A lot of the time in the midwest consumerism and patriotism can look a lot alike, and every public holiday is an excuse
We had a tornado drill the other day at work, since it is getting to be that time of year. And even though we aren’t exactly in Tornado Alley here, twisters have been known to touch down now and then.
I can remember tornado drills from grade school. The school’s tornado alarm would go off and we would all file to our grade-level appropriate safe zone. Some grades hunkered down in the interior bathrooms, some took shelter in the storage area next to the gym in the basement, others were in inside hallways. Everyone was down on their knees with their hands over the backs of their heads and necks. To protect against falling masonry if a tornado tried to rip away the school around us, I suppose.
The tornado drill at work was… different. There were laminated signs hung in the hallways every three feet – “This way to a tornado shelter!”, “This room is a designated tornado shelter!” – which kind of tipped us off that something was going to happen. About midway through the day someone got on the PA system (no alarm or siren) and announced that the drill was starting and we should all go to the closest tornado shelter. The closest shelter to me was near the kitchenette on my floor, so I took my coffee cup with me, got a refill, and hung out chatting with my co-workers for a few minutes. No hunkering down or protecting our heads and necks at all. Not at all taken seriously. The nuns at my grade school were serious about safety drills.
After a few minutes the PA system started up again and we were told that the drill was over, thank you for participating.
Then they took down all of the laminated signs.
Now how will we know where to go if an actual tornado strikes?