Katherine comes in from the cold, red-faced and shivering.
“It feels like it’s 20 degrees out there.”
“Wrong,” I reply. “It feels like 17.”
“The Weather Channel, of course.” I hand her my smart phone which has a Weather Channel app. “It says the temperature is 25 but it feels like 17.”
She is not impressed. “They don’t know what it feels like to me.”
I sigh. Here we go again with weather channel denial. We go through this all the time, like last week when I told her to take an umbrella because there was a weather event going on.
“If it’s raining,” she said. “Why don’t they just say it’s raining?”
“These people have degrees,” I told her, flipping on the TV. It’s pre-set to the Weather Channel and requires a court order to change channels.
“I have degrees,” said Katherine, who, indeed, is a master of arts.
“Of course you do,” I responded. “But their degrees are in Fahrenheit.”
On screen we see two meteorologists. One is a haggard, bald header named Ed, the other a nicely turned out beauty queen named Alice. Ed is describing bad weather in the plains states. His sleeves are rolled up, eyebrows in full dive and about him a look of weariness: Picture poor Job when the grasshoppers caught him in the open without a hairnet.
“Give me a break,” says the master of arts to Ed. Something in her tone, though, suggests Katherine knows ahead of time that Ed can’t hear her. I shush her as Ed speaks.
“If you’re out driving,” he says, “be sure to turn on your wipers. If it starts to weather event really hard, turn the wipers on high.”
“I need to write that down.” I grab a pen and scribble across my hand.
Ed throws it over to Jimbo, a weather reporter out in the field. He is standing in a creek in about four feet of water wearing what looks like a rubberized snow suit.
“Bet he got that suit from his rubber room,” says Katherine.
“Thanks Ed,” says Jimbo. “I think we ought to remind people that the weather event is pretty much coming down and not sideways or even up.”
“Good point, Jimbo.” Ed has loosened his tie.
The camera cuts back to Jimbo, almost completely submerged now. The swift running creek carries him and his microphone out of view.
“Take a moment there, Jimbo,” says Ed, “to try to save your life.”
The camera shows only the angry, rolling stream.
“Uh oh,” says Ed. “I think we’ve lost our live feed.”
“It’s a good thing that didn’t happen on the highway.” This, from Alice, the only meteorologist on camera with enough hair for a comb over.
“Indeed,” says Ed. “And this might be a good time to remind our viewers: please, do not try this at home.”
“Or on the highway,” says Alice.
“Oh man,” I whine. “They always say that. I was just about to get out my hip waders and go look for a rising river.”
“You don’t have hip waders,” says Katherine.
“True,” I say. “But a man can dream, can’t he?”
“Men dream,” she says, “women vacuum.”
Later, as I lie on the couch dreaming of making a million dollars—some of which I would almost certainly share with Katherine—I hear from upstairs the sworn enemy of the afternoon nap. Picture poor Job scrambling for his ear plugs as his world is blasted by the sound of a vacuum cleaning event. Oh, please, don’t try this at home.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013, all rights reserved