Snow Jobs

"There is nothing to fear but fear itself -- and no moo juice and no wipe."
--Franklin D. Roosevelt
Residing in the south, where few of us see much snow, there is an indisputable fact of life. The hint of an alleged solitary flake falling out of the sky will impel the chicken little people to enter the irrational zone. Like clockwork, they'll invade the stores, snatching every carton of milk and roll of toilet paper in captivity.

I've known folks to hoard cows and pulp mills.

Snowstorms mean big broadcast ratings, if the media can cause a panic to keep terrified audiences tuned in to watch their talking heads and fluffy hairs.

The exploitive, wall-to-wall, rain-to-sleet, TV weather spectaculars usually fail to deliver the actual grim precipitation promised. My biggest complaint, year after year, is the programs are always the same identical telethons -- minus Norm Crosby, Charo, and marching bands with mangy hats.

Stations could run a 16mm kinescope of "The Freeze of '54" and we wouldn't recognize the difference from their last weather emergency telecast. That is, if the footage hadn't exposed black-and-white and armpit-high pleated slacks.

The only new elements in the coverage are the hyperbolic program titles each channel flaunts at any opportunity. Their promotional graphics incite our attention, especially when there's no glacial mass to report.

My bride overnighted with her mother during the tempest in the teevee. The ladies missed out on snow entirely. Nothing plopped from the atmosphere, except bad local news predictions.

Nevertheless, I was consumed with dread and nervousness until I learned of the plight of my loved ones. I fired off this imperative email at dawn.

"Did you survive? How about the toilet paper? Did the toilet paper survive? Oh, the humanity!"

The answers were affirmative. My prayers were answered, but thanks to the unnecessary, escalating hysteria of the weather professionals, the tissue and me nearly cracked.
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