Sheltered Islander: Ready, Set, Panic on the Island

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Be prepared! Photo: _ba_/iStock/Thinkstock

“Joe, I was thinking……”

“Let me guess, you pulled a lobe?”

“No, Joe, be serious. I was watching a show about preparedness, what with global warming and moving tectonic plates, we gotta be ready for anything you know.”

“You gotta stop watching that National Graphic channel, Louise. I got the cable package so that you could hopefully watch cooking shows and I could catch all my games. If you gotta watch educational stuff, watch how penguins mate or something like that. Preparedness sounds like it could cost me money.”

“They said we should keep two large bins outside with enough supplies to take care of ourselves for two days, away from any structures that could fall on us.”

“That’s in case of an earthquake, Louise. There are no earthquakes on the East End, they could never get any town board approval.”

“And they said we should review our insurance policies to be sure we are covered for all Acts of God. You know, like when a tree branch falls on a roof.”

“Louise, all Acts of God compensations are subject to the interpretation of the on-site Claims Adjuster. It’s a little known fact that being an atheist is a job prerequisite for all Claims Adjusters.”

“I don’t think that’s true, Joe. All damages from nature could be considered Acts of God. If they deny one, they could deny them all.”

“And thereby be promoted. My God, Louise, I think you’re catching on.”

“Well we should at least have a good escape route planned out.”

“Escape to where? The ferries don’t run during disasters. The only escape plan is to the school gym by way of the liquor store.”

“Oh, Joe, you can’t bring liquor into the school.”

“You’d better bring liquor to your school gym during your friendly neighborhood disaster. Everybody will be jammed together, kids crying for toys, women worried about cats, men worried about whether they remembered to lock their tool sheds. You’ll be trying to remember if you turned off the stove. And teenagers will be forced to resurrect the forgotten skill of speaking to, not texting, other people from whom they want to bum cigarettes or booze. Trust me, Louise, sangria equals sanity.”

“Now that you mention it, what about the kids? How could we get them to leave their friends’ houses and come home without a big argument?”

“Why would we want them home with us during a disaster anyway? Wherever they are, we know they’re on Shelter Island. They’re eating some other parents out of house and home and whining that the power outage is keeping them from playing video games. Shut up and count your blessings, Louise!”

“What about the boat, Joe? How do we keep it safe?”

“Louise, we all secure our boats as best we can, the rest we leave to St. Brenden the Navigator. I have his medallion nailed to the dashboard.”

“But Joe, we’re not Catholic!”

“All sailors know that St. Brenden is an equal-opportunity non-denominational saint, like St. Patrick. St. Brenden sailed with Columbus and Magellen, if he was good enough for them, he’s good enough for me. Besides, the boat is only 18 feet long. I can bungie-cord it to the dock.”

“What about our clam bed? Could anything threaten that nice big clam bed we found?”

“Don’t worry, honey, I’ll take the boat anchor, buy some extra bungie cord, and I’ll stick Tommy out in the clam bed with his BB gun.”

“Joe, don’t be stupid. People might see him there and know where the clam bed is.”

“You’re right Louise. I’ll have him dress in his deer-hunting camo.”

“Okay and give him a cell phone.”

“A cell phone, right.”

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