Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Like most of the country, we're in the midst of a doozy of a snowstorm causing the local forecasters to be on the verge of a weather orgasm. They're so excited they're practically breathless giving the details. Off camera they must have to take periodic hits on an oxygen tank enabling them to confidently go forward with the scare factor so the viewers realize that if they set one foot out the door, the consequences will be very, very grave.

Cue the anchor. After hearing the weatherman give the dire predication of the hours and days to come, she asks, "Just what is a blizzard?" I find it charming and endearing when news people treat the viewer as a complete idiot who has no idea between a snowstorm and a blizzard. He sleds right into his explanation (as if this wasn't a carefully planned segment) and enlightens us about the wind, temperature and snowfall amounts that constitute a blizzard.

Here's the short answer: If you send your husband out to get the paper at the end of the driveway and he calls you four hours later from the parking lot of Wal-Mart because he couldn't find his way back to the front door, you're probably in the throws of a monster storm. That's winter on steroids. It's not charming, it's not endearing and the only time it makes most of us breathless is when we have to shovel the driveway.

But the days ahead will be filled with graphics and scary music while reporters and camera crews are shoved out the door against their will to give us some youtube moments. We'll watch these underpaid gophers get pummeled by the snow and wind while we look out the window and say, "Yep, kids, that there is what you call a blizzard."

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