Residents across South Florida are anxiously awaiting to see how Hurricane Matthew will impact their week. The Category 4 storm is currently bombarding eastern Cuba and parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti with winds of up to 145 miles per hour. Expected to make landfall in the U.S. on Thursday, many South Floridians are beginning to prepare for impact, but not my husband Tom who refuses to take the threat seriously or even engage in a conversation about possibly leaving town for my parent’s home in Naples. 

“Let’s just play it by ear,” he keeps texting me when I ask when he will hang the shutters I spent all morning dragging from our shed to the base of the windows to which they need to be adjoined. When  I tried to engage in a serious conversation about how we intend to keep our family safe last night, he only responded that the storm “can’t be as bad as people in the media want you to think it is” as he aimlessly scrolled through his phone while half-watching an episode of MTV’s Catfish. “What’s going to be really bad though is what Wikileaks is going to release about Hillary Clinton on Tuesday morning!” 

Television meteorologists like the Plantain’s own Raina Tornado Sanchez-Typhoon predicts the storm’s center will remain east of Florida’s coast, but still advises residents to panic. “The storm’s path is not good news by any stretch of the imagination,” said Ms. Sanchez-Typhoon, who nevertheless relished the excitement and drama a potentially life-threatening storm creates: “A storm like this certainly makes for good news!” 

“If you can get people excited or fearful or concerned about something then you’ve done your job as a news anchor,” said the anchorperson before verbally saying the phrase “Hashtag Prayers For Haiti, Hashtag Blessed.”

For many South Floridians, the threat Hurricane Matthew poses to the United States in just a couple of days is just starting to seem real. “I’ve been watching the storm grow in intensity and its movement get nastier and more violent for some time. I guess I was concerned with how it was really laying into all of those Hispanic and brown people, but now that it may make its way to the United States I’m really scared. I don’t know what any of us can do at this point,” said Miami resident Jason Ireland speaking in a metaphor.

The Plantain reached out to Hurricane Matthew for a response to the shock Mr. Ireland and others like him have expressed regarding his impending plans for the United States, to which the giant blowhard responded: “I’ve been clear since the very beginning folks, I said I was going to build a giant storm movement the like of which the United States has never seen before. I told you I was going to build a tremendous eye-wall, and I did it folks. They say my eye-wall has winds of up to 145 miles per hour, I think its faster to be honest, but okay. Now I’m coming to the United States, and like I predicted the entire time, I’m going to get there thanks to Florida.”

By Deborah Lee Wilcox-Hazelbaum

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