Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 23, 2003

According to a newspaper account the city will refund, if you can prove the expenses, any amount paid for city permits to repair damages caused by the friendly capricious hurricane properly named for a woman. Isabel picked her spots for wickedness and at times appeared almost benevolent, providing endless cords of firewood and exercise for all persons able to handle chain saws or a broom rake. I saw war zones in Europe that didn’t look as bad as the road through our subdivision. But thanks to mind and muscle there is nothing left to see except angled stumps pointed skyward like mortars. It is amazing how few major roots appear to have anchored them to the ground. If you intend to rent a stump grinder figure on 2005, about the same time Haynes will start charging payments and interest on bedroom furniture purchased during their fantastic sale.

Don’t you just love those ads? Not just Haynes; everyone is getting in the act of lulling you into sleepy time, creating the impression the product you buy will still be functional two years from now when your payments start. Another term I’ve come to suspect is &uot;below invoice.&uot; Obviously the dealership and salespersons have generously donated their profit and commission. I think this is wonderful for some young people who can wear out a car in two years and then prove bankruptcy. I’m tempted to finally part with my 1995 Buick and I would except that I still can’t find fault with it. And I couldn’t stand to drive down Main and see it looking forlornly at me from one of the plethora of used car lots. Now out in the glaring sun or nasty weather after being housed in a nice carport for eight years next to its good friend and companion, my lawn tractor. There should be an organization like PETA for automobiles.

You hear about people cemeteries sometimes being allowed to be rundown, weeds and grass so thick you can’t find the memorial stones. They should be screened from public view like car cemeteries are supposed to be. What could be greater testimony to American extravagance and neglect? Human bodies and automobiles are expected to hang around after death so parts can be taken from them that other humans and cars may live. Several brain-dead Buicks contributed vital parts to mine. It seems reasonable when you consider that a human body can, and probably should be, reduced to a small amount of dust, and cars crushed to a lump of metal. Look around you at the vast amounts of land that could be better used by greedy developers to build &uot;cluster&uot; communities. And it won’t be too many years before it will be necessary for the green part of cluster communities to be used as cemeteries, or junk car lots. UDO is working on it.

Email newsletter signup

Isabel, Isobel, Izerbel, depending upon whom you are listening to, was great for business and hardware stores did very well. Batteries that had been on display since Christmas went as fast as flashlights and lanterns. Bottled water, only God knows where it comes from, sold by the case as did canned goods and other forms of edibles that required merely opening the package. Home Depot was wise enough to order a large quantity of chain saws when the storm was first seen leaving the coast of Africa. Ice became a commodity worth far more than soybeans. If you bought bags of ice you also fell heir to bags of water far less expensive than the bottled stuff. As barbecue grills fired up, the propane business hired more people. Purchasing gasoline during days two and three led to many folks getting acquainted at the gas pumps, some exercising their middle finger.

Anyone selling small trees will cash in by those wanting to replace their losses. I’m sorry that many citizens will not live long enough to enjoy shade from trees that can be trans-ported home in the trunk of a car. And they better get guarantees with their purchase; I’ve seen burlap wrapped root balls so small I’m convinced some nursery growers believe in miracles. Not only were there thousands of power men in town, claim adjusters from dozens of insurance companies were circulating with their lap tops and cameras. It was the first time I met anyone from the company to which I have sent thousands of dollars over the 30 years since I signed on. The first picture he snapped was the obvious damage to my Buick but I was honest and told him it was that way before the storm.

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be contacted via e-mail at