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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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See Ya Later, Alligator!....

See Ya Later, Alligator!

Iíve been watching the weather channel again and have come to a basic conclusion: People who live in Florida need to get out - permanently. That entire state is a storm magnet. What possesses people to live in a place that sooner or later is going to end up under water? Itís beyond me!

Equally stupid are television weather reporters who fly to the target areas to be in the big one. They stand outside in the rain with trees blowing behind them or waves crashing over a seawall and tell us that it is not safe to be outside. That is right before they are cracked on the head with flying debris, which gives them an even better reason to warn people to stay inside.

Some people decide to evacuate and spend the hurricane in a hundred mile long traffic jam looking for a motel that is not full of people escaping the hundred mile long traffic jam. If they get to Tennessee, we will be having yard sales along the evacuation route to take advantage of the extra traffic.

Some people defy the storm who donít even work for the weather channel. Surfers ride the hurricane waves on closed beaches. Others decide to weather it out. They overwhelm the grocery stores buying supplies like bottled water, gas for their grills, plywood for their windows and Spam for the alligators. "It isnít going to be that bad!" they declare, as a two story tidal wave rolls up behind them. "We donít want to leave our home and possessions."  Folks, you don't need a home and possessions if you are dead.

In a state with a 100% probability of being hit by a major storm, why are there more mobile homes than in any other state? And where are these mobile homes? Usually in low lying areas not suitable for building permanent structures. Mobile homes are not mobile, for Pete sakes! They are temporary structures, at best. I just donít get it! It is sure thing that they are going to blow away if a storm comes, but people continue to buy them as "low cost" housing.

As soon as the disaster is over and the state is once again reduced to piles of mud and splinters, the reporters will descend like ants to interview the weeping residents. Without electricity there is no air conditioning in the heat. Sewers fill up with storm water and back up. Looters pick through whatever is  left. The rest of the country rushes to their aid with shovels and bottles of water to help them rebuild, hopefully in time for the next hurricane.

Florida defies the weather like the surfers who ride the waves before a hurricane. They enjoy the pleasures of a tropical paradise and forget the agony of the price that is paid in loss of property and lives.  It seems to me that they would rethink the wisdom of a lifestyle begging for disaster.  I suppose as long as there are a few years to grow complacent between storms, people will forget and continue to move there thinking it wonít happen to them.

I saw only one person on television that seemed to have any sense at all. A new resident of Florida, he proclaimed while packing his car, "This is it - three strikes and Iím out of here." Thatís my kind of guy! Give it back to the alligators and move to dry land!


Copyright 2004-2006 Sheila Moss

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