Hurricanes are no laughing matter, but that hasn’t stopped people from taking to Facebook to create lighthearted events about the storm.
Case and point: More than 1,600 people have marked themselves as “Interested” in attending a fake Facebook event to “Blow Your Saxophone at Hurricane Florence.”
It’s hosted by a music store in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“We need all the comic relief we can get in this time of potential disaster!” Wayne Leechford, the owner of Leechford Music, said in a Facebook message to IndyStar. “But, I am amazed at the response.”
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Fake events on the social media platform have seemingly become more popular over the years, as users create silly events with often nonsensical purposes.
Leechford said his store doesn’t expect damage now that the storm’s path has shifted toward South Carolina. The hurricane, now a Category 2 storm, is expected to lash the coast with winds, rains and a potentially deadly storm surge.
Some events were polite in their tone and chatter: “Tell Hurricane Florence To Stop” was scheduled to start at 9 p.m. Wednesday — before the hurricane’s anticipated arrival.
The event details are both simple and honest: “I guess it’s worth a try,” the social media chatter says.
In another: “If we all go boycott the hurricane really hard maybe it won’t strike land,” reads the details under an event titled “Boycott Hurricane Florence.”
About 13,000 Facebook users marked themselves as “Interested” in that event.
Another option? Attend the “Throw Shoes at Hurricane Florence” event in Greenville, South Carolina. Around 1,300 said they were interested.
Among the most popular of these fake events is “Take Hurricane Florence and PUSH It Somewhere ELSE!” The Spongebob-referencing event has more than 52,000 Facebook users marked as “Interested” in attending.
And somehow Bigfoot — yes, the mythical creature — is involved in an event that more than 800 people are interested in, entitled “Bigfoot Vs. Hurricane Florence.”
Other events include, “Bark At Hurricane Florence So It Will Go Away,” “Yell ‘Fake News’ At Hurricane Florence” and “Angry Tweet at Hurricane Florence.”
How you can really help those in Hurricane Florence’s path
If you want to do more than tweet or create Facebook events about the storm, the American Red Cross is accepting donations to assist with their response to people impacted by the very real, not funny storm.
Interested individuals can find more information at www.redcross.org, or by calling 800-733-2767. You can also text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The Red Cross also encourages eligible donors to give blood or platelets to help ensure a sufficient blood supply. The organization stresses that platelet and type O blood donations are especially needed right now.
Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting www.redcross.org or by calling 800-733-2767.
Even after creating the playful Facebook event, the owner of Leechford Music in North Carolina is still concerned about those in the states neighboring him and his store.
“We’ll keep blowing our saxophones!” Leechford said.
Ethan May is a digital producer at IndyStar who enjoys a laugh on Facebook now and then. Follow him on Twitter @EthanMayJ.