Finding shelter when a killer hurricane uses your name

“Hurricane Sandy continued to barrel towards the East Coast early Monday, threatening some 50 million people with a storm surge the National Hurricane Center called ‘life-threatening.’ ”
                                                  – FOX News Report, Oct. 29, 2012

Whenever Sandy Hartenstein hears wildly exaggerated news reports like the above, she silently adds another exaggerated 10 million for uncounted victims like herself: those enduring social ridicule for sharing the same name as a destructive hurricane.

“The office teasing has been something awful,” said Hartenstein, an assistant generalist with the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles. “I don’t work with very bright people to begin with, so every other co-worker and his mother think they’re extremely witty by making the same dumb Hurricane Sandy crack.”

She wasn’t exaggerating about “every other co-worker and his mother,” as nepotism is rampant in her DMV office. Because of the teasing, she even stopped talking with her supervisor, who is also her mother and among many who used the hurricane as a playful nickname for Hartenstein’s notorious menstrual mood swings.

“Just today, when I arrived at 9:45 a.m., I found a dozen Hurricane Sandy headlines taped to my cubicle cabinets. I really flipped out, especially given the cheap cellophane tape we use here that never comes off in one clean piece,” she said.

“Oh, I was livid. Everyone avoided me for the two hours I took to clean all those little pieces of tape off,” she said. “Might I possibly go postal some day? I can’t say for certain, but sure, I sometimes fantasize about what it would be like to transfer into a cushy Post Office job.”

Hartenstein held up some of the offensive newspaper headlines:

  • Sandy gives licking, keeps ticking
  • Hurricane Sandy would kill Irene in cat fight
  • Sandy touches presidential candidates
  • For a good time, call Sandy at 867-5309

That last was not a news headline, but a scribbled message that Sandy Berger of Phildelphia saw at a truck stop outside of Harrisburg, Penn. He too has endured office teasing due to the hurricane – and this on top of the regular teasing he receives for being a man named Sandy.

“I’m really ticked at the Weather Service. It was much better when they used names of foreigners we could blame like Katrina and Gustav,” Berger said. “Why’d they stop that?”

He added, “But I am following the Weather Service’s warnings to everyone named Sandy to wait out the storm at higher grounds where we can hopefully stay above all the teasing.”

Related Hurricane Sandy coverage from the FluffingtonPost:

SkitSketchJeff is Jeff Burdick, who wonders if Target’s weather-event gift registries could take off after this hurricane. For more FluffingtonPost humor, see

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Filed under: Humor

Tags: fake news, national news


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