It’s early on a recent morning, and I’m trying to figure out whether I should walk to the shopping center to get some groceries because I could use the exercise.
It’s cloudy – certainly looks as if it could rain at any moment – so I turn on the local 24-hour news station to get the forecast.
The forecaster, a young guy, says something along the lines of: “Yes, I know it’s cloudy out, but there’s only a 20 percent chance of rain, and the clouds’ bark is worse than their bite, so to speak, so go ahead, go out – you probably won’t get rained on.”
So I did. And I didn’t get rained on.
But I’m still in a state of shock. And I greatly fear for this guy’s career.
Doesn’t he know that, as a TV weather forecaster, it is his job, practically his sworn duty, to make things seem as bad as possible?
Doesn’t he know that he’s supposed to say something like this:
“Yes, there’s only a 20 percent chance of rain, but that still means you have a 1 in 5 chance of getting rained on. Poured on. Drenched. Which, as we all know, can lead to a chill, which can lead to a cold, which can lead to pneumonia and maybe even dengue fever, which I really don’t know anything about – I just like saying ‘dengue fever’!
“And what’s worse, you never know what’s above those clouds. Planes are up there all the time, hidden from view, and one of them could crash. Or one of them could be carrying a grand piano in it’s cargo hold, a cargo hold that it’s a wee bit too heavy for, and the fuselage might crack and the piano – and maybe the whole darn plane – might come crashing down on you!
“Oh, and did I mention the vultures? You never know when they’ll be circling. And you have been looking a little thin lately…..”