In the run up to Hurricane Sandy, Floridians and residents of the Gulf Coast were probably laughing at us like how I laugh at southern cities that completely shut down and declare states of emergency the second a snowflake touches the ground. But now that the storm has hit, and it was much, much worse than we expected, people acting like pricks in the run up to the storm seem even worse now.
Let’s meet this natural disaster’s Frankenstorm of jerks.
21. Crystal toting hippies who thought this storm wanted to be their friend
There are some reasons that a person in a mandatory evacuation zone may have hesitated to leave their house when a natural disaster bears down on them. Perhaps they were sick, or afraid of looting, or maybe they have an antisocial pet that they can’t stomach abandoning. There are also terribly stupid bullshit reasons to refuse to evacuate as a hurricane approaches. Believing that this whole ordeal was a way for Mother Earth to point and wink at you from across the atmosphere is just one of those stupid bullshit reasons.
The Observer contained the story of several New Yorkers’ reticence to evacuate before the impending storm, and found one particularly crunchy lass who was super psyched for the deadly weather event.
Ms. Laurel had ventured down from her apartment on Bedford Avenue to read and reflect, to take in the scene and the energy.
"Mother Earth is so powerful," she continued. "I love to connect with her; I wanted to come down before the storm and feel the energy. And I want come out in the storm, too, and see what that feels like."
Ms. Laurel was wearing a white- and rainbow-colored knit cap with white tassels and a green down vest. She had a chain around her neck with a crystal hanging from it.
20. The irritated dogwalkers
As the storm gathered strength outside of my apartment, I kept seeing miserable-looking dogs being dragged along the sidewalk by their irritated owners. No one in the scenario was happy. Not the dogs, not the jerks mad that their dogs were dogs who needed to do dog things. How dare you have to pee, dog?! HOW DARE YOU?
19. The enslaved worker bee
The New York Stock Exchange and all city public schools shut down for a few days this week, which should have beeen a pretty solid indication that other New York-based businesses that require their workers be physically present in their offices during work hours should feel free to go ahead and shut down so their employees don’t have to figure out how to get to work in a city with no operating public transportation. But some businesses still required their employees to figure out how to get to the office on Monday, and I even heard horror stories of people who had to slog off to work on Tuesday or Wednesday! A gainfully employed comedy writer friend was picked up by a car service Monday morning and ushered to work in Midtown, leaving his wife doubting whether she’d see him return before Sandy hit. Luckily, he made it back before things got really hairy.
And poor people, per usual, were shat on. The bodegas are all still open and staffed with worried-looking clerks. The Dunkin Donuts at the end of the block is also open, picked nearly clean of donuts and completely devoid of customers. Hotel employees, restaurant workers, and nurses and firefighters, who are most likely not taking month long sabbaticals to Argentina anytime soon, were the ones stuck working during the storm.
18. The concerned Midwestern relative
On one hand, my mother’s requests that I send her frequent updates of whether or not I have drowned or eaten my cat are sort of cute. But on the other, I am trying to conserve my phone’s battery in the event that I lose power. WHICH I AM STILL CONVINCED COULD BE AT ANY TIME.
17. The overprepared
Okay, I get it, you smug Y2K remnant with a color-coordinated pantry full of cans, a secure bunker with an emergency backup generator, a closet full of brand new rugged yellow rubber shit you bought at the REI store, and a hurricane-proof wetsuit that poops D batteries. You were prepared. You took all the notes and highlighted the relevant parts. But none of this could save the power in Manhattan, or stop anything from flooding and none of this will matter when we discover that the Mayans were right. Where’s your apocalypse go bag, jerk?
16. The whining Detroit Tigers fan
I know you lost and you’re sad, but this is not the week for whining about an embarrassing sweep in the World Series. If anything, view your defeat as a blessing: no one will remember this by the time we’ve pumped the water out of the subway stations.
15. The legitimately clueless
"Why’s the line so long here?" says the guy at the hardware store to the overworked clerk. "Is there a storm or something?"
The clerk looks at him like he can’t be serious. He is.
This is an actual scene that happened this weekend.
16. The proudly underprepared
So your hurricane strategy involved a pack of Magnum condoms, a tub of Vaseline, and a bag of weed? LIVING DANGEROUSLY.
15. The bewildered, beached celebrity
Seeing celebrities walk around New York is not rare. What is rare is seeing them having to suffer through the same indignities that we Normals must endure. We saw Gabriel Byrne looking distressed about the fact that he’s in Whole Foods just like a person without a personal assistant. A disheveled and cranky Alec Baldwin was forced to walk his impossibly tiny dogs in public. This is what our exalted celebrities have been reduced to.
14. The aspiring human Nike commercials
OK, you all-weather running machine — we get that you are totes extreme and dedicated to running no matter what the conditions. But I swear to you that the gods of running will understand if you leave your New Balances in the closet for the next few days. Seriously. There is no need for you to galumph through the driving wind and rain, or trot past storm clean up without a care in the world. You don’t have cameras following you. No one else can hear DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” blasting through your iPod.
13. The goofball
This one’s tricky, because there are right and wrong ways to mid-storm goofball. This guy, jogging shirtless in DC wearing spandex shorts and a rubber horse mask? Doing it right.
But these guys, on Long Island with scuba gear and kayaking equipment and bikes? Doing it wrong.
12. The partiers who didn’t quite think their plans through
Hey, guys debating where you’re going to go for a mid-hurricane rager? YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE GONE TO THAT PLACE UNLESS YOU WERE PLANNING ON STAYING IN THAT PLACE. The thing you should not be doing during a severe weather event is leaving your home, going to another location, and becoming intoxicated and disoriented. The only successful hurricane party in history wasn’t a hurricane party at all, but a tornado party, and that tornado party was called The Wizard of Oz and was actually more of a concussed hallucination.
11. The neurotic several-days-early Trader Joe’s line denizen
I used to live in a neighborhood in Brooklyn called Cobble Hill, which, for the uninitiated, is populated mainly by successful writers and neurotic white people with kids. But I repeat myself. There’s a Trader Joe’s right there, which is usually a madhouse due to SAVINGS, but on Saturday, a full 48 hours before Sandy was scheduled to make landfall, the place was so overrun with wild-eyed Brooklynites grabbing every can of beans within reach that security had to stop letting people in and forcing them instead to form a line outside, like it was the world’s saddest, most Type A club. Here’s a shot of another Trader Joe’s line, this one in Manhattan.
Yesterday, a spy in Cobble Hill reported that the beloved purveyor of pantry snacks was closed up, with a note on the door informing customers that there was no food left there, the place had been picked clean, and their supplies hadn’t been replenished.
Psst, you guys: there are other grocery stores.
10. The cabin fever-stricken roommate
Know what’s even worse than being stuck indoors alone and not being able to leave? Being stuck indoors with a person who is driving you up the fucking wall. I totally love the guy I live with, like, sexually, because we’re getting married. But alone time is something I have always cherished, and over the last couple of days we’ve gotten really fucking irritated with each other.
I can imagine that it would be even worse if the person I lived with wasn’t a person who you can go comfortably pantsless around. Godspeed, roommate-havers.
9. The self-endangering damage gawkers
Early on Monday, Dodai caught this shot of a bunch of people gathering on a bridge to look at flooding on FDR Drive. Don’t do this. This is dumb.
Complaining about landlords is to NYC as complaining about mothers-in-law is to unfunny stand up comedians in the 1950’s. But it’s bad enough to have to deal with storm-related anxiety and headaches without having to worry if you will be stuck in a box without heat for the next several days because some jerk wants to save money.
7. The constant hurricane/blow job double entendre maker
There are a few Hurricane Sandy joke Twitter accounts, and they’re mostly awful jokes that imply that Sandy is a loud, fat lady who can’t stop fellating men. If I wanted to get hurricane blackout drunk, I’d drink every time I heard a stupid joke about how Sandy was blowing everyone up and down the coast.
Besides, hurricanes are formed by massive low pressure systems. So they’re mostly sucking, anyway, right?
6. The Instagram exhibitionist
My, oh my but that collection of liquor bottles given a whimsical filter so that it looks like it was a polaroid left in the sun in the back of a car in 1978 is charming. You must have had the twee-est disaster ever. I can practically hear banjos playing.
5. The bored sadists who hoped that there’d be tons of damage so they’d have a cool story to tell their future friends
Admit it, you sick fuck: you kind of wanted the storm to be crazy huge so that you could tell all of your friends back in Ohio or California or Arizona all about how TERRIBLE it was to live through Sandy. This is some Patrick Bateman-level histrionic shit.
4. Clueless luxury apartment dwellers
If you thought I was only going to cite that hilarious Observer piece about ridiculous people once, you’ve got another thing coming. Here’s more stuff about about how rich morons who live in tall buildings in the mandatory evacuation zone don’t feel like they have to evacuate because they want to look at the storm as it’s happening and stuff. In many cases, building owners have turned power off, locked up from the outside. No matter!
"We’re staying," Javier Andrede said, wearing a windbreaker as he made his way into the lobby of Northside Piers 1, his English bulldog waddling beside him. "There might be a little wind, some flooding, but I’m not worried. After the previous hurricane, I think we’ll be Okay." Next to him, sandbags had already blocked off the revolving door, and the entrance to the neighboring Northside Piers 2 had been totally blocked off, with a hand-written sign directing residents to use the service entrance.
Mr. Andrede said hello to Zigi Liebold before making his way inside, as Ms. Liebold tried to corral her young daughter, who was dancing around, wired by all the excitement of people coming and going with the gusts, and maybe a little of that energy Ms. Laurel had been feeling. “We’re on a high floor, so we’re not very worried,” Ms. Liebold said. “We’d stay inside anyway, who wants to be outside?”
The amazing thing was, within an hour or so, Ms. Liebold, Mr. Andrede and their neighbors would have no choice but to stay cooped up inside their luxury homes. Building management was taking the mayor’s evacuation declaration very seriously, and after 7 p.m., it would be sealing up the building, turning off the elevators and letting no one in or out. Mr. Andrede said last time that lasted about 24 hours. He had just returned from walking his dog one last time, since the pooch would also be confined to the building as well. “We’re putting down lots of newspaper,” Mr. Andrede explained.
You stupid assholes.
3. The election-focused wonk
Okay, yes, the election is next Tuesday and I know that this is supposed to be YOUR TIME, you punditzillas, but the storm is more important than how Mitt Romney is polling in Minnesota right now.
2. The obsessive pessimist
If I didn’t know any better, I’d guess that some people sort of want the streets to flood with poo from the Gowanus canal, just so their glass-half-full-of-shit outlook can be validated. Calm down, Chicken Little. There’s plenty of time for self-righteous Monday morning quarterbacking next week.
1. The smug LA dweller
So it’s 80 degrees and sunny in Los Angeles, you say? That’s a tally in the + column of the LA vs. NYC feud. Unfortunately, Los Angeles is still Los Angeles. -100.
BONUS JERK: The Monday Morning Quarterback
These people were definitely around after Hurricane Katrina, offering all sorts of useful advice for how the people in New Orleans should have acted as the storm approached. AND THANK GOODNESS THEY’RE BACK.
Ohhh, so you’ve got a solution to why this all happened, you say? Maybe people shouldn’t live in the paths of natural disasters, you say? We shouldn’t have skyscrapers built below sea level in the first place? Or maybe we should be more diligent about subway tunnel upkeep?
You know, if everyone in the whole world lived in only places where no natural disasters occurred, there would be no fucking place to live.
So, you know, fuck off.
- Erin Ryan