16.09.2009 20:15 - One Year Ago
..I was sitting on a bed in a motel in Tuscaloosa, watching the world collapse around me. We were in middle America, on our way back from the Mississippi - which, after being raised on "Huckleberry Finn" I found singularly disappointing - and decided to stop at the Motel for the night. Outside the Motel were -I kid you not - concrete statues of a family of elephants, which were probably there because of the infamous Groucho Marx quote. The news was all over the place. Sober-faced commentators predicted doom on CNN, so we decided to watch the comedy channel instead, and switched over to Fox News.
It had been an eventful holiday. We'd just narrowly missed two hurricanes. We had sat on the beach at Pensacola and watched as one thundered into Mexico bay on the night of September the 10th. Because of the Hurricanes, we'd had an excellent choice of rooms wherever we went, and we arrived in New Orleans just in time for our hotel to re-open after the evacuation. Unfortunately the same hurricane played havoc with the refineries further along the coast, and we had called at several petrol stations only to find they were empty.
Now we were sitting somewhere in the middle of America, watching a far greater storm doing infinitely more damage.
I looked out of the window. Nothing had changed. The elephants were still there.