The year was 1977. Young Frolixo was finishing up tending the crop on his Pa’s rural Michigan farm when the sky began to turn dark. He was only two years old but already he was an invaluable resource. His skill at farming was unparalleled for his age group, and his shock of red hair kept the crows away from the delicious produce. Ominous clouds began to gather as the animals in the barn whistled and squealed in fear. Pa called out to young Frolixo to come hither to the cellar, but he was a foolhardy lad, and instead ran towards his favorite piglet Norman to save him from the sudden storm. Then the tornado swept down on the farm in a sudden fury destroying everything in its path. The farm was gone, Norman was dead, and Frolixo was changed forever.
This is the story of one man fighting against the immeasurable odds of nature in a triumph of the human spirt, and of the woman that loves him.
Day 1: This is my captain's log that I will be updating throughout this five-day adventure that will make storm-chasing history. I plan to keep a record of the events as they unfold with the integrity and honesty that you would expect from a serious tornado hunter like myself. Actually I’ve never personally hunted a tornado, but I’ve been watching a lot of weather channel specials and saw the movie Twister four times. I think I’m ready to tackle the challenge.
To allow for my five uninterrupted days of tornado tomfoolery, I asked for a week off of work, although I don’t have any vacation days left because I spent them staying home in my underwear and playing PS2. My boss asked why I needed the days and I told him it was to protect the innocent people of the Midwest against the tyranny of extreme weather behavior so he said no. This put a huge crimp in my tornado hunting expedition, so I told him that I hope a tornado hits his mother’s house and then he fired me. Oh well, more time to hunt tornados!
I won’t be alone though. I called upon my already formed “Midwest Internet Ghost Hunters Club” and simply changed the title to Midwest Internet Tornado Hunters Club. When we assembled on this first day I didn’t tell them that we would be chasing tornados instead of ghosts because I was afraid they might leave, and also Josh “Livestock” Boruff, who heads the Indiana chapter, is horribly allergic to tornados and other extreme weather conditions. Despite this obstacle, the meeting continued as planned and I told them we would be hunting in a low depression area of a storm front that was sweeping across the middle of Michigan. One troublesome member asked why we were hunting for ghosts in such a large area instead of one location, so I asked him to come with me to the back room where I hit him over the head with a tire iron and hid his body in the laundry hamper. I told the rest of the crew that he went home sick, and we started our hunt.
We first had to plan our attack, so we gathered at a local bar and sat at a corner table going over the maps and weather reports while enjoying some cold beer. The reports and maps were really confusing and hard to read after drinking a lot so we just played some music on the jukebox and got a few more rounds. We had a blast and ended up drinking all day long and into the night. After agreeing to meet the next day, we stumbled to our cars and headed home to pass out. But a horrible thing happened to me! I was pulled over by a really mean state trooper who arrested me and I was charged with a DUI. My parents had to come and bail me out and they told me that I couldn’t use their mini-van, which I dubbed “Dragon’s Spire”, to chase tornados in and that if I didn’t find a job soon they would kick me out. I am so fucking pissed at my mom right now that I want to slash her with my decorative katana sword.
This is what tornados look like in my dreams.
Day 2: We ended up having to use Livestock's Neon but it only holds 3 ½ people so we had to put a few in the trunk. We nicknamed his car "Bold Conquest" and geared it up for some storm chasing action. Before we left for the day I tried making a Doppler radar out of a muffin pan and an electric scooter, but I wasn't sure if it was working correctly and I think it may have given the team cancer. No matter, we would use our natural ability to smell storms and track them the old fashioned way. We were headed for central Ohio to snag a storm that was looking like it was going to get ugly.
Once we were in Ohio sitting in a cornfield with binoculars, questions began to be raised again about why were looking for ghosts in the middle of the day in a cornfield. It was getting more and more difficult to keep them in the dark about the tornado thing, but for now they were content with the tale I told them about the ghost farmer and his haunted tractor that only comes out at harvest time. The huge problem was that the storm front blew over and it was a bright and sunny day. I had a feeling that there would be no tornados today so I called it off. We ended up going to the DQ on the way back and I got a Reese’s Pieces Blizzard.
Day 3: I felt that if we were going to catch a tornado within the 5-day timeframe allotted, I had to grab the lemur by the tail so to speak and do some more research with some storm chaser videotapes. It seemed that trailer parks were the primary focus of most tornados’ fury, probably as punishment from God. I decided to take the crew to a trailer park and stake it out for the day, to use it as bait if you will, and wait for the tornado to come to us.
After a few hours of sitting in the car in the trailer park, the rest of the team started to get a little restless and the people in the trunk were screaming to let them out so they could breathe. I opened the trunk and an official Midwest Internet Tornado Hunter's Club crisis meeting ensued. They accused me of wasting their time and money and that they hadn't found any paranormal activity since day one under my leadership. I listened to all the charges leveled against me concerning my incompetence and misuse of the club's treasury with a calm and reasonable demeanor. Once they finished I retorted in my personal brand of dealing with this sort of problem. I fucking Kung-Fu'd all their asses with chops to their necks and spin kicks and sweep kicks. After they all lay battered and bruised on the ground, I asserted myself as their undisputed leader and stated that I would not tolerate such disobedience again. We got back in the car and waited for the tornado.
Soon the occupants of the run-down trailers started to get curious. Grubby weasel-faced children threw stones at Josh's Neon and we were forced to flee to another area. We watched a drunken couple waddle out of their trailer and scream at each other. Then the woman started beating the guy with a TV remote and fell into the BBQ pit and passed out. I was happy because the team was satisfied with this spectacle, being much more strange than a ghost encounter, but I was also very upset that no tornado had struck the trailer home. Was I to go home defeated once again?
Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, the cops came and started questioning us. I guess some of the residents thought we were dealing drugs or something, because they searched us and the car. We were in quite a pickle when they ended up finding a pound of heroin underneath Livestock's seat. He said it was for his sick grandmother but the train tracks on his arms told a different story. We were brought into the station and charged with possession with intent to distribute. Josh was kicked out of the club for violating rule number 27, line 4 on the charter, "If you have drugs, you must share them". This presented another problem; with his Neon impounded, how would we chase storms in the next few days? While I pondered this, my parents bailed me out again and put me up for adoption. I hope I get adopted soon because my parents are being dicks!
Moons Over My Hammy.
Day 4: Enough fooling around, it was time to get serious. If I didn't get a tornado by the end of this hunt then there was no way I could return to my homeland in honor and would have to commit seppuku in a cornfield. I spent all last night crafting a few custom made tornado hunting tools that I think will give us an advantage over all the other storm chasers in the area, including the evil factory team that ride in black SUVs and listen to loud Swedish death metal. The first one is an invention I like to call the Tornadoscope Rastirizer, and includes a pinwheel, a jar of glow-bugs, and a fat free ice cream sandwich that I consumed while building the product. The other thing I built was a tornado trapping device called Twist N' Shake, and it consists of two ropes and a harpoon to catch rogue tornados and incapacitate them. I left that morning to rent a car, find some storms, and kick some ass.
The Midwest Internet Tornado Hunters Club assembled at the local Denny's to discuss the game plan. I had my regular, an order of Moon's Over My Hammy with extra ham. We sat there for a few hours drinking coffee and going over the maps of Indiana where there was a predicted storm front coming in the next day that had the potential to produce very violent weather and quite possibly a tornado or two. We got the bill and started to pack up, but then realized that we were short of the total by a wide margin, and none of us had valid credit cards on us.
This was very bad so we decided the only course of action was to skip out on the bill by jumping out the bathroom window. I just went on a diet so I was hoping I wouldn't get stuck like I did at Red Lobster when I tried to get off without paying but they had to call the fire department to free me and I made the local news as "Stupid Idiot of the Week". One by one we filed into the bathroom, only to find out that there was no window! When we came back out the manger was waiting with a burly cook that looked like an ape with an apron. I pulled a pack of bottle rockets that I keep in my pocket for emergencies like this and lit the row of them. Everybody ducked for cover as the wick burned down and I aimed it towards the aggressive Denny's employees. Unfortunately I didn't notice I had them pointed the wrong way and I ended up shooting myself in the face, upon which I collapsed and lay motionless on the ground. The police were called, and I ended up getting bailed out by my parents again. They kept telling me that they sold me to a Mongolian seal hunting company in Antarctica, but I think they were just trying to scare me. I wish they would get off my back.
Day 5: Probation be damned, today the club is headed to Indiana where a major storm system is about to develop. We loaded up the rental car that was supposed to be back at the agency that morning and headed out. I had to take liberties in the name of science. If we could be successful in our tornado hunt, then who knows how many lives we could save. We might even get a medal of honor and get bridges and streets named after us. As I daydreamed about these visions of grandeur, I accidentally hit a child that was skateboarding across the road. The skateboard was fine but the child couldn't walk and we had to flee so I wouldn't get in trouble once again. There was no way the fuzz would put a stop to my plans this time.
Tornados in the 50's were really mean and they were also racist.
Once in Indiana, we stopped by a rest area and got the latest weather report. Things looked good, very good. This storm was going to be a doozy and it was my big chance to catch an F5 twister. We waited around the rest area eating from the vending machine until the sky became an off green and everything was oddly still. It was time for action!
We hopped in the car and drove into the storm. Right away we encountered downed trees, power lines, and debris everywhere. Then we saw it on the horizon. A massive black tornado that must've stretched a mile. The rest of the club started to freak out and asked me to turn the car around. I finally had to tell them that we were now the Midwest Internet Tornado Hunters Club and we were no longer hunting ghosts. I was surprised how upset they got at me, and I was forced to stop the car and let them out. No matter, I would continue on the chase by myself. If they were too chicken to face nature then I didn't want them in my club. I drove towards the black beast gritting my teeth and determined to catch it. There was no getting away from me this time.
As I got closer it started to get really tough to drive. I didn't know it would be so windy! I just had my hair done the day prior and now it was a total mess. The Tornadoscope Rastirizer was spinning off the charts and the shrapnel and debris smashed into the rental car and a huge wheat thresher almost landed on top of me. It was awesome! But then it dawned on me: I never planned what to do once I caught a tornado. I didn't bring a camera with me and now that I've seen how big it is, I realized that my rope harpoon wouldn't work. There was no choice but to try to turn my car around and flee. But it was too late! My car was lifted off the road and I was sucked into black oblivion.
Epilogue: I am in the hospital and have two broken legs, and two broken arms. The nurses here are real nice, but once I get better they will be transferring me to a maximum security prison for some "criminal" activities that I supposedly engaged in over the past week as well as violating my parole. My parents actually did sell me to a Mongolian seal company in Antarctica, but they said they don't even want me now because I'm damaged goods. The club came to visit me in the hospital and I was touched at the camaraderie they showed me. We all agreed that once I get out of jail the club will be changed back to the investigation of paranormal activity instead of tornados. After they left I giggled to myself because I had a secret. I had already changed the club, but this time to the Midwest Internet Butterfly Hunters Club. It was much safer, and nothing makes me happier than chasing butterflies through willows and glens, and then stabbing them though the heart with a pin. Toodles!
Hows about you, me, and five uncomfortable minutes in my basement apartment next to the dusty Christmas tree that's still up from my last visit with my estranged children.
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This ain't your daddy's globe...! .... or is it?!
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