I’d like to report a crime.
I’m just not sure which one to report.
It feels like identity theft, but the thing is, nobody pinched my credit cards or forged my signature or pretended to be me online.
My identity is still intact. My finances are fine.
But my name was stolen.
Okay, maybe STOLEN is too serious a word. Let’s say it was “borrowed without permission.”
Somebody took it for a joyride and returned it with more than a few dents and dings.
Here’s the kicker: I know exactly who did it.
I’ve never met them, but somehow I expected better. They don’t seem like the “smash-and-grab” type. I thought they were the good guys.
Shame on you, National Hurricane Center.
I never asked to be on their list, but apparently they don’t need my permission.
Every year they run through the alphabet, plugging in the names of unsuspecting men, women and children.
Maybe they think giving real people’s names to Atlantic storms is funny. Maybe they want me to feel honored or excited like I won something.
But all it did was stress me out.
I live and work in the Outer Banks. Do you know how uncomfortable it would have been for Hurricane Larry to come crashing into the coast of North Carolina?
Think of the headlines: “Larry Hammers NC Coast,” “Larry Ruins Outer Banks Vacations,” “Larry Knocks Tree Down on Vintage Sports Car,” “OBX to Larry: Stay Away.”
And Hurricane Larry was no joke. It was a powerful storm that turned out to be the longest-lasting hurricane of the season so far.
Thankfully it just raised heck in the middle of the Atlantic until it ran out of steam and stumbled into Canada and Greenland.
I would offer apologies to the good folks of Newfoundland and Kulusuk Island for the severe weather, downed trees and power outages. But I have nothing to be sorry for.
Hurricane Larry and Larry Lombardi are not related.
We shared the same name, but I had NOTHING to do with the high winds and heavy rains.
Although... because I think I deserve something, I’ll go ahead and take partial credit for the great waves Larry produced up and down the East Coast. The storm created some of the best surfing conditions all year.
So if you enjoyed those gnarly swells? You’re welcome.
Otherwise, I am not now, nor have I ever been, connected to, or related to, Hurricane Larry.
I am but one Larry, operating independently from any and all other Larrys.
I don’t meet regularly with others in the “Legion of Larry Lodge” to discuss the urgent and important Larry business of the day.
We don’t have a secret Larry handshake.
The lodge does not have a “Legendary Larry Gallery” with marble busts of Larry King, Larry Bird, Larry Fine, Larry David and Larry the Cable Guy.
And we absolutely do NOT meet every spring on a private Hawaiian island co-owned by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Google co-founder Larry Page for the annual “Livin’ La Vida Larry Luau.”
That would be ridiculous.
I know lots of other Larrys. And sure, whenever I meet another guy named Larry, there is always a brief moment of acknowledgement.
One of us will say, “GREAT name” and then we move on. No big deal.
Larry has always been a solid name. In fact, Lawrence was one of the top 50 names for the first half of the 20th century. Always near the top for boys' names that begin with “L.”
I never worried about what would happen if it fell into the wrong hands.
Until Hurricane Larry came along.
My experience over the last few weeks has me feeling bad for all of those Katrinas, Idas, Irmas, Andrews and Sandys.
It could not have been easy to hear your name used in non-stop weather reports and newscasts. Or spray-painted on plywood used to cover windows. Or printed on front pages above pictures of mass destruction.
You have my sympathies.
My advice to everybody coming up on the list for 2021? Hang in there and don't take it personally. I'm taking to all the Odettes, Peters, Roses, Sams, Teresas, Victors and Wandas out there.
Whatever weather event gets your name, just remember that it has nothing to do with you. It's just a name... and only your first name at that.
Don't sweat it too much.
It's not like the National Hurricane Center is going to start naming storms with first AND last names. That would be weird.
Almost as weird as typing your full name into Google and finding this.
Thanks for reading!
Director of Economic Development