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After nine days without power following blowhard Ike’s dance into town, life on Contessa’s island was a lot like Gilligan’s. Okay, the closest thing to a Ginger gown was my Elvira halloween costume, circa pre-Pinot and Grigio.  

And The Big Guy surely isn’t the Professor. That guy could whip up a ham-operated radio out of two coconuts and a palm frond. The best thing The Big Guy could do was eke out five minutes on our hand-crank radio.

Gilligan could always find entertainment, whether it was listening to Mary Ann whine or dusting off Lovey’s jewels. Our castaways had to make do watching Contessa squeeze into that Elmira costume and laying bets on who could turn the most cranks on the radio in a minute.

Just like a boy scout she once kicked in the ass for trying to help her across the street, Contessa came to the Hurricane party prepared. Even so, she learned a few things:

1) Those two red and green globs that started out as Christmas angels can light up a bathroom for three full days and a half-dozen butterball turkey-scented votives cover up dank, musty odors for nearly a week. Need to find that emergency roll of toilet paper you hid under the sofa? Fourth of July sparklers work just fine.

2) I know now what it must be like to drift off to sleep in the Indy 500 infield while dozens of cars roar around my head, thanks to our neighbor’s generator. I’m glad they located it right under my window, too. Saved me from plunking down money on Ambien. A little whiff of Carbon Monoxide goes a long way toward a good night’s sleep.

3) Car batteries charge everything from Pedi Paws to coffee grinders. After a day scrubbing The Big Guy’s undies in the sink and whipping up peanut butter/tuna fish casserole in a can, there’s nothing more relaxing than a relaxing manicure and a cuppa Starbucks.

The biggest tip to keep in mind during emergencies? One bag of FEMA ice can fill a standard toilet and cool down two bottles of Chardonnay. Drinking only Cab and Merlots for more than a week is uncivilized.


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