A Real Blowjob

Aim giant fans toward the ocean. Irrigate Africa. Fire NOAA. And other paranoid rants from the feds' conceptually challenged file.

Imagine the peace of mind! As yet another hurricane churns toward the United States, a high-ranking government official calmly flips a switch. Instantly three or four large fans strategically stationed along the eastern seaboard crank to life. Within seconds wind speeds stronger than the storm are generated and the cyclone deflects harmlessly out to sea.

"Like it or not, it just might save lies and property," writes a Rochester, New York, gentleman, in a letter to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami. In hand-drafted blueprints he describes mammoth propellers featuring 18-foot blades and a 60-foot base of steel-reinforced concrete. Optional fins would "act like venetian blinds" to better direct the air flow. "Think it over in the meantime as you realize a small fan can move a lot of air. Check with NASA."

This Maginot Line of giant fans is just one of a dozen provocative ideas collected during the past two years by NHC spokesman Frank Lepore. He calls the thick manila folder of storm-related brainstorms the "conceptually challenged" file. "Most people we hear from want to know how they can get a hurricane named after them or if their house lies in a flood plain," Lepore elaborates. "Those kinds of inquiries I either answer myself or direct to someone else who can. Now with these ... " he says, holding up the file, "they are unique enough that I keep them together in one place."

"You get the pitcher!" Blueprints for a hurricane deflecting fan
"You get the pitcher!" Blueprints for a hurricane deflecting fan

Washington Post staff writer Joel Achenbach recently revealed the existence of the not-exactly-top-secret file. In an August 30 column tangentially related to Hurricane Dennis, Achenbach wondered why hurricane names aren't sold to corporate sponsors, i.e., Hurricane Home Depot or Tropical Storm Bed, Bath & Beyond.

"You're attaching your corporate name to something that causes something like five billion dollars in damage a year, on average, and probably scores of deaths," Lepore told Achenbach. The columnist's printed response, written tongue-in-cheek: "Oh yeah. We forgot about that."

Lepore told Achenbach (who once wrote for the Miami Herald, by the way) that the idea of corporate sponsorship occasionally surfaces, then submerges again deep into the conceptually challenged file. Last week, during a brief respite between Hurricane Gert and Tropical Storm Harvey, Lepore opened the entire dossier to New Times for inspection. He asked only that contributors' full names not be used.

It is rich with ideas from across the nation. Larry in Ocala notes that Atlantic hurricanes form when extremely hot, dry air rises off the Sahara Desert. In a two-page proposal, he recommends stopping the storms before they start by irrigating sunbaked Africa like California's Imperial Valley. Simple as that. "I have presented this dissertation to you not only for entertainment value but because your resources have the here-with-all to further investigate any meritorious statements and get on with the business of saving more lives," he explains. "Naturally I expect for my lifetime achievement a consultation fee in the upper six figures, to be deposited in my parents' jurisdiction. Because beyond the obvious influences they have had in my life, I worked most of this thesis out in the company of my father."

More reactive than proactive, Earl in Alabama has thought of a way to combat the hurricanes after they form, but before they reach U.S. shores. He offers a little bluster before describing his solution: "I am the thorn that has been in the [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's] side for the last several years," he writes. "As you know, each year from 500 to 1000 human beings die and over $100 billion in theirs and our properties are destroyed. NEEDLESSLY!!

"There is absolutely no reason for a hurricane to make landfall," he continues. "NOAA must be done away with! The military must take control of our weather. The reason NOAA allows our friends to die and their property to be destroyed is simply avarice -- there are too many six-figure jobs involved."

Earl notes that hurricanes thrive in an environment depleted of oxygen. All the military needs to do, he says, is fly over a cyclone with tanks of "ground-level" oxygen (Earl doesn't clarify just what such a substance might be), dump it on the storm, and boom! Hurricane gone. He notes that such oxygen infusion could also prevent tornados, forest fires, and coastal flooding. "Please go to your superiors," he requests.

If Earl thinks he's uncovered a government conspiracy, he should speak to a certain record producer living in Atlanta. In a mammoth mailing sent to, among others, the Bank of New York, the State Farm Insurance Company, Oprah Winfrey, and Nguyen Qui Duc (the contributing arts editor of the Vietnam Business Journal), the producer reveals that he is wise to the U.S. government's participation in a global conspiracy to enable Israel to take over the United States in a "holly war." (To take place during the biblically significant Christmas season?)

The conspiracy is pretty darn tough to comprehend. Insurance companies, banks, and construction companies, all acting in concert, have deliberately built almost all North American suburban homes with fragile wood frames. (Okay? Understand?) Hurricanes develop when hot air clashes with cold air and a nefarious government, most likely operating from a top-secret air force base, could exploit the traditionally warmer cities and the cooler suburbs to create deadly hurricanes that would level the wood-frame suburban houses, where most "white people" live. This would leave the United States vulnerable to attack by the dreaded Israelis.

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