Apologies for the lack of posts this week, I’ve been really busy with absolutely nothing applying to jobs. Anyway, let’s talk current events. More specifically VOLCANO-ATTACKS. In case you’ve been living under a rock or, more likely, have been stranded in a Romanian hostel for the past ten days, a rogue Icelandic volcano has held Europeans hostage by blowing its volcanic load all over the continent’s airspace. Millions of people have been affected, the airline industry has lost billions and the price of hookers has skyrocketed overseas. If you were rich, this would probably be the best “natural disaster” of all time, as it affords you an extra week or two to rage in techno clubs and eat awesome food, unless you’re in London. Fuck London. Granted, seeing as I’m not rich I’d surely end up fighting Francesco the Milanese hobo for the best dumpster to sleep in. But that point aside, I think this is the perfect opportunity for me to unveil my first ever NATURAL DISASTER POWER RANKINGS.
I’ve always been intrigued by natural disasters, mostly because they’re AWESOME. I really want to be able to bet on when and where they’ll strike. I’d definitely wager on one striking Baltimore, that way if I survived I’d be rich as shit and could buy up all the land and become the Baron of the Mid-Atlantic. Nothing in this paragraph is even borderline rational.
Anyway, which disasters are best? Which are overrated? Whose stock is rising? I’ve decided to rate the disasters on carnage inflicted, likelihood of (my) death, entertainment and recreational benefits. Bonus points are awarded if there have been any good movies based on the disaster. And yes, I put all of these in a spreadsheet. Here’s how I rank the disasters listed on FEMA’s website:
1a) Meteor hitting Earth: I’m listing this as 1a because it’s not really fair to compare it with other disasters. It’s like putting Lebron in a pickup game at the Y. Meteor scores a perfect 40 on the rankings scale and it’s not hard to see why: Carnage- unparalleled, even if the world doesn’t explode, you’re talking tsunamis, nuclear winter and the shifting of tectonic plates- which would cause massive volanos and earthquakes. It’s truly the total package. Probability of death is 100%, unless you’re someone who could survive in a post-apocalyptic world, which I most certainly am not. Entertainment and recreational benefits are both 10s. Can you imagine sitting on your couch watching Two and a Half Men as usual and suddenly the president interrupts and says an asteroid will annihilate Earth within the 72 hours. SHIT IS OFFICIALLY ON. Widespread looting, drinking and f-ing would ensue. And of course, huge bonus points awarded in the film category for Armageddon. God damn you Ben Affleck. I could stay awake, just to HEAAAAAAR YOU BREAAATHIN.
1b) Volcano- While disrupting flights may not be the coolest shit you’ve ever heard of, volcanoes bring a lot more to the table. First off, they’re like Satan’s hurricane- they rain down ash and flaming rocks for miles and flood the streets, not with water, but with LAVA that will incinerate everything it touches. Second, they have the ability to turn a city (Pompeii) and all of its inhabitants into stone. LIKE MEDUSA. No other disaster can even come close to this- it’s like a superpower. Plus, Volcanos often have cool names like Mount Fiji and can encompass entire islands, which people somehow choose to LIVE ON. Not good enough? Well did you know that there are such things as SUPER VOLCANOES. That’s right. There are plenty of known supervolcanoes, including two in the U.S. that would ruin your shit if they ever erupted, we’re talking mass extinction. If you don’t die of the thousand-degree lava rapids or get turned into stone, the ash cloud would be large enough to cause another ICE AGE. Suck it, other disasters!
Finally, in the movies, volcanoes are always the location of evil masterminds’ secret lairs, which honestly would be just be humid as shit and incredibly inconvenient. No wonder the villians always so ornery. One final note, if you ever climb a volcano (which you can do and looks awesome), you’re obligated to throw a ring into the lava just in case it has some tangential ties to Sarumon. You never know.
Final Score: 31
2) Earthquake: Earthquakes are absolutely mind-blowing. If I was just going about my daily routine, practicing Darren’s Dance Grooves in my apartment, and suddenly everything around me started violently shaking, I would freak the F out. I’m completely convinced I would think the world was ending. That’s not even a joke, I legitimately would think that Earth was imploding on itself. This would probably lead me to impulsively pound whatever hard alcohol I have access to and start screaming about the Book of Revelations. This would be embarrassing once the earthquake stopped.
Since most buildings in U.S. cities are designed to withstand the shaking, the only lethal threat during an earthquake is falling into the cracks that open up in the ground. And that, my friends, would be the worst. WHERE DO THOSE PEOPLE GO?? Do they just plummet to the earth’s core? Do they get crushed between tectonic plates when they shift again? Is there a colony of people living in the earth’s crust as I type this?? I NEED ANSWERS!
Besides that whole thing, the entertainment factor here is pretty much off the charts. Especially if you’ve been through a few quakes before. I would definitely just smash everything in sight and blame it on the earthquake later. I used to love making an earthquake hit in SimCity and watching buildings burn, I felt like God. NOW PAY FOR YOUR SINS PEOPLE OF LOS ANGELES!…I had a horrifyingly lonely childhood.
One other amazing, albeit long-shot, opportunity during an earthquake: If you’re driving over a bridge and it buckles during the quake (which happened to people during the Northridge earthquake). Do you throw the E-brake and try to power slide to a stop just in time or do you gun it and try to jump the gap like in Speed? Either way it’s a win-win. Unless you choose option C and terrifyingly plunge to a gruesome death.
Final score: 27
3) Tornado: I had an irrational fear of tornadoes as a kid, even though we lived on the side of a mountain and my parents would beat me on a weekly basis for crying when a tornado watch was issued for a county 90 miles away. But one night when I was in third grade, my worst fear came to pass and I still remember every detail of it to a t: My parents were at back-to- school night so it was just my sister and I home alone. We were watching Second Noah, which was an awful show looking back, but I was like 7 and I liked animals. Anyway, it’s storming outside when suddenly shit pops OFF- leaves and branches went flying and the wind got LOUD, like a freight train. Sometime during this I’m pretty sure I crapped my pajamas. I ran upstairs (brilliant) to look out the window and the sky was yellowish-green and there was a fairly large, dark funnel cloud hovering like a quarter-mile away. I proceeded to crap my PJs two more times and called my parents hysterically crying. I’m convinced if this happened today, some thirteen years later, I would react the exact same way. Of course, nothing actually happened during this tornado besides some branches being blown down and my childhood being permanently scarred, but just seeing one in person was terrifying.
That’s the thing about tornadoes, they rarely cause much damage or kill people (unless you live in a trailer park in Iowa), but they are disproportionately frightening. I can’t even explain why. I think there’s a phallic aspect to it, like Satan is skull fucking your town with his massive spinning cock. Regardless, watching videos of tornadoes destroy shit is down right arousing.
Final score: 26
4) Hurricanes: When there’s a hurricane in the forecast, every meteorologist turns into Don King. They overhype the shit out of it and get everyone excited/terrified. People board up their houses and get the F out of dodge. And almost every time, it ends up being just being a bad storm and everyone feels letdown. It’s a boy-who-cried-wolf situation. That’s why, if I found myself in this situation I would use the opportunity to A) Loot the shit out of every store in town B) Sit on my roof and scream at the storm like Lieutenant Dan during Hurricane Carmen. I DEFINITELY would have died in Katrina.
Final score: 25
5) Tsunami: Overrated. Way Overrated. Tsunamis are supposed to be massive, hundred-foot waves that come crashing down on some hapless town and swallow it whole. This especially seemed like the case after the 2004 tsunamis in the Philippines, when tsunamis’ stock was at an all time high. Then you look at videos of tsunamis, and realize that the wave is really only a foot high and goes maybe 100 yards inland. BORING. If you have access to a 2-story building, you’re not even getting wet. Tsunamis had a chance to salvage their reputation earlier this year, when CNN said that Hawaii was about to get pwned by a tsunami caused by an earthquake in the south Pacific. They even went so far as to call the exact time the tsunami was going to hit. It was incredibly compelling television until NOTHING HAPPENED. Fuck tsunamis. Fuck Poseidon. And fuck Aquaman- call me when your waves are made of lava, pussies.
Final score: 19
6) Flood: It took a long time before I realized that flash floods didn’t mean that a massive wall of water was going to randomly appear and sweep me away, like when Jack opens the door on Hydra Dharma Station on Lost (NERD!). Apparently this is not even close to the way flash floods work. Flash floods would only suck if you lived in an empty swimming pool, otherwise, they’re boring and inconvenient.
Final score: 18
7) Blizzard: Blizzards are one of those things (like heroin or blogging) that’s awesome if you don’t have a job (or can easily work from home) but absolutely horrible if you do. Getting to and from work this winter was absolute torture because stupid fucking Baltimore forgot that plowing one lane of a two-lane road leads to mayhem. Worse yet, my friend Jen was stuck on the Pennsylvania turnpike during one of the blizzards for almost TWENTY hours. No food, no place to sleep. Nothing. Just sitting in the car. I’m not even exaggerating when I say there’s a 50/50 chance I would have killed myself in that situation. Blizzards are awful and need to be stopped.
Final score: 14
8 ) Wildfires: I’m kind of conflicted by wildfires to be honest. On one hand, fire, especially hunreds of square miles of fire, kicks ass. On the other, nothing really happens during a wildfire, you just hear about it on the news 24/7. Animals know to run so none of them die, trees get burnt down which is actually good for the ecosystem somehow, towns and cities have too much concrete and brick to burn down. The only people who are actually affected by wildfires are the assholes who ignore the evacuation warnings. It’s not like some pussy hurricane that’s going to flood your basement, it is a WALL OF FIRE COMING STRAIGHT AT YOU. GET. OUT. What are these people waiting for?
Either way, if I’m ever given the opportunity to fly over a wildfire in a helicopter, I’m dropping every explosive item that I own into the conflagration. Tell me that wouldn’t be fun.
Final score: 8
9) Heat: Hey FEMA, this isn’t fucking Oregon Trail, no one dies of heat unless they’re like 90. Even people in third world countries don’t die of heat. You know how many Americans die of heat stroke each year? 400. That’s less than people who die from bee stings. Are bees natural disasters? Maybe No!
Final score: 4
That concludes this week’s power rankings. I’ll be sure to update this list while I’m being carried away by a tsunami next month.