Tales from the Outback

Hurricane Sandy

While watching the news coverage on Hurricane Sandy, I’m just shocked that people subject themselves to living in such close quarters in the first place. The very concept defies basic human reason. Why adults living in a free country would willingly subject themselves to living shoulder-to-shoulder like livestock is simply gob-smacking. It’s like people of their own free-will going out and exchanging Super Bowl tickets for the opera, even-up. It’s just plain crazy.
Don’t folks realize there is land just outside the city where people did not already build? I understand the whole transportation factor, but the internet changed all that. There is no longer any reason for a ton of folks to meet in one central location for work. A huge percentage of careers allow business to work perfectly from home. Airline travel for anything except pleasure is virtually obsolete. We need factory workers to live in close proximity, but the last time I checked, this country gets all our “stuff” from overseas.
Years ago I wrote article after article predicting that small rural towns would fill up to capacity with people and nothing I’ve observed since changed my mind. For one thing, we don’t spend ump-teen hours sitting at traffic lights. For another, fun activities like driving on gravel roads, shooting stuff, horse racing or off-roading are things the common man can afford to do. We are not stuck sitting in our houses watching sports on weekends like city folks are.
When disaster strikes, the country is the place to be. Garbage disposal problems are the farthest thing from anybody’s mind in a small town during a natural disaster. When the “juice” goes out in the city, you are just plain caught in a death-trap. You don’t have the means to get food when trucks can’t bring it in, and life comes to a halt.
Here in South Dakota, we are ourselves on the precipice of a natural disaster. It literally forgot how to rain, and unless it learns fast, we will not green up next spring west of Highway 281. I would dearly welcome 11 feet of snow on the level, because A.) it would end the drought, and B.) that’s just something we should embrace by living here. People living on a fault line complain about earthquakes, folks next to the ocean complain about hurricanes and too many of us in South Dakota get worked up over snow.
Yes, snow covers up cornstalks and makes the winter feed bill rise. Yes, it’s slippery, but it’s been landing here for probably a long time. I can see detesting it in the 19th Century, but anymore there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. Under Armour cured the cold the same way that the internet cured the need to get on an airplane for business. The cold is obsolete. Facebook cured cabin fever. The advent of the freezer cured food shortages. Wintertime weather is a non-factor unless you are feeding cattle, but without moisture, feeding them is a waste of time anyway.
Unless we want to look like pansies as big as those folks on the East Coast, we need to embrace every snowflake we can for dear life.

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