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I Think Being a Weatherman Could Be Really Depressing

April 20, 2012

So we’ve been having some weird weather lately in Ohio. And by weird, I mean that I’m beginning to think that maybe those people on Doomsday Preppers have a valid point. Well, except for that one guy that ‘s convinced that there is a super-volcano underneath Yellow Stone National Park that will somehow end the world if it ever erupts. Or maybe I’m getting that confused with Old Faithful. Either way, it still seems unlikely to me. All that by way of introduction, I think it must be really depressing to be a weatherman.

For example, are weathermen conflicted about what to call their profession when they introduce themselves to other people at parties? I mean, even while writing this post, I felt obligated to at least consider using a gender-neutral term until I came across a linguistic oddity like “weathercaster.” Then I realized it was just plain silly to be worrying about using the preferred politically correct word when so far the best that the cumulative English-speaking world can come up with is a term that instantaneously evokes a mental image of Al Roker decked out in a magical hat and robe like Gandalf or that somewhat scary wizard from Fantasia.

Additionally, is it hurtful to say that I don’t think that weathermen possess any real talents other than pointing backwards against a green-screen and having a rudimentary grasp of the United States’ geography? I understand that perhaps there is that rare, fleeting sense of accomplishment when a weatherman totally nails that on-camera banter with their fellow anchorpeople regarding some adorable video clip of ducklings carefully waddling across a road, but do you ever ponder if weathermen cry themselves to sleep at night, thinking about why they didn’t do something more tangible with their lives like becoming a plumber, locksmith or sign-spinner as their mothers suggested?

I do. In the end, I can only imagine that it must be terribly difficult to take a job seriously when it doesn’t even remotely require you to be accurate in any of your predictions.

There’s also that whole “the entire world, including their children and domestic partners, believe weathermen are big fat liars” thing. You know that one has got to sting. It probably plays out something like this:

“I told you already honey. I had to work late that night. There was that freak hail storm over in Medina. Never seen anything like it. And the strangest thing was that at the center of every hailstone, there was a perfectly frozen tadpole.”

“Whatever Henry! Like I haven’t heard that crock of horseshit from you a thousand times before. You were probably out again trying to pick up some young floozy at a bar by telling her all about your very own private dressing room and how you could sneak her into the news studio some night if she ever felt like being really naughty.”

“Come on, babe. You know that’s not fair. I made one freaking mistake in my life and now every time I’m more than 15 minutes late, you think I’m out banging some two-bit radio broadcaster.”

“You know what Henry? Why should I believe you? You also said that there was absolutely, positively, zero percent chance of rain the week of our honeymoon and we both remember how that turned out, don’t we? How could you possibly not know there was a hurricane coming? I mean, c’mon Henry? A goddamn HURRICANE! Sometimes I think you’re just worthless.”

So yeah, I’m reasonably sure that being a weatherman could be somewhat depressing. Therefore, I offer the following unsolicited advice to weathermen everywhere. May you find some sunshine in your otherwise, stormy, smog-filled days.

  • Insist on being called a “Weather Wizard” in all official station broadcasts and communications
  • Wave your arms like you’re casting a spell every time you want the background image to change. For bonus points, try incorporating a buzzword like “shazzam.”
  • Make startlingly specific and strange weather predictions/prognostications. For example, “…and later this afternoon, Old Miss Johnson is going to be out walking her poodle and the dog’s incessant barking will disturb a flock of birds that will burst forth in flight from a nearby tree and defecate all over your newly washed car. And oh, I also had a vision and there is a 83.4671% chance that on April 35th, the sky is going to turn red like blood and it’s going to rain salamanders.”
  • While on live television, pull out a Magic 8-Ball hastily labeled “DOPPLER Radar” with Wite-Out. Pretend to consult with it in hushed whispers for about twenty seconds and then hold it up closely to your ear as if receiving an audible response before confidently pronouncing that “in Toledo today, the weather is going to be a balmy ‘Ask again later’ with a 15% chance of ‘Very doubtful.'”

Disclaimer: This post was absolutely, positively, not written because I may happen to still harbor a slight grudge against a weatherman that confidently proclaimed that it was going to be a cool, comfortable 62 degrees on a day I went to Cedar Point. Instead, the day’s high temperature was more like a sweltering 84 degrees and I was severely uncomfortable wearing jeans. Mostly, this was because as my thighs grew more and more painfully chafed, I kept thinking that perhaps that weatherman just got really bored that day and decided to just start messing with people.

P.S. I have been hearing some preliminary reports that Steve Guttenberg may not actually be dead. I will continue the investigation and keep you updated.

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