing a helmet and clutching his mother as the horse eyeballed me in the other lane. The latest research is questioning the need to wear a helmet, whether for riding a horse or a bike. The helmet is creating both a false sense of fear, and security.

Neither the professional photographer wrapped around the rocks, nor I with the camera phone right behind him, needed a helmet or public service announcement that proceeding another three feet was risking a very cold bath in Lake Michigan. Mother Nature was sparring with both of us, hitting hard enough to send a message that she can hit much harder.

On the beach a young woman was running alone against the wind. She reminded me of the girl in northern Michigan that I saw running home from school in a cold rain. The grin on her face contrasted with the grumblings of everyone else complaining about the rotten weather. I guess guys are never too old to get inspired by teenage girls.

Time to leave this inspiring setting for more urbanology.

The limousine driver on the side of the expressway probably began his sweet ride with a big ole grin. Cocky little snot all dressed up and forcing travelers to put wary commuter eyes on his sweet trophy limo. He cut in front of me and took the expressway exit. I got caught by the light and watched him ride into the sunset. Both of us were leaving a factory town so his ride would definitely turn heads here. No gas shortage or passenger restrictions was going to ruin his ride.

I was watching the sunset and wishing I was on the Gold Coast instead of hitting pot holes out of this factory town. A white cloud of smoke was up ahead and squinting through the windshield, I noticed a tire bouncing and rolling directly at me. A big flame shot up through the smoke. I drove around the tire as it rolled behind me and across I-75. Neither the fire or the tire were done. The tire bounced and spun back across I-75 to its rightful owner in the smoking hot (literal) stretch limo.  The limo driver jumped out, running pants on fire laps around his burning hot hot hot limo. His limo was on fire and some prized cargo (non-human) was about to go up in flames with it. He was lifting something as flames spread around the back axle and darn near the gas tank which would go BOOM! and I believe get him FIRED! by the owner of the important cargo waiting impatiently for its delivery.

The Boss Bruce Springsteen is helping the people affected by Hurricane Sandy. The limo driver can only console himself with “Stretch Limousine on Fire” by Catie Curtis. The suspense for another sunrise goes on. Take the risk and laugh.


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