Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Everybody Talks About the Weather

The People have come in a body to me, asking, anent the news reports of last night's snowstorm, "O! sage Nathaniel! how ever do reporters in the field manage to find so many denizens willing to bellyache to the cameras about the snow?" My considered reply: "Elefino. Maybe they've been bribed."

I refuse to apologize for my cynicism. Presidential visits, Olympics and whacking great saffron curtains in Central Park may disrupt this City, but no snowstorm within living memory ever has. And no one save Captain Queeg has ever complained about one in my presence.

The folks who grumble to the cameras don't come out at any other time, so I strongly suspect that snow-knocking is a form of seasonal employment, like Santa-Clausing. Whenever the flakes begin to fall, a squadron of specialists emerges from around and about the City, ready, for a modest emolument, to give reporters the feeds they need to season the broadcasts.

To me, a weatherman is like a drummer in a jazz band. His contribution is essential, but boring. Nevertheless, it's necessary to allow him an eight-bar solo from time to time, just to keep him happy. Snowstorms are the eight-bar drum solos of the nightly news.

Someone recently complained of too much politics in the news reports. Well, I would add weather to that complaint.


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