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19 Aug


It adds up to some destruction across the city, and not the usually pleasant rock and roll carnage experienced at the Electric Fetus. Seeing as how Staciaann was in the building when the tornado hit at around 2:20 this afternoon, I can understand her current desire to chill out tonight. Now is not the time to argue with her. And seeing as how she pretty much broke the fact that there was a tornado in Minneapolis (first on the Twitterverse, beating the city sirens by about 30 minutes- thanks guys- and then fielding requests from CNN) she has probably done her public service for the day. At least she gets a day off tomorrow, and thanks you for all the concern. Me, I’m glad she’s alive.

But the actual event demands some retelling, in some hard-boiled form, like a Raymond Chandler bit.

The room was quiet as she turned back to the register, leaving the docile customers grazing through the bins of used vinyl and DVD boxsets. Little girls in matching twin sets hanging on their mother in the gift department threatening to get their sticky fingers on all the pristine merchandise, the old guy with the fistful of jazz records looking lost before regaining his bearings and looking ornery again. Everyone was looking for something, something good and cheap, the herd on the daily grind, nothing new. People ask questions they know don’t have an answer, or they think already know the answer to and get surprised when they hear the right information back. If you’re working, you are everything. The pressure of staying a head of it all, moving in and out of styles and trends, trying to know everything all at once, that pressure almost too much.

It is too much, this pressure is actual swelling of the air, pushing her ears to a ring, a pop. She opens her mouth, about to utter the old familiar demand. What the f- and then the drumbeat.

Not a light bossa nova tap or a Gene Krupa solo. No cymbals or highhat. A single Wagnerian timpani blast. Glass comes flying in the windows. The girls in their twinsets bawl out in terror. The roof lifts, does a shimmy and sticks the landing.

-uck? The room has stopped in a stuck pause, a self-assessing moment and glances all around, dazed as the mother comforts the girls and the tears subside. It is still raining. Two windows are out and the there are two movements of people, each as incomprehensible as the other. Half the room walks towards the shattered glass, as if to touch, the other half carries on up to the register to make their purchases. She thinks, We should probably close.

And close they will. The Fetus remains closed Thursday in anticipation of a building inspection to OK the roof, side of the building and plate glass. Fortunately, none of the damage seems to be situated near the music nor in the warehouse, so those parts of the store should be safe. We all just hope for a quick and safe re-opening.

Of course, we are also waiting for the first arguments that the tornado touched down because the Lutherans are talking about the gays. And when they do make that argument, I will refuse to debate that dining room table, in the words of the Honorable Barney Frank (D-MA).

Update: Staciaann’s tornado damage photos at The AV Club.

Update Update:
Lutherans + Gays + Tornado = God is mad, says Minneapolis pastor with direct line to the will of the Creator. And the pastor isn’t even a Lutheran, he’s the pastor of Bethlehem BAPTIST. John Piper, I dub thee Dining Room Table.

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