Well, here it is the first of June already. Time sure goes by quickly when you’ve been 39 for 19 years.
It seems like only yesterday it was still May.
As you may have guessed at this point, my hero is Jack Benny. But since Mr. Benny no longer makes those great television shows, I have to watch something more modern. Well, it seems more modern in some ways and just the opposite in other ways.
“What on earth is he yakking about this time?” I hear you ask in unbearable curiosity.
I am referring to The Weather Channel. There’s something addictive about that channel.
I never paid much attention to it until I noticed my wife Saundra’s obsession with it. All day long she has the TV tuned to The Weather Channel with the volume on mute.
I asked her if she had it on mute because she listens to me on the radio. After all, if I have a loyal listener, it should be my own wife, right? She said she rarely has the radio on at all.
Then why does she have that channel on all day long with the sound off? It can’t be a fascination with meteorology because she doesn’t tune in my radio weather reports. Then again, why turn on the radio when she has to listen to me when I get home?
So, on my days off I started paying attention to The Weather Channel while I sat bleary-eyed in my battered old recliner with my morning coffee. The people look like they just voted for Coolidge.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with old fashioned, or new fashioned for that matter. It’s just that the people look so uniform, like they came off an assembly line.
There’s not a mustache in sight, at least not on the men. All the guys wear suits and ties, and the women are also dressed up. The only exceptions are the ones standing out in the middle of hurricanes or blizzards in Gore-Tex jackets.
A semi-exception are the men at the expert desk. They are all doctor so-and-so with a tie but in shirt sleeves. For some reason, there’s never a woman at the expert desk.
Everybody is dubbed a meteorologist like it’s a title of nobility or a military rank.
They always have two anchors, one male and one female, sometimes with a grinning sidekick.
Only two people have coffee cups, even among the various morning anchors. The cups are white with the handles pointed in the same direction, and nobody drinks out of them. Now that’s almost as crazy as hanging out in a hail storm with a smile and a microphone, Gore-Tex or no Gore-Tex.
Only one person I have seen on the channel, Meteorologist Marshall Seese, has the distinction of a laptop computer. It’s always right in front of him, but I have never seen him use it.
Another anchor seems to be constantly blinking, as though she’s wearing sandpaper contacts, but that’s another story …
I have no TV in the room where I put this weekly little one-way chat together, so I’d better wrap it up for now. I need to go see what’s coming up on The Weather Channel.
Jim Lee is news director for KENW-FM radio. He also is an English instructor. He can be contacted at 359-2204. His e-mail: