Should I stay or should I go?

We’ve all been faced with one dilemma or another. Some are big, some are small. Vanilla or chocolate? Half & half or soy milk? College or travel? To be or not to be?

The dilemma expressed in the title of today’s blog could have several meanings. Many of us recognize it as the title of the hit single by UK punk rock band The Clash. Originally, released in 1982, it quickly became an anthem for those of us in high school. Not only this song, but everything about the Clash influenced our generation – our thinking, our hairstyles, our clothing and of course the music we played.

Buzzed hair, shaved to the skin, spiked what was left with gel, and altered our fathers’ abandoned suits – narrowed legs, tore sleeves – and pulled stick-thin 60s ties out from the back of closets.

We danced, pogoed and slammed to the sound of this and other punk rock bands like the Dead Kennedys, the Sex Pistols and the Ramones. Whether we knew what they were saying with their anti-establishment, leftist lyrics, or not, it didn’t matter. It was a new sound. The Clash’s London Calling double album was the anthem for a generation, the generation labelled “X”. Our dilemma was how to overcome the smothering influence and the “we did it first, we did it better” attitude of all our hippy, free-love, flower-power, formerly acid-dropping, ganga-smoking parents.

The origins of the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” dilemma have been the source of some speculation. Legend points to several band members’ uncertainty about whether to stick with the band, while tensions between members and their record label grew. The reality however, is more banal – like so many hit songs, it’s about a relationship, penned by band member Mick Jones while he decided whether to leave his long-time girlfriend – not the anti-establishment stuff of which the Clash is best known. Surprised?

My dilemma has nothing to do with music and everything to do with nature. Hurricane Rick formed off of the Southwest coast of Mexico a few days ago and grew into a very dangerous Category 5 beast with hurricane force winds that extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km).

Winds are topping 175 miles an hour – a whopping 280 kph. In a bit of synchronicity, tropical storm force winds extend outwards up to 175 miles from the eye of the storm as well. It is the second largest Category 5 hurricane on record for Pacific region.

It’s making waves with faces 50 feet tall out at sea.

Now while Laird Hamilton and others of his ilk might be rubbing their hands together at the thought of this prospect, I am thinking of our home on the beach atop a bluff that can’t be much higher than 50 feet and just what a 50 foot wave might do to it and neighboring properties. I’m stuck in California and not scheduled to fly back to Baja California Sur until Wednesday – right when they are predicting the storm will move over the tip of the peninsula.

So do I stay here in California, safe and sound? Or do I hasten and change flights to get down there Tuesday or earlier in the hopes that the rain will not have begun nor the arroyos to run – that a path to our home on the Sea of Cortez will remain?

Six sweet dogs, our family, await our return and are oblivious to the impending storm, along with our caretaker Felipe to whom the internet is a unknown force in the world.

And then there is the fact that if home is not reached ahead of the storm it could be several days before it can be reached, depending on the amount of rain the storm dumps. Inches of rain dropped on the desert in hours means dangerous flash floods and dry riverbeds become raging torrents, impassable by car, even with 4×4.

And so, the refrain continues to play over and over in the head “Should I stay or should I go?” [and the guitar sings bana-pana-bam-pa, bana-pana-ba-pa!] “Rock the Casbah!”

More info on THE CLASH.


3 thoughts on “Should I stay or should I go?

  1. now i know what you meant. I hope you find the answer you are looking for. I have been thru 3 Sunami warnings living in the Queen Charlottes. It's hard to explain to someone what it feels like upon evacuation of your home, the thoughts that go thru your mind. And I must admit picking up the town drunks on our way up the mountain was new one for me but who else was going to take them up there. Finding the cat was at the time a big one for me. Living at zero sea level leaves you with not much choice when an underwater volcano erupts over in Japan, who knew how it could affect me living in BC! Well I will be thinking of you and your family and hope all goes well. But maybe you could stay in california so we know you are safe. Tammy

  2. Dawn – I feel for you! Personally, I'd be wanting to get down there if I couldn't contact the folks at home to secure things (and loved animals!) for you. That is, assuming you can still get down there…But I don't have to tell you about the inability to fly in bad weather conditions, since you have the same experienced I do in the north. Love and hope to you – Cath

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