Frightening storm and an obstinate pet

SNEED: Panicky rush to shelter in basement amid growing tornado fears

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Lightning strikes the Willis Tower in 2013.

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Starry, starry night?


It was a dark and stormy night recently … which sent Sneed and her good dog TuTu the Terrible scrambling once again to my tiny basement shelter for safety from the forces of nature.

Maximus Mother Nature was at it again!

A tornado apparently was deadheading near my home. There was a tsunami of alerts on my Apple wristwatch, followed by a TV weather report positing the possibility of disaster.

Of course, TuTu, my 80-pound golden retriever, would have none of it, pending the proffer of major mucho munchies.

Egads! High winds! Heavy rain!

“Get to a shelter,” the weather woman advised. “Get to safety.”

Pummeling storms developing? Moving fast? Palpitating squiggles of red and orange snaking on a weather map, hopscotching east to Lake Michigan!

Storms developing over the top of us!

“Level 3 risk,” said the unflappable forecaster. And then: “Now, it’s a level 4 risk.”

Panic? No, don’t. Think martini? No, don’t.

Just grab the dog and head to the basement.

Where is the damn dog? Asleep? Tutu!!!!!

Wait. Be calm. The weather woman just said there is a 45-minute wait before it hits the lake.

OK, OK, drink. No, no — think!

Grab the dog bowl and dog food and some salami just in case a tornado demolishes everything but your cramped, secret hiding place. Salami?

Grab the cellphone and the laptop … even though they are operated by a technological idiot who wouldn’t know how to connect even if there were a plug in the hidey hole under the basement steps.

Get a grip!

OMG! Where is that darn dog? Upstairs?

After 20 minutes of a “Hansel and Gretel” stairway path strewn with turkey jerky dog treats leading from the kitchen to the basement, TuTu the Intransigent still refuses to put more than one paw into our basement bunker ... where I sit on a box of gawd-knows-what’s-inside-it-but-I-just-crushed-it-with-my-er-derriere.

Doggone. Settle in, Sneed.

Twenty minutes into cramped quarters and five minutes to D-Day ... and still unable to tune into the weather on my cellphone (of course), I head upstairs for one final TV weather check … only to find out it was all over 20 minutes ago.

All over? Lady Gaga the storm has become a whimpering Tiny Tim?

So back upstairs went the fido food, growl treats, salami, water bottle, dog bowl and bottle of vodka, plus olives brought down at the last minute … just in case.

I am grateful for the televised, minute-by-minute storm warnings despite the anxiety it can cause.

But next time my basement cubby hole will be ready in advance: A mini martini will be waiting in storage. But no salami.

Bologna instead.

It’s TuTu’s favorite.

The Tennessee Three ...


It took awhile to spell it correctly when I was in grammar school.

All those vowels and consonants!

Four E’s. Two N’s. Two S’s! Really.

Well, the red Southern state of Tennessee is on the map big time now, and spelling it correctly is not the problem.

It’s where three members of the Tennessee General Assembly were denied the ability to speak for gun reform because they had violated a minor quorum rule.

The trio, one white woman and two Black men, faced being expelled and their constituency denied representation.

Democracy in traction emerged.

The white female legislator, a teacher at the Christian Covenant school in Tennessee still reeling from the slaughter of innocents last month, faced losing her health insurance if expelled.

The “Tennessee Three,” members of a Democratic minority in a gerrymandered Republican statehouse, held their ground.

A vote was taken.

The white female legislator missed being expelled by only ONE vote.

The two Black legislators were sent packing.

Protesters raged that democracy was on trial, the smell of racism wafting.

The nation is now watching.

So is this former high school teacher.

All in the family …

Batter Up! Ald. Nicole Lee, an Asian American who just won her first full term representing Chicago’s 11th Ward with the backing of the Daley family, was spotted seated with former Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson and other members of the Daley clan at Monday’s White Sox opener. Natch!

Sneedlings …

Congrats to Chicago divorce attorney James “Jim” Feldman on being named the recipient of the 2023 Samuel S. Berger Award by the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers for his integrity and extraordinary knowledge of family law. He also happens to be my treasured friend.

Saturday birthdays: actress Skai Jackson, 21; football player CeeDee Lamb, 24; and rapper Blac Youngsta, 33. Sunday birthdays: Lil Nas X, 24; Kristen Stewart, 34; and actor Dennis Quaid, 69. ... And a belated happy birthday to Wendi Tayler Nations, 60.

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