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Wednesday, September 17, 2003


When in Doubt, Interview Something

End-of-the-world weather event Hurricane Isabel is poised to strike the East Coast Thursday.

Longtime readers of this space know that I am no stranger to climatological disasters. I survived my big storm, and the East Coast will find a way to get through theirs. Even if it means that a huge swath of coastal North Carolina must be fed to the Atlantic before it's all over.

Storms of this magnitude fascinate me. So I hit up Isabel on her hip and she quickly returned my call.

Bunsen: Let's get to brass tacks. You're a really big fucking storm.

Isabel: This is not getting off on the right foot.

Bunsen: What do you mean?

Isabel: You never tell a lady that she's a big anything.

Bunsen: Technically, you're a storm and don't have a gender.

Isabel: Once they decided to give me a female name, I became a female.

Bunsen: Maybe now you identify as a female, but the act of naming you didn't actually make you anything. Naming big storms with female names is a convention invented by meteorologists.

Isabel: A monolithic, oppressive patriarchy, by the way.

Bunsen: The weather people on my local TV stations are overwhelmingly women.

Isabel: Those women aren't meteorologists. They're glorified prostitutes being manipulated by the local news patriarchy, smiling and pointing to weather phenomena that they don't understand so that the men can get their jollies.

Bunsen: That's awfully patronizing.

Isabel: I'm patronizing? You are probably going to twist this into a story where you wind up with a weathergirl riding you like a donkey, making bad puns about warm fronts and wet patches.

Bunsen: Oh, so you read me?

Isabel: I've heard things.

Bunsen: Tell me, why are you raging onto the East Coast?

Isabel: Atmospheric conditions are such that I've been agitated into storming. It's just my time.

Bunsen: You mean like your time of the month? You're going to try and wash away half of the Eastern seaboard because you're PMSing?

Isabel: I can't believe you.

Bunsen: Maybe you're, um, retaining water.

Isabel: (Groans. Thunder is heard in the background.)

Bunsen: One second you identify as female, the next you're free from the wonders of the reproductive cycle. You can't have it both ways. Or do you just need to get laid?

Isabel: This is so typical.

Bunsen: Hey, I know this weathergirl over at KTLA. She's really free-spirited and usually up for anything. And I'm pretty sure she has no idea what an isobar is.

Isabel: This interview is over. I have some beach houses to pound into kindling, because I'm a hurricane and that's what I do. Not because I'm crampy.

Bunsen: Can I call you next week?

Isabel: I'll be dissipated by then.

Bunsen: Oh. Neat trick. Think you can teach that to the weathergirl? She's kind of clingy.

Isabel: Good luck with this website or whatever.

Bunsen: Good luck with the driving, 60 mile-per-hour winds and pounding rain. And the menstruation.

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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