Sunday, October 28, 2012

Who in crime fiction should have hurricanes named for them?

Hurricane Sandy is on the way, and I've been sealing my windows and stocking up on dried fruit and trite storm metaphors. Between that and those pesky side projects, I've neglected my crime reading, so here's another miscellaneous post to tide you over until after Sandy shall have cut its grim swath of destruction up the Eastern Seaboard and as far inland as Ohio.

1) Last year after Hurricane Irene, I put up a post about storm-related Bob Dylan songs and albums, pointing out the lyrical and historical weakness of "Hurricane." Since then, some blog or Web site has ranked the song near the top, maybe even number one, on its list of Dylan songs. I don't know about you, but I prefer that my rock and roll not falsify history or attempt rhymes like "We're going to put his ass in stir / We're going to pin this triple MUR / der on him." The record is beautifully produced, though, which may fool some people into thinking "Hurricane" is a great song.

2) An article in my newspaper today quoted a supermarket manager's surprise that many shoppers were buying perishable food, considering that the principal reason for stocking up ahead of a hurricane is as a hedge against power outages. It was a marvelously understated way of saying people are stupid*, which may explain why my newspaper did not blow up his comment in a large-type display box.

3) The week's non-crime reading is The Guide for the Perplexed. I may not believe what Maimonides seeks to prove is true, but his tools, at least in Part One — textual analysis, a knowledge of figures of speech, careful attention to the meanings of words — ought to endear him to all copy editors, since we are perpetual guides to those who are perplexed and worse.

4) Finally, who (or what) in crime fiction deserves to have a hurricane named for him, her, or it? I'll start you off with:
Hurricane Stieg, a massive blow that generates countless smaller storms but has no lasting effect.
Now it's your turn. Best suggestion wins my undying admiration.
* An alternate interpretation would have it that he was expressing admiration for his customers' adherence to the cook now, eat later school of disaster preparation.

© Peter Rozovsky 2012

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Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Well... people have to eat. And today, Brian cooked turkey and potatoes in the crock pot and he's got other food he's prepped that we can eat tomorrow or the next day. If the power goes out, after that it'll be bread and canned goods, but we have enough juice to keep the other stuff useable for the next few days. Some people have generators. Just because the power might go out on Tuesday, it doesn't mean maybe I wouldn't like a salad with dinner tonight, right?

So maybe the store manager is a bit shortsighted too. Maybe he should just shush and be glad for the extra business.

Now, the people who've left all their Halloween decorations up, their tent in their yard, their patio furniture and gardening tools outside... that's definitely not smart. :)

October 28, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Give the store manager some credit. All he said was that he was surprised. I'm the jerk who added the sardonic interpretation. In fact, I have two pounds of ground turkey meat that I will make into patties tonight ahead of the storm.

News stories about the New Jersey Shore have mentioned people taking in their patio furniture. But I quite like the possibility of people being socked in the head by windblown plastic pumpkins.

October 28, 2012  
Blogger seana graham said...

Sandy does seem like a deceptively nice name for a killer hurricane. Good luck to everyone out there.

October 28, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks. I have a bit of sympathy for my counterpart in the sports department this evening, whose name is Sandy. I'd be tempted to laugh off the dire predictions, but forecasting seems to have improved in recent years.

Perhaps we'll be able to work "Sandy" into a headline about beach erosion at the New Jersey Shore, always a concern during storms.

October 28, 2012  
Blogger Kelly Robinson said...

Hmmm, I'd like to see a hurricane named for Kinky Friedman. Think about it: Hurricane Kinky. It would be a good excuse to batten down the hatches and subsist on cigars and Jameson.

October 29, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That would be a boon for those of us who write headlines for a living, that's for sure.

October 29, 2012  

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