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There seems to be no end to the delight taken by acquaintances around the country in sending along the latest popular humor relating to the impact hurricanes have been having on our state as of late.

Sharp-eyed readers will recognize this variation of my Fort Plywood headline posted last year, which was inspired by Charley’s pending impact on the local Blockbuster video store.

The put-up take-down cycle of structural sheathing would continue throughout 2005, as Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas got walloped in varying degrees from July through October.

What we can say with certainty is the after Katrina’s assault, any doubts as to what the National Hurricane Center’s oft repeated warnings of storm surge destruction actually means have been thoroughly dispelled. Just ask Biloxi.

So we bring this year to a close with a short collection of the best of the submissions, with the hope that next year (already predicted as being not quite the equal of ’05, but that in itself is cold comfort) arrives without the excitement of the past two and leaves minus the drama.

If any of the expressions are familiar, well, we understand.

You Might Be A Floridian If...

You have more than 20 C and D batteries in your kitchen drawer. (Ed. note: let us not forget, automobiles are excellent sources of temporary air conditioning, and the radios within are vastly superior to WalMart’s $5.99 “storm special” AM-FM throwaway.)

The freezer in your garage is full of homemade ice. (Ed. note: ice contained in salvaged gallon water jugs is excellent for easy transport, and for refrigerating the non-functional refrigerator, in itself a source of warm memories rekindled by flashback references to such early 20th century conveniences as the “ice box.”)

You flinch when you’re introduced to a person named Charley, Frances or Ivan.

You find yourself dropping words like "Millibar" and "Convection"
into everyday conversation.

Your pantry contains more than 10 cans of Spaghetti Os.

Making coffee on your propane grill does not seem like an odd thing
to do. (Ed. note: there’s a nifty little camping/tabletop cooking butane fueled single burner available for not much money that does an excellent job of the coffee heating, and is more than capable of additional cooking chores.)

You’re thinking of repainting your house to match the plywood
covering your windows.

When describing your house to a prospective buyer, you say it has
three bedrooms, two baths and one safe place.

You’re on a first-name basis with the cashier at Home Depot.

You’re delighted to pay $3 for a gallon of unleaded.

The road leading to your house has been declared a No-Wake Zone.

You decide that your patio furniture looks better on the bottom of
the pool.

You have the number for FEMA on your speed dialer.

You own more than three large coolers.

You can wish that other people get hit by a hurricane and not feel
the least bit guilty about it.

Three months ago you couldn’t hang a shower curtain; today you can
assemble a portable generator by candlelight.

You catch a 5-pound catfish- In your driveway.

You can recite from memory whole portions of your homeowner’s
insurance policy.

At cocktail parties, women are attracted to the guy with the biggest
chain saw.

You have had tuna fish more than 5 days in a row.

There’s a roll of tar paper in your garage.

You can rattle off the names of three or more meteorologists who
work at The Weather Channel.

Someone comes to your door to tell you they found your roof.
Ice is a valid topic of conversation.

Relocating to North Dakota doesn’t seem like such a crazy idea. (Ed. note: one of my media reps takes huge delight in e-mailing me accounts of what it’s like in the midst of the current blizzard/sub-arctic conditions in South Dakota. Says he’s got plenty of firewood for much beloved minus six temperature spurts.)

And finally, one I thought I’d toss in:

Everyone on the street knows who’s got the new chainsaw. (I just replaced my trusty Craftsman with an uber horsepower Stihl model.)