Who Would Win?
Welcome to The Tuesday Weld, a weekly look at iconic Baltimore products, places and people.
This past week Mother Nature acted like my third-grade math teacher when she was in no mood to be trifled with. They both rattled the blinds and hurled stuff at your head. Except Sister Kevin had better aim.
We kids played a game in those days called “Who would win?”
I’d say, for example, “Superman, Frankenstein, or Mr. Mike (the school custodian)—who would win?”
And you might say, “Superman, no contest.” Then you’d explain why he could beat Frankenstein and Mr. Mike in any test of strength.
So Saturday I thought: “Earthquake, hurricane, or blizzard—who would win?”
The midday earthquake last Tuesday, while not catastrophic, must have meant lots of “do-overs”: emergency room sutures, housepainters’ edging, pizza slices, tattoos, haircuts, nose jobs, golf putts, even spider webs. The 30-second shaking was more nerve-wracking than life threatening. Like when the restaurant you’re eating in suddenly fills up with Yankee fans.
Then, men came last Thursday to take down an 80-year-old Norway maple on the front lawn that overhung the house. Some of the telephone pole-sized limbs were hollow.
“Best you’re rid of it,” one of the tree men said. “They don’t even sell these things anymore.” He explained that the species is invasive and edges out its competition. Like Novak Djokovic in the U.S. Open.
The maple went not a day too soon.
If Hurricane Irene had been a winter storm, they said, we'd have gotten more than 80 inches of snow. So much that house pets and the elderly would have started looking appetizing after a few days.
Sometimes nature, like the Mafia, has a funny way of reminding you that you’re just along for the ride.
I’d planned to write about late summer vegetable gardening tips. Or why employees at canned dog food makers taste-test their company’s products. Or start an upcoming new feature on The Weld: “The Mysteries of Science—Revealed.”
But something told me those projects would just have to wait.
The “who would win” scenario dawdled in my mind.
Who would win was Sister Kevin.