My Backyard Yesterday Morning

In talking to my son Brady yesterday morning he mentioned how St. Georges’s Island had been closed due to the tidal floods we were having.  I told him how a couple minutes previosly I had heard sirens heading that way and figured someone probably needed rescuing because they couldn’t get over the bridge.  

A little after that conversation, I headed out to make my way down to Buzzy’s Country Store.  However, when I got to Rt. 249 and stopped for a truck heading down to the Island, I thought “Hells bells, let’s ride down there and see what’s going on.”  So I turned and  followed the truck and guess what?  That’s the truck I became parked behind as traffic was being stopped by the Post Office and people were being directed to turn around.  As I did so too, I mentally kicked myself in the ass thinking  “You dumbass, what did you expect?”  

A little while later when I arrived at the Store I saw where my buddy John Carbone had picked up some wine that I had ordered for him, so I called to thank him.  When I asked him how he was making out with the high tides he said not too bad other than all the people driving down and turning around in front of his house just to look at the Bay.  I laughed and told him about doing that very same, stupid thing a few minutes ago at St George’s  Island.  It got me thinking – why do people ride around wanting to look at flooded areas?

You are familiar with the term “rubbernecking” where traffic slows down when folks are looking over to see what’s what.  It always bugs me to be slowed or stopped on a highway, particularly on a 4 lane highway, when the accident is over in the opposite lanes.  For no reason other than the rubberneckers, your lane is impacted.  As to just why folks rubberneck, here is a good article that talks about some of the reasons they do so click here.  The article contains some psychological mumbo jumbo about “attentional blinking” and “destructive impulses” but I’m attributing it to simple, plain old morbid curiosity described as follows:   


Of course the phrase “Morbid curiosity” is just a fancy way of saying that people like to see shit f’ed up.  At least I am attributing my trying to see the Island mess to that.  

Thus, I propose a new term for all this phenomena of folks driving around to check out water-related messes and that is waternecking.   

Leave it to Johnny again to have just the right song for this situation:   
P.S. Commissioner Mike Hewitt posted some good videos he filmed while on St. Georges Island yesterday (click here.)  I guess, since he was in an official capacity, we can’t say that he was waternecking.

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