I never read Dave Barry, but he’s in the Denver Post and we were in CO. His end of year column started:
“Looking back on 2004, we have to conclude that it could have been worse.
”HOW??” you ask, spitting out your coffee.
Well, OK, a giant asteroid could have smashed into the Earth and destroyed all human life except Paris Hilton and William Hung. Or Florida could have been hit by 20 hurricanes, instead of just 17.”
I think the paper was dated the 28th but clearly he wrote this before the tsunami. Ouch.
The whole thing is just astounding. I can picture some of these places: the Sumatran coast, Phi Phi. I spent 94-95 traveling around SE Asia. There’s a little island off Sumatra called Siberut where we spent a week trekking around the jungle; I wonder if there’s anyone left there at all. It was a whole different way of life there (it was the scene of my “agressive pigs” story that some might have heard but is not fit to publish anywhere); is it all just gone now? The scale of the disaster is really impossible for me to grasp — it was debilitating when the death toll was 25,000, so how do you even understand 6 times that number?