Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Hurricane Floyd: Doomed to Live Up to the Mediocrity of Its Name

Hurricane Floyd: Doomed to Live Up to the Mediocrity of Its Name

Floyd. What a letdown.

We should have known that the alleged hurricane that stormed across campus last week was going to drizzle little more than its spittle on us. After all – name a tough Floyd.

Pink Floyd? They were cool, but you didn’t go to a Floyd show to kick ass. You went to groove.

There is no such thing as a tough Floyd. No one named Floyd will become famous, be he human or hurricane. How can you respect a Floyd? How can you fear a Floyd? How can Floyd make you run from your house screaming all the way to high ground?

Still, Floyd seemed to scare a few people in the District. Schools closed. Businesses shut their doors. The fat cats in Congress rushed home to their districts. Hey – someone’s got to make sure their multi-million dollar homes are safe – it might as well be the ones who travel on the taxpayer’s dime.

Despite all the threats of a meteorological Armageddon, Georgetown trucked on. Students strapped on their galoshes, tucked their tube tops into raincoats and covered their white hats with umbrellas in order to slog across Copley Bog to class. Good for you, Georgetown. You proved to be tougher than Floyd.

That doesn’t mean that we students didn’t do our fair share of complaining. Of course we wanted the day off. But it wasn’t like we needed the time off to tape the windows and stock our fridges with water jugs. We just wanted an excuse to stay in bed all day and watch TV.

Instead, the Hoyas shut off the TVs and went to class. In fact, attendance across the board didn’t seem too bad on Thursday (despite what CNN and “Action” Dan Rather would have us believe from their weather reports of horror.)

But not everyone on the Eastern Seaboard was as resilient as our Hilltop heroes. Most of the states south of the Mason-Dixon line did indeed run screaming from Floyd. Maybe it was playing “Another Brick in the Wall.”

Truthfully, I can see why North Carolina would shift its entire population to the Appalachians for a few days. I’ve weathered two hurricanes – and two evacuations – on the outer banks of North Carolina. When you return to the island after the storm passes, there isn’t much island left to stand on. You stand on the earthen flotsam that the hurricane couldn’t digest and proceeded to spit back out.

So I can understand why the South ran for cover from Floyd. I understand the region’s fear. But, as the south runs west, our friends in New York barely batted an eyelid. New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani did little but laugh at Floyd during the extensive coverage of New York’s pseudo-date with Floyd. It wasn’t a real date. A city like New York would never date a Floyd.

Giuliani simply praised the city’s inhabitants for their ability to live and work through the so-called crisis. No buildings fell, no sections of the city lacked power, and Giuliani had the chance to film a long, free ad for his Senate campaign.

Perhaps the only casualties were a few investment bankers, who were forced to go home and actually see the insides of their apartments.

And Washington got caught in the middle. Hilltoppers sweated out the “crisis” in class while downtown emptied out quicker than the Senate on the last day of session. We can’t get all worked up over these hurricane threats. Heavy winds make great TV but do little to actually imperil the residents of Washington. Besides, the storm was a Floyd.

And a Floyd without Roger Waters, no less.

Days on the Hilltop appears on Tuesdays in The Hoya.

Previous Columns By James DiLiberto Jr. Small Conversations with Large Meanings

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