The Blizzard of 2014: A TV Bonanza

Now that Christmas is here, it brings back memories of the last winter's blizzard excitement.
The following is the story of the Blizzard of last winter as featured in Dumpster Chronicles II: The Cyber Years.

Winter comes once a year. During the Winter months there will be snow storms, gale force winds and ice pellets the size of buffalo testicles.The sea will go berserk producing giant waves that will threaten homes in coastal areas. Temperatures will slither down to the point where if one is dumb enough to step outside, one’s breath freezes. 
There are power outages so nothing works and life becomes a throw back to the good old days  when wood fires were the only form of heat and cooking. Birds freeze in the trees.The front door is frozen shut. Entