The Imperfect Storm

The view from World Headquarters seemed unthreatening enough this morning. Maybe a dusting of snow. Roads relatively clear.

But upon exiting the penthouse and entering what felt like Lambeau Field in the playoffs combined with 70 blow dryers set to cold blowing pop rocks no matter which way you turned, the worst storm of 2007 (which isn’t saying much) was more awful than any blizzard could deliver. The ice, or sleet, or micro-meteors…however it could be characterized, were downright painful upon striking the face and ears.


Piece of cake, Gordon.


April showers can’t come fast enough.


Let the brownouts begin!


One more reason not to move to Oklahoma, where these kind of storms are common in winter.

Upon walking sideways seven blocks to the Shipyard ferry in what felt like a full running of the Iditarod (without the dogs or sled), there wasn’t a soul to be found on the platform. On regular Earth days, the procession to Hoboken commuting royalty is usually like the line at Osprey in Manasquan on a Saturday night: It’s long, yes, but it moves (insert 7th grade sexual innuendo here). But instead, on a day with the wind chill at 10 degrees and arrows of precipitation pelting those who braved the elements, about 50 people were piled in the waiting room/walk-in closet  like some sort of fraternity phone booth pledge challenge, as it was nearly impossible to be standing on the banks of the Hudson while withstanding the imperfect storm.

“How the hell are the boats going to get through those icebergs?” one girl said to her friend as everyone tried to peer out the window into the fog to see if S.S. Minnow  would actually make it to the dock, let alone show up at all. Evidentially she hadn’t seen An Inconvenient Truth (which is fortunate) or Titanic because while there were ice patches in the water, it wasn’t exactly something to eventually force Kate Winslet to eventually whimper, “Come back…come back!”.

About 20 minutes later, a boat emerged from the mist at the speedy rate of 3 knots (give or take a knot). It was at this point when the real fun began, as aluminum walkways combined with ice while being negotiated by women walking in footwear other than boots can make for some phenomenal entertainment on a chilly Valentine’s morning.

Gasps from the crowd emerged as one poor girl went down, followed almost immediately by a second. They were quickly helped up by several good Samaritans, which is always nice to witness. The looks on the faces of those who bit it were exactly the same, like, “Why the hell did I decide to wear these shoes?” combined with “I should have married that dork with the trust fund while I had the chance back in ‘02”.

A third gal also slipped like a cartoon character (back goes out, feet up in the air)  upon entering the boat. And of course, she had coffee in her hand that ended up on the guy unlucky enough to be walking next to her. Really, these kind of viewing pleasures can’t be found anywhere on cable (although Dirt does like its nudity, doesn’t it? Courtney Cox must have been doing back flips when she heard about the “rules” of broadcasting a drama on FX. “What, you mean I can drop six “S” and “A” bombs per show and have Spice Channel-like sex scenes (no penetration) while not getting ridiculed for casting Rick Fox and Pee-Wee Herman on the same program because it’s on FX? Where do I sign up?”)

But before going off on another tangent, the ferry trip to Pier 37, which normally takes about five minutes, was more like a fifteen minute jaunt as the captain used extreme caution. After reaching the city, all indications pointed to be a very long day on the mass transit front. The absence of yellow transport was reminiscent of the cab strike of a few years ago. There simply wasn’t one to be found, let alone available.

The rest of the day was typical from there: Mocking emails from those with Blackberry’s at Hoboken pubs already on their 5th shot, a few subject headers with “Are u there?” and one invite to a outdoor party happening in May, which is cruel to send on a day like this.

So if you didn’t go to work on Wednesday and were snuggled up to some hot cocoa or a smooth cup of Bailey’s while taking in The Price is Right and Press Your Luck (NO Whammies!), be sure to get to church, temple or a mosque (we’re politically correct at the Real) , and bathe in the holy water of your choice.

…Because to be out in sideways falling ice and 40 MPH winds is one more reason to pray for an early retirement.