Man, just when I think that I can't be any more disappointed with my fellow man reality pulls up her skirt just a little higher and grosses me out.
We just came through a nasty Pacific storm, 7 or 8 inches of rain and up to 70mph winds made the Monterey Peninsula a semi-war zone. The wind knocked down Pine trees and they knocked out power. This was the case throughout Northern California and PG&E said that it was a record for lines down. In California we can count on these kinds of storms every three to five years, usually El Nino (El Ninyo) induced and usually in March when our rainy season kicks in. As far as storms go it was a big deal but not up there on the all-time list. I came to work last Thursday about three hours before the storm died and I wasn't expecting too much in the way of business because of the harsh travel conditions. I was honestly surprised to get a small number of guests who lived on the peninsula but we without electricity. Now over the next four days we would get more but in those cases those people had been in the dark for three or four days and that's different. No this first night the power had only been out five hours.
Five freakin' hours...
The one that got me was a lady who had an address that was maybe five houses down from the house I grew up in. She had bought the home about six years ago. I checked her in politely but my blood boiled silently inside of me. I couldn't believe that I surrendered my home to someone like this, the longest we went without power was three or four days and it was no big deal because we had a fireplace. Right now I live in a mobile home that has no heat and a leaky roof (oh yeah, baby, I get to replace a whole segment of rooftop all by my lonesome) and this person couldn't bear to spend one night in the dark in a well-made tract home in a great neighborhood. Hey lady, I will trade you right now, straight up. Unreal.
Then the next part I will add just to understand what is sticking in my craw (whatever that is), these people live in homes that average $1.5 million or more and they ALL asked if we had a "Local's Discount", which we do not. I don't get a local's discount at the Dentist or when I got to get new breaks for my truck, so the insult was just that much greater. My God, people, it wasn't like Hurricane Katrina, where you had dead bodies floating down the street and roving gangs of looters. You people chose to live in a nifty place, nifty because it's near the ocean and has all kinds of trees everywhere you look. Guess what, Sherlock? Some of the most terrifying storms you will ever see come off of the Pacific Ocean and they knock over those nifty trees. Guess what? If we get a shitload of rain the Earth starts to slide, and that means that highways could be closed for months. The longest Highway One was closed was 18 months. The Central Coast is not a place for wimps and the soft-hearted because it is a very unforgiving place. It's how we weed out the undesirables, just as they do in Texas, Oklahoma, the Gulf States and Alaska where you can get serious weather. Your character isn't judged by how much money you blew on your house but on how you roll with the punches and deal with the little stuff. Your power being out for a few days is little stuff.