St Jude's Day storm passes in a flurry of wet gags

This was a perfect storm of sarcasm. And everyone, including me, made the same joke

Share

It was, to abuse a cliché, a perfect storm - of timing, tweets, and hurricane-force sarcasm. And I contributed as much the next metropolitan cynic with a smartphone. While eating my bran flakes, I heard a wheelie bin falling into my road. So I did what any fool in an age of banal over-sharing would - and tweeted a rubbish photo of it alongside a rubbish joke.

By then, social media were already straining in a gale of inanity, like the bough of a weary oak. The first gusts had came through on Sunday afternoon, perfectly hitting that idle time between supplement reading and a disappointing episode of Homeland. The ever reliable Buzzfeed offered “9 Shocking Photos Of The Devastation Wrought By The St. Jude Storm” - six images of toppled garden chairs, a felled gnome, a watering can and, yes, a wheelie bin.

We were all at it by morning, when in London at least, the winds seemed to be stiff rather than savage. “Part of a tree has hit the car roof,” Gary Lineker tweeted. “Not too much damage, I think”. He included a picture of a single leaf on a car (cue 10,000 retweets, to my zero).

Then came the knowing “middle-class crisis” updates of delayed Ocado deliveries and devastating quinoa shortages in Crouch End. “Pretty sure the herbs on my windowsill have met their demise,” one wag tweeted. “Can’t bring myself to open the curtain” (credit: “18 Intensely Middle Class Responses To The U.K. Storm”).

The St Jude’s Day storm, named after the patron saint of lame banter (or lost causes, to be accurate) also had the good fortune to coincide with morning rush hour, already peak time for pointless updates about leaves on lines and the hopelessness of the circle line. Just as reliable, meanwhile, were the comments and messages from hardier souls who despaired at the feebleness of southerners.

By the time London got to its desk, the sun was out and St Jude had moved on. #UKStorm2013 became yet another study in contemporary, Twitter-driven hype, where inanity and vanity collide in a whirlwind of wasted bandwidth. We only learned when the jokes ran out that wheelie bins had not been the only victims of the storm. Thousands of home are damaged or without power, and four people are dead. Perhaps to its credit, Buzzfeed later acknowledged as much with “The St. Jude Storm Actually Turned Out To Be Quite Bad”. Next time, I’ll keep eating my bran flakes.    

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Duty Manager is required to join one of the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Leader

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Team Leader is required to join one of the l...

Recruitment Genius: Chef

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Chef is required to join one of the largest ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is required to jo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The 2010-formed Coalition was led by a partly reformed Conservative Party, checked and balanced by Nick Clegg  

How did the Coalition ever manage to work together so harmoniously?

Isabel Hardman
There are around 250 species of bumblebee in the world  

If you want to rumble a bumblebee, now’s your chance

Michael McCarthy
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor