Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tough Audience

I have been thinking about the people who settled this part of the United States, coming here and spending the winters in small cabins, fighting the cold and snow, and most likely being hungry.

Today is the last day of my break, and I have to mush out of here to buy groceries. I will not have to delve into the stockpile of food which we put away in August, hoping we have enough for the winter and eat what I find. I will not have to wait for EG to go out and hunt something, killing some small woodland creature so we can eat. I will not have to send Rocky out to cut wood (and most likely cut his leg off in the process) so we will be warm.

Instead, I will take my heated Honda minivan to the supermarket, driving on plowed roads, choose things which appeal to me, and pay for them with the swipe of a credit card.

Here in northeast Ohio, we have two types, okay, three types of weather people. We have the one who should have retired years ago but is a weather icon here, who tells us warm and fuzzy stories related to the weather, a human interest addition to the weather. We have those who are like, "Okay, here is what the weather is doing, but you live in the snowbelt, so what do you expect." And then we have the "we're gonna die" contingent, those who frantically describe the two inches of snow we got overnight, forecasting another inch like it is the end of civilization as we know it, a frozen Pompeii if you will. These are the same people who interrupt the regular programming to tell us about the tornado warning in Pennsylvania, zooming in the radar to tell us which areas, down to which streets, are affected. What I don't get are why these people are watching television if the tornado is that close--if things are that dangerous, shouldn't they be in the basement, huddling together in case the storm takes them out?

We have one meteorologist who is quite handsome, but even the kids can't take him seriously. First, he hosts a program called Academic Challenge. The program pits teams from local high schools against one another with questions about math, literature, art, and science. The kids like to watch it because they know the answers to many of the questions. However, the new hobby here is detecting how many words the host will mispronounce. Last week, we found three words which he butchered, Methuselah being one of them, and terrestrial being another. Granted, these are not easy words like cat, but still...

However, this meteorologist lost his credibility with my kids after they viewed him on Academic Challenge. They figure he isn't so smart, which carries over to his weather forecasts. It can be January in Ohio, and the meteorologist will predict snow, and my kids snort skeptically, as if he had predicted a hurricane. Even when he's right, the kids view it as a fluke.

And maybe that is why people are watching the weather instead of heading to shelter.

1 comment:

maeve said...

Oh, yeah. I know that weather guy. Does anyone think he's really a meteorologist? Now I have to reacquaint myself with Academic Challenge.