Dumb and Dumber: The Tornado

I was 8 years old. My mom had taken a part time job at a book store a couple days a week. My dad worked nights so the 2 of us were home during the day by ourselves.

One afternoon, the sirens went off indicating a Tornado. I knew the drill.

My dad, did not.

I started to head downstairs and asked him to help me bring my stuffed animals with me. He did and then proceeded to head back upstairs.

I could hear the hard rain and heavy winds and I was worried about my dad. Quickly I ran upstairs to retrieve him.

I found him in the kitchen.

What was he doing?

He was standing with his hands pressed up against our brand new solid wood kitchen door that he installed a week earlier.

Me: Dad, what are you doing?

Dad: I am holding up the door. I am not going to let the wind knock it down. We put a lot of money into this door. Go back downstairs.

Even at my young age I knew this was wrong, so I called my mom at work and told her what was going on.

Mom: Put Jim on the phone NOW!

I ended up fleeing for safety and he remained upstairs. He did eventually come downstairs and asked if I wanted to go outside and look at all of the damage in the neighborhood.

What do you think I did?

I called my mom at work and asked her if it was okay. I wasn’t about to trust the judgment of a guy who was standing holding up a door in the middle of a tornado.


By now, you all know how much I love my dad. My favorite question to ask him is:

“Dad, what were you thinking? So the rest of the house is going to be blown to bits, but darn it all, if the door isn’t going to get knocked down?”

He shakes his head and laughs and says that it seemed like a good idea at the time! He admits, it wasn’t one of his brighter ideas…

By the way, the tornado did hit 2 blocks away, but I wouldn’t leave the yard and go look, until mom got home from work.


40 responses to “Dumb and Dumber: The Tornado

  1. My husband thought it was a good idea to ride out Hurrican Hugo on the South Carolina coast … he said only idiots left their houses. Lets just say he is lucky to be alive.Before he met me, and for a short while after, he used to proudly tell people about it. Then one day I told him, "You should stop telling that story … it doesn't make you look real smart … not to mention that it's says volumes about your judgement"Needless to say, he doesn't tell the story a lot now :))e

  2. The Chicken's Consigliere

    What a great father/daughter story. And it doesn't sound as though you were so dumb-you knew enough to call mom. Of course, then I had to go back and read "The Early Years" about the bike….and then I understood:-) Just teasing. Great stories.

  3. I was a stuffed animal girl, too! I grew up in Illinois and the tornadoes were intense there. I still to this day get that panicked feeling when we have tornado warnings down here. (Very rare in Florida.) Give me a hurricane any day. We get several days worth of warnings for them.Your dad is a crackup. Seriously, I can see him like Dorothy being whipped through the air, but he's holding on to his door! Is he still a little, you know, blonde like that? (And I'm a blonde so I can say that.)

  4. I wish I could recall memories like you can. Very glad you kept your stuffed animals safe…and Dad, yep..that Door is ever thankful I bet!

  5. The Girl Next Door Grows Up

    It is true. I have a fantastic memory of all things in the past. SOmetimes, I even remember what I was wearing!However, what I wanted to remember to put on my grocery list, I can't remember!!!

  6. YIKES – I hate storms and tornados but laughing a bit at your dad's antics!!!

  7. It reminds me of those beer commercials: "It's all about the beer." In this case, it's all about the door!! Silly dad. 🙂

  8. I lived in Tulsa OK for 9 years. One tornado hit both of our neighbor's roofs but skipped over ours. How weird huh? They are very strange things.

  9. Katie @ Katie's Dailies

    We used to have to hide in the basement about once a week it seemed, growing up in Kansas. And I would ALSO bring my stuffed animals with me, as did my sister. And what would my big brother bring? His coin collection and piggy bank—yeah, who is the most financially well off now that we're all grown ups? I like how your dad had his priorities straight! 😉

  10. So funny the weird stuff we do in times of stress. Isn't it good to know that our children will remember…I used to be more afraid of the tornado shelter than the tornados- dark, creepy, underground, scorpion filled shelter. Ughh.

  11. When I was around 14, our family was sailing in the boat my father built by hand. We were on a big lake in Georgia. It had been a pretty nice day until we saw the tornado coming over the horizon. It hit the lake and turned into a water spout. Dad told us to get down in the bottom of the boat. The thing went by us, turning our mast and boom into broken tooth picks. It went up on shore, flipping boats in dry dock like toys. No one was hurt, but I wouldn't get back on the boat again until I was an adult!When I lived in Illinois, we spent many a summer evening eating dinner in the hall after to siren went off.Your dad was pretty brave to try to save his new door, but I'll bet that today he would say it would not have been worth it.

