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DIVINE INSPIRATION The Village People construction worker guy.
Phillipe had to endure Irene at Casa Diablo South in Newport. No problems at all, save for a titanic poplar limb, whose size had already led P&J to dub it "Johnny Wadd," falling all the way across the circular driveway and nearly taking down the power lines.

Thankfully, it missed the house by approximately three azaleas, four hydrangeas, and 10 feet of myrtle, if you are scoring at home.

P. had to go into full Paul Bunyan mode to help clean up the debris. And it should be noted, here, that any time either Phillipe or Jorge attempts to use a power tool any more formidable than a TV remote or electric can opener, it is essentially a suicide attempt.

The image of either of your superior correspondents firing up a chainsaw and wading into a downed tree is as absurd as Hillary Clinton hopping onto a table top at the UN and beginning a strip tease. Needless to say, grotesquerie would ensue in either case.

But P. was prepared for this unlikely possibility. Taping a picture of the construction worker guy from the Village People next to the lighted dressing room vanity mirror Sunday, he took to creating an outfit that would more than meet the demands of what promised to be a Monday of hard labor.

He immediately cut his favorite jeans into nearly obscene shorts that would make Ricky Martin whinny. (Queer Eye for the Already Flaming Guy hint: If the pockets aren't hanging well beneath the fringed hem, those aren't "short shorts," mister!)

Adding to the aura: the requisite hard hat, a white wife beater, and two "lick-n-stick" fake tattoos. On the right bicep went a Marine bulldog, and on the left arm a red heart with "Mom" written across it. Finally, settling on a pair of lace-up, steel-toed Doc Martens, P. threw himself into the clean-up.


HAZARDS

When trees go down, so do power lines. Nothing like loose gazillion-volt electric lines writhing like snakes while you're pinned under a giant oak to make you wish Lassie were real. But that's not the only way to get killed in a hurricane.

Try cutting in line to purchase gas or ice; jumping the queue for the free coffee on offer at Stop & Shop (yeah, that just means cutting in line, too, but we thought we'd break it up a bit); and driving anywhere. At least when the traffic lights are out.

On a mission to pick up chain saw oil for a real man who came over to CD South to cut up our fallen tree for firewood, P. saw a parade of cluelessness, stupidity, and ignorance that makes a normal motoring day in Vo Dilun look like a contest in chivalry.

To these morons who don't quite grasp the idea of a four-way stop, or simply blow through an intersection talking on their cell phones in the midst of crisis, may you be T-boned by a semi loaded with lead bars going about 90 miles an hour upon impact. Can you hear me now?

On the bright side, misery loves company, and company makes for laughter. We all worked up some good stories once Irene said goodnight — stories that will undoubtedly be inflated when we tell our grandchildren about the "Big One of 2011."

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