Hurricane Ian is expected to be one of the worst disasters the United States has seen in decades, prompting Florida state officials to call for evacuation. Still, even as the potentially catastrophic hurricane reaches Fort Myers, Sarasota native Doug Ebert refuses to leave.
Sarasota, a town with a population of nearly 60,000, is expected to take significant damage from the storm. Regardless, while others are boarding up their homes and rushing to safety, Ebert is trying to figure out what he has lying around that might help this “whole hurricane thing.”
“I’ve lived in the Gator State for over 45 years — born and raised. Here, we handle our business,” said Ebert as he lifted his foot to rest on a five gallon bucket.
Not even the world’s top scientists are able to stop a hurricane. Given that Hurricane Ian is nearing a Category 5 classification, it would take a true miracle to stop the catastrophe now — especially when the last hope is a goateed plumber who has been wearing the same baseball cap every day for 20 years.
“I believe it’s my plumbing experience that makes me qualified to see this through. When you flush a toilet or pour something down the sink, what does the water do? It spirals. If you ask me, Florida is the toilet bowl and Hurricane Ian is just some stank water,” said Ebert.
The Florida native scoured his home for tools that could potentially be used in the effort. So far, he has built a contraption consisting of a propane torch (to “dry it out”), a skateboard for mobility, a bucket to “scoop the water out” and sporks. While the sporks don’t serve any functional purpose, they do serve as “cute little robot arms.”
Additionally, the carefully thrown together creation is covered in Taco Bell Diablo Sauce to lower the chances of Hurricane Ian feeling bold enough to attack Ebert’s creation directly.
“You see, hurricanes don’t like spice. You ever notice water or wind tasting spicy? It doesn’t happen. Water can get salty, which I learned when I woke up from a face down nap on the Atlantic Ocean. But never spicy. Wind and water avoid spice like I avoid my Aunt Muriel after a few drinks down at Smokin’ Joe’s,” chuckled Ebert.
As for the safety of Doug Ebert himself, he’s taken precautions.
“You see these floaties on my arms? These bad boys ain’t coming off. You know how I know that? I Gorilla Glued them. Plus, I have a kayak ready to go on my roof and a whole bunch of canned goods and MREs I was saving for the apocalypse. There ain’t but a thing to worry about when it comes to me,” said Ebert.
Though the odds are bleak, Ebert’s story is one worth following. At a time when many in the Sunshine State are concerned that life as they know it will be washed away, this particular Florida man is giving hope — no matter how poorly guided or dangerous it may be.
“My mama always told me growing up, ‘Son, you ain’t the most freshly boiled peanut, but at least you ain’t one of 1,000 shells on the floor of a Texas Roadhouse.’ Now is my chance to prove that.”
Ebert would like to clarify that he loves Texas Roadhouse and that, in the event of his survival, he would appreciate a gift card to buy his go-to meal, Road Kill. After a thorough investigation, it has been confirmed that this is an actual dish offered by Texas Roadhouse.
“Look — I might not be able to swim, but I know a thing or two about follow through. Us Floridians just need to get things running before the next Gators game. It’s what Tom Petty would’ve wanted,” concluded Ebert before signaling the end of the interview by playing Petty’s “Runnin’ Down a Dream.”
Mackenzie is the first ever editor of The Beet and actually made of over 62% beet.