By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf
I've been through three hurricanes, lost power for a combined ninety-seven hours and spent four deliciously drunk days wandering the streets, dodging downed power lines, and eating anything I could find that was a) warmer than me and b) didn't bite back. In the process, I have learned quite a bit about hurricane survival. So, because I am a helpful and earnest young man, I will share what I have learned with you…provided you aren't the asshole who took the last case of Bud Light from the University of South Florida Exxon during Charley.
Some people (and by people, I mean land-owners) will tell you that you need the following to survive a hurricane: a gas generator, plywood, bleach, a supply of water, candles, batteries, dry goods and a first aid kit. This is all well and good if you have a family or a house to protect, but for the average single male (renting) you really only need the following: two bags of ice and a cooler, one case of beer, a car with a full tank of gas, a carton of cigarettes and $200 in cash. You need the gas so you can leave, the cold beer so you can stay, the cash because debit cards don't work when there's no electricity, and the carton of cigarettes in case you run out of cash. (I have traded cigarettes for food, candles and porn over the course of the last six weeks.) Of all the aforementioned items, beer is the most important, so naturally, we need to spend a paragraph or two exploring its tasty grandeur.
Beer is your best friend. Without it, you will be forced to face the reality that you have no electricity, no running water and no emergency personnel to prevent you from murdering your neighbor (who has a generator and won't share). If you stay drunk enough, you can enjoy the hurricane, but beware: once the power goes out, you need to make sure that you’re buying quality beer. And by quality beer, I mean warm beer. Allow me to explain.
It's a simple equation: the beer gets cold (in the store's refrigerator), then gets warm (when the power goes out), then gets cold again (in your cooler), then tastes bad (in your mouth). After a power outage, you must make sure that you buy only beer that has never been refrigerated. This way, you will not have skunky beer. Also, do not believe any clerk when they tell you that their beer either did not get warm or never was cold before the hurricane. Hurricane deductibles are expensive and these bums will do whatever they can to make a buck. And believe me, if you're dumb enough to purchase it, they're smart enough sell it to you. Jerks. Anyway, once you've purchased your warm beer and cold ice, it’s time to find a party.
Hurricane parties are great because they combine the free-for-all mentality of a major kegger/barbecue with the gloomy proposition of certain death. If you are a man, this is an amazing opportunity for you to get laid. Women, believe it or not, get really scared in life-threatening situations and develop a longing for companionship. Drunk men, pretty much, get horny in any situation. So, during a hurricane party, everyone wins. Also, you men can feel free to be extra-bold because no one can kick you out of a hurricane party, lest the kicker-outer risk your death as a burden on his conscience.
Me: Okay, fine. I'm leaving. But if I die in this Category 2 storm, then it's on your head.
Guest 1: That's like, attempted murder, Kicker Outer.
Guest 2: Yeah dude, you don’t want him to go.
Kicker-Outer: Alright, you can stay, but if I catch you with my wife and sister again…
But hurricane parties aren't the only parties during a hurricane. After the hurricane party, before the power comes back on, and after the necessary cleanup from the storm blast, it's time for the bad meat party. During a bad meat party, you and all your powerless neighbors get as much Charcoal and beer as you can find, throw together a neighborhood worth of grills and eat risky meat until you vomit.
The woman's job during a bad meat party is to inspect each piece of meat with her upturned nose and decide what smells worthy of the grill. The man’s job is to grill and eat all the meat while the women eat pop tarts and mutter helpful sentences to each other like, “Can you believe I'm sleeping with this schmuck?”
And that's really all there is to it. Hurricanes are much like college: If you stay drunk enough, throw enough parties, and get on enough girls, you barely notice that the storm (or the school, for that matter) is even there. Remember, success is always measured in the wake of destruction.