I saw the most ridiculous thing on television yesterday morning, which is a brave boast, considering the parade of fools who do the Clown Shoe Shuffle across the news channels these days.
In a time when a major network airs a show where Satan gets tired of Hell and comes to Earth to help a police officer solve crimes once a week (Scratch that - or Old Scratch that - "Lucifer" is actually kind of entertaining, in a guilty pleasure sort of way), you would think the Idiot Bar had been set as low as it could go.
No, something even more asinine than non-news news and demonic detectives filled the screen. The weather wonks on local television were giving the White Death timeline for Saturday. For an inch of snow. Nope - that doesn't accurately portray my incredulity. Take two: FOR ONE INCH OF SNOW.
I know the silly season is upon us, with global warming ripping the icebergs out from under some poor polar bear's feet even as we speak. Yet breaking out the sled dogs for an inch of snow? What have we become - Southerners?
I thought us Northerners were made of sterner stuff. Not as hale and hearty as our Alaskan countryfolk, but able to at least withstand an inch of two of powder without calling in the National Guard. Speaking of which…
Back in my younger days I spent an Army training winter in Alabama. The entire state would come to a screeching, slipping halt when a quarter inch of the white stuff hit the pavement. You would have thought a banana peel truck overturned just as the Three Stooges were touring the Heart of Dixie.
Hilarity ensued – as in, I laughed myself silly at their panicked response. Though, to be fair, one of my fellow soldiers was from Hawaii and did not see the humor in it at all.
Remember when the flurry freak-outs did not occur until the measuring stick hit eight inches? You could tell, because the meteorologist would dutifully go out on the TV station’s deck and plunge a ruler into a snow drift. “Yup, eight inches of the white stuff. Back to you only ten feet away from me in the studio, Chet.”
Those days are now as rare as a male morning news anchor. If a cocaine bust happens in the middle of August there’s sure to be some weatherman decked out in thermals and a Russian Cossack hat attempting to determine the depth of the “snow.”
Fortunately, the viewing public has become so jaded to dire weather warnings that they react with the same amount of urgency reserved for Black Friday sales. (that was sarcasm, Ladies and Gentlemen). Do you want to play “Survivor – the Home Game?” Try going to the grocery store after a prophecy of snow and reach for a loaf of bread without pulling back a bloody stump.
This weekend’s forecast calls for widespread panic with traces of overreaction – dress, drive and shop accordingly.