Vague uneasiness due to extensive news coverage of the Asian tsunami marred a winter beach getaway in Florida, a local family reported last week.
"I could never walk the beach at sundown or lie on a towel in the sun without seeing all those images from TV," Becky Swain, 18, said after her return to Nashville from Bonita Springs, south of Fort Myers.
Becky, her mother Laura, father Edwin and 14-year-old brother Henry have made a tradition of a Florida vacation for New Year's, but news of the disaster in the Indian Ocean made a stroll along the Atlantic a less-than-relaxing experience.
"We just shouldn't have turned the TV on," Edwin Swain said. "The memory of those pictures kind of made me jump every time a big wave crashed. I kept looking around, thinking where we could run if a tsunami hit here. That's not a good way to relax, I can tell you. I spent the whole time nervous as a cat."
The Swain family's return to Nashville was not immediately any better, due to several frantic messages from Edwin Swain's mother, Loretta Swain, 79, of Woodbine, who apparently believed the tsunami may have struck Florida.
"I knew they were all at the beach down there in Florida, and when I saw all those big waves coming in I was afraid that they were washed away. I was worried sick, and they didn't even call," the elderly woman said.
"It never occurred to us to call Mom from the beach," Edwin says. "Who would ever have thought she couldn't tell the difference between the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico?
"We already don't let her watch the Weather Channel because she thinks anytime there's snow anywhere in the U.S. that she has to rush out and buy bread and milk. Are we going to have to put some kind of block on the news, too?"
(The Fabricator is satire. Don't believe everything you read.)
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