‘Twister’ is a cinematic staple of Generation Y’s cultural scrapbook. Every boy wanted to be Bill Paxton, fighting nature’s armpit of doom in the midwest and eyeing Helen Hunt; and every girl wanted to be Helen Hunt, the sexy, unattainable bootstraps girl following her destiny (but not banging Bill Paxton…. No one wants that). And while seeing a flying cow seems like it would be the most hilarious thing ever, let me just tell you: ….I wouldn’t know, actually.
Why I consistently scheduled my Nashville trips for tornado season in tornado alley 3 years in a row, I’ll never know. Perhaps I secretly wanted to be Helen Hunt, driving my station wagon through stagnant highwayscapes and stopping for scrapple while glaring ominously out the window at the clouds. But in point of fact, I’m scared to death of inclimate weather, so I’m fairly sure that wasn’t it. No, I’m going to go with gross negligence in analyzing a calendar.
The incident in question occurred at 4am EST, and it was pitch black and raining. The only reason I saw it at all was because there was a massive lightning strike that lit up the sky long enough for my windshield wipers to evict a second of rain and provide me a view. When the lightning dissipated, the twister just seemed like a finger-shaped grey smudge in the dark again. Five minutes later, my roadie and I rolled up to the destination town and abruptly halt. All the street lamps are out, the traffic lights are black, and tree and sign debris is littered all around. I missed a direct drop down by 5 minutes. How anticlimactic…. But at least I saw it. At 4am a realization like that WAKES YOU THE FUCK UP.
For the record, I am fully aware that while I make an entire post about this one time I happened to see one tornado 5 miles out, native tornado alleyers are laughing hysterically and throwing empty bottles at the tornado buzzing outside their windows. I’ve come to terms with them being 10x the BAMF an East Coaster like myself will ever be.