Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Weatherman Sucketh

It was a typical summer evening thunderstorm.  The kind that happens nearly every day this time of year.  You could hear it roiling in the distance.  Soon, gusting wind rattled the shutters and whipped the trees.  Lightning flashes remind me to turn off anything you can't afford to lose.  CRACK!  And make it quick.

The heavy drops pinging off of the chimney cap are followed closely by a torrential downpour.  The cats make a bee-line for the door and stake out their respective places to preen and curl up for a nap.  It's time to settle in for a quiet evening at home, in this case, with an old black & white murder mystery on television.

I know that watching TV during a lightning storm is risky business.  I could lose my mystery, and my television, at any moment but I feel confident the surge protector will save the TV from anything but a direct hit and I'm willing to chance it.  After all, nothing short of unplugging everything and stacking them in the middle of the room can save appliances from a direct hit.

No, the interruption I was unprepared for came from a different source altogether.

Just as the plot was beginning to thicken and the dirty deed was about to be done... my Friendly Weatherman appears on the screen, accompanied by a squawking alarm sound, to inform me that it's raining!  And furthermore, it's not only raining here but all over the rest of Baja Georgia as well.  He assures me that I'm not to worry because he will be there all evening so as to let me know the instant there are any further developments.  All of this was accompanied by the very latest in animated charts and graphs and arrows and squiggly lines.  After all... "We Care."

The program returns to the screen only to have half of it covered by the station logo and a little map of Baja Georgia that shows all of the counties in which it's raining, and a crawl (complete with elevator bells) at the bottom of the screen informing us of all of the above.

Just about the time I'm beginning to pick up the pieces, they cut to commercial.

I'm livid.  I've missed the essential plot development of a murder mystery I was really looking forward to so that someone could give me information that anyone but a blathering idiot already knew in the first place.  The whole thing turns me into a blathering idiot and I begin to hallucinate, aloud, about the joy of getting my hands around my Friendly Weatherman's throat.  (All of this to the delight of my wife who has now found something more entertaining to watch than a movie.)

Later in the evening, after the storm has passed, another crawl appears on the screen (with elevator bells) informing us that several streets downtown are impassable due to flooding.  Now that's worthwhile information, done properly.

The whole thing is a matter of taste.  Is it really necessary to interrupt programming for every thunderstorm that comes along?

I, for one, have become really weary of sensationalized weathercasting altogether.  Wouldn't it be nice, for a change, if instead of predicting a 40% chance of rain the weatherman announced a 60% chance of sunshine?


  1. Even the weather on the news has become (them who program such things) infotainment. What a ratings boost they must get from their self proselytizing aggrandizement. Of course the movie didn't matter anyone in the rain still needed to be told because that is how stupid TV thinks they have made us.

  2. Agree Walking Man... with one exception. I don't believe TV does it because they think we, the audience are stupid, I believe they do it because THEY are stupid!

  3. It would indeed be nice. You could put such a marvellous spin on the everyday if only we turned the statistics and percentages on their heads.

  4. I predict there's a 100% chance that this sort of idiocy will only get worse!

  5. Matthew... as the old song goes...

    You've got to accentuate the positive
    Eliminate the negative
    And latch on to the affirmative
    Don't mess with Mister In-Between

    Intelli... Ah, which idiocy exactly are you referring to, theirs or mine?

  6. That's very backward. You'd think in this day and age they'd just use a cute little piece of scrolling text at the bottom saying "turn the set off you dimwit" or whatever.

    Funny how the cats made a beeline for the door. I wonder if, in some sort of alternative quest, bees were making catlines for the hive.

  7. Ummmm... cat lines. Seems like it would work. Bees don't waste any time getting home and neither did those cats.

  8. That would suck. Here they always say "We are using commercial time, you will not miss any of the network programing."
    Unless it's a tornado warning.

  9. I'm with you, Mr. C. Recently, during some torrential rains, there wasn't a show that wasn't interrupted by these weather news flashes. Most irritating.

  10. Bastards!!! So absolutely annoying and quite unforgiving. Being one who is sooo not interested in sporting events (save my newly found love for baseball), I also get more than mildly irritated when a neverending televised game takes over a show that I've actually looked forward to. Come on!

  11. Bastard should be staked out on one of those streets that flood pre-storm. Does it not rain there often? It rains here more than it does anything else. We wouldn't have any weather forecasters left if they did that.

  12. Tex... I don't get it. I guess enough people haven't complained.

    Barbara... ditto.

    Gropius... I know you have the same thing down there we have up here in Baja.

    Captain... I live in Florida. During the summer there are thunderstorms nearly every day. It's just more of the same ole same ole of each station trying to "Be My Friend" more than the other. BTW, welcome aboard. I visit your blog often.

  13. This fucker must be from a Plains state. That is exactly what they do...BLASTING in our ears, as if we were all going to get blown to California, and drop into the Pacific. When I first moved here, I could not believe it, being from North Florida. And the thing is, the thunderstorms ain't nowhere near the intensity of Florida Thunderstorms. OK, so occasionally they spawn bad ass tornadoes, but really folks...way too melodramatic. I cannot tell you how many nights my family and I have spent in the basement waiting for the sirens to quit, and for the SHITHEAD on the t.v. weather to shut the fuck up. Oh, yeah, did I mention that they repeat themselves...repeatedly. Sorry to hear this about Baja, C.

  14. I've often laughed at the sight of the blessed weather people on TV. I know, I know, "meteorologists" right? I can look out my window and with pinpoint accuracy determine if I will indeed stay in or go out.

    Side note: Once I was watching the weather channel (for the music they play in the background can be quite soothing to a frazzled mother)and looked up when a woman started talking. Just above her head was an advertisement. The advertisment was for a brand of soup.
    It said: Chunky.
    Henceforth the woman's name had become Chunky and I laughed the whole time she was on camera.


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