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The Orlando Sentinel (subscription required) staff has too much time on their hands and has again created yet another comparison of experiences in our hurricane-drenched world.
Four weeks ago today Hurricane Charley swept through Florida, and the tropics have remained in attack mode ever since, in the form of Frances and Ivan. Can anybody remember what life was like B.C. (Before Charley)? For sure, the last month has changed our view of certain things in our blustery world.

Spare batteries

Then: Flotsam rolling around in the junk drawer.

Now: Treasure to be amassed, hoarded and securely stored.

Fuel gauge on "E"

Then: I'll fill up in the morning before work.

Now: Opening chapter of Lord of the Flies.

TV weather people

Then: Blow-dried "meteorologists."

Now: Hurricane therapists.

The fridge

Then: Modern-day convenience we never clean.

Now: Modern-day convenience we have to disinfect every two weeks.

Head scarves

Then: Worn by bikers and Russian grandmas.

Now: Worn by those who can't shower.

Power lunch

Then: Meal during which you woo the big hitters.

Now: Meal during which the electricity is working.

Charley and Frances

Then: Adorable, old-fashioned names. Think of an elderly, likable farm couple.

Now: Don't even want to think about it

Chain saws

Then: Annoying power tools that disturb your sleep on a Saturday morning.

Now: Move over cell phones -- this is the new status symbol.

Utility trucks

Then: A lumbering highway menace.

Now: We know the difference between a bucket truck and a digger derrick, and which one is needed to get the power back on where we live.

Plywood-covered houses

Then: Condemned eyesores.

Now: Home of the handy and well-prepared.


Then: Annoying e-mail that slipped through your filter.

Now: Mystery meat that makes good eating when the power's out.

Camping equipment

Then: Something to use on vacation.

Now: Something to use every day.


Then: Indispensable.

Now: Forgetaboutit. Can't put it on without lights, can't take it off without water.

Phone calls from out of state

Then: How've you been?

Now: Is your house OK?


Then: Old Testament figure who survived the first great flood.

Now: It's all about phonetics -- think NOAA, part of a Web site address you should bookmark to keep an eye on the next hurricane (

Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 9:24 PM Humor and Fun , Home Ownership , Hurricane | Back to top

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