Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow Day on Television

Once again, I was reminded of one of the reasons I left television news--snow.  Yes, snow.  About Wednesday of this week, the local news stations got in position, with their "storm teams" reporting on the "winter blast" that was coming--any day now.

That was four days ago. The snow actually came today--Sunday.

Mark my words, the day some weather forecaster said the word snow, some news director began telling rank and file staffers that they would have to work all day, even the A-list anchors. 

I'm watching the news yesterday morning--Saturday, and there's the A-team.  The weather forecaster looks like he wants a paper bag to put over his head.  He predicted snow beginning that morning.  A camera cuts to a live picture of a major highway. One of the anchors says with a bit of spite, "I don't see anything."

I laugh silently (yes, that's possible). Then the anchors "toss it" to a reporter literally on the street, or highway to be exact.  They say something like:

Wennison Baldald is standing by live at the top of Solisbury Hill--What's it like there,     Wen?

Baldald says something like: Well  Jack and Jill, It's cold on Solisbury Hill--about 40 degrees. As you can see, it's not snowing yet, but when it does, it will be a nightmare here.

Back to Jack and Jill: OK, thank you Wen.  Now let's go to Mountain Girl, who is standing 
by at The Lodge at Mount Crumpet, where it actually is snowing. We're told the ski season is expected to open, but if you go skiing today,  you'll face whiteout conditions and be risking your life. Mountain Girl, are you still alive?

Mountain Girl says:  Thank you Jack and Jill for your concern.  Yes, I'm still alive, but as you can see I'm as cold as hell, and my privates froze off about an hour ago. Please ask our boss what I did to deserve this.

Jack and Jill: Oh Mountain Girl, you didn't do anything wrong.  We do this to all the new hires. Stay warm in the blizzard conditions, Mountain Girl. Weather Geek is here with the very latest on our "arctic blast".  So WG, when will we see the blizzard conditions that Mountain Girl just spoke about.

Weather Geek:  Well Jack and Jill, I've been studying the computer models and looking at satellite pictures and I can tell you for certain--that I have NO CLUE. It all depends on where you live. May I add that I have one of the few jobs where I can be wrong and still get paid. Back to you, Jack and Jill.

Jack and Jill:  Thanks WG.  That's all we've got for now.  Of course we will give you new information about the incoming arctic blast, when we think we have information you need to know. Otherwise, we'll see you tomorrow, when the storm actually gets here. Thanks for watching!


Jack and Jill: Winter has arrived and we have team coverage of the arctic blast we've been promising you. Let's go to Weather Geek to find out just how  long this "blast" will last.

Weather Geek: Well Jack and Jill , now that the bad weather is actually here, the weather service has issued a winter storm warning for the area. And I don't think we're gonna warm up soon. In fact we'll have record cold temperatures in the area--temperatures we haven't experienced since the Eisenhauer administration. I'm guessing school will be closed tomorrow, but that's not part of my job.

Jack and Jill:   That's right WG, it's ours.  You can watch our promos during this newscast for the school closures we plan to have coverage of tomorrow. But now, lets go to our   helicopter in the sky for a birds-eye view of this winter wonderland.

Copter in the sky:  Thank you Jack and Jill.  The reporter (or whoever it is) sitting in my cabin looks like hell, because he needs air sickness pills, so here's a quick shot of him. Now let's take a look down below where his barf will soon be landing. It will sure make that pretty snow look terrible.  By the way--we're working but everyone else should stay off the roads.  Back to you Jack and Jill.

Jill:  You know Jack.  I drove in today, but I'm hearing rumors that the boss wants to go 24 hours with this. He's watching the other stations, and that's what the competition is doing. On the plus side, he's going to throw us a pizza party and put us up at a local hotel. I love room service breakfast don't you?

Jack:  Don't we have to be in at 5am tomorrow morning?  I don't think we'll have much time for breakfast, but would you like to get a margarita with me after our four hours on the air?

Jill:  Sure, it will be noon somewhere, right? Since I won't be home to make my husband dinner and tuck my kids in  tonight, I just want to take this time to say "I love you" to my family, and sorry that I can't be with you because of my all-important job.

Jack: And I just want to say to my wife who just had  our twin boys --both of whom have ear infections and are projectile vomiting.. I'm sorry  I can't be there to give you a break.  Remember, I love you.  I'll see you in a few days when we get to stop covering the storm. Remember you chose to stay home with the boys, and besides, I can't breast-feed.

Jack and Jill:  Right, where were we. Yes, let's go live again to the  The Lodge at Mount Crumpet, where our cub reporter Mountain Girl has been standing by all weekend. Mountain Girl, Mountain Girl! Can you hear us?

Jack and Jill: Mountain Girl, your face is blue.  You look like you need medical attention. 
Our helicopter, with the strange man in it, is on its way to transport you to a local hospital. We certainly hope your are alright. On the other hand if the storm dissipates, our producer will need a new lead story. 


Yukon said...

Ede's...I want you to know I did the career-limiting cackle reading this. It's SO PERFECT and SO TRUE. And how I remember your stories of your days in "TV news...." Truly unreal. They do a great job getting everyone riled! I made it into work Sun and Mon. Have to stay home on Tues as Justin needs to go to work. My car, however, is having issues, so it's to the repair shop. Think I should alert the media so that they cover this breaking story? (ha, ha)

Yukon said...

Oh and Ede's -- the MOST IMPORTANT COMMENT -- THANK YOU FOR mentioning Wennison!!! (of course of "Wennison Baldald" fame!) Just the name kills me. You were always gifted that way... I still dream of the day I meet someone actually NAMED Wennison. Should THAT ever happen, know I will blame you when I let loose with the mother of all career limiting cackles!!!!