  12. I have to tell you, I love your dad. When you write about him he reminds me so much of my own dad that I can't help but smile so big!And I would have been with you… waiting in the basement until mom got home. I only wish my own kids were as paranoid about safety as I was!

  13. LOL!I'm going to go ahead and hijack your post.We moved to an area that does have a high incidence of tornadoes, but not tornado sirens. The insanity.Well, one day, last summer, twisters started touching down in our immediate area. I freaked. We had identified our laundry room as the "safe" room in our house, so I threw diapers, bottles, water, dog food, the camera, my laptop, my cell phone and our good jewelry in there. I had the dogs on leashes and Turtle under one arm.Where was MacGyver through all this?Standing in the street. He wanted to see it.Then he got a little offended that I hadn't grabbed his laptop or phone. Really? REALLY? He now knows that he is responsible for himself and his personal items in case of emergency. I can't do it all.Point being, they make some pretty silly calls in time of crisis.

  14. Too funny! For me, I was 12. It was midnight and my parents were sleeping. When the weather turned worse outside and an eerie green light took over, I grabbed the dog and holed up in the coat closet until it was over. Good judgment? Yes, except the part about ditching mom and dad, asleep in their bed upstairs! I also loved going out to inspect the damage, it was a weird somber holiday for a kid. Wowzer.

  15. I am like your dad. I would have been outside watching the storm though not worrying about the door or myself.

  16. I don't blame him. I would have done the same thing, but maybe for the TV 🙂

  17. Oh dad, what WERE you thinking??? My dad would just sit in a chair during these storms. "I was born in this house and I guess I'll die here." How's that for attitude?

  18. My Mercurial Nature

    I have a distinct memory of coming home from school at age 10 to find my Dad up in a tree trying to cut some limbs. I had to shout up to him, "You're sitting on the limb you're trying to cut off…you'll fall!" He didn't listen, I called my Mom. LOL

  19. I envy your long-term memory skills! This post cracked me up. 🙂 I remember our dad would just laugh and go about his business during tornado warnings…and my mom would freak out and quickly herd my sister and I into the basement…with our stuffed animal friends, too!

  20. Why does this sound just like something my dad would do?

  21. I have observed that humanness is endearing in ways perfection never can be. You got your mother's good common sense and a great memory too.

  22. Ode to Motherhood

    Your dad is funny…at least, the door would be intact!

  23. I laughed out loud at this. Hilarious. I just had this mental image of your Dad pressing against the door, meanwhile the rest of the house is quickly being sucked away by the tornado.

  24. Tornadoes! They make me do weird things too…like run and hide!

  25. I loved this! Your dad sounds very entertaining. 😉

  26. It's so great that you and your dad can laugh at yourselves (and eachother ;))!

  27. I had to laugh at this. Your dad must have really liked that door. I would have saved my "babies" to:) You have made me very thankful that we don't normally get tornadoes.

  28. Tornados scare the crap out of me. I hate them. We had a warning a couple of summers ago and I was a basket case. I will take the snow over (and its been snowing today) tornados, hurricanes, etc.

  29. I can only imagine the choice words your mom had for him! Holding up the door. Yeesh! What a story though. I love that you had the presence of mind (after securing the safety of your stuffed animals) to call mom.

  30. Your poor dad just didn't have the authority. My kids always look to me to be the final say too!

  31. Priorities, man.

  32. "It seemed like a good idea at the time." HAHAHAHAHA!!!

  33. That must have been some door! Thank goodness it's only the lightning and not tornadoes around here!

  34. Some people save stuffed animals…some people save doors! To each his own:)I remember when I lived in Florida there was a tornado, and afterwards I called my grandparents to check on them. They weren't home though. When I finally got ahold of them, my Grandma told me they got in the car and left. My Grandpa thought the best idea would be to get in the car and drive away from the tornado!

  35. LOL I showed my hubby this post and he got a kick out of it. Said it sounds like something he might do.

  36. What a funny story …that door was not going anywhere!

  37. Good call on calling your mom. I don't think I would take my dad's word after that either,lol.Hey, at least the stuffed animals were save.

  38. Never dealt with a tornado, hurricanes are scary enough! We've had them, just not for me to witness, thank goodness.

  39. Mommy on the Spot

    I LOVE that you asked your mom at work if it was alright to do something with your dad – i think that's something my daughter would do!

  40. You've got to give him credit though…. Not one scratch on that door…. lol

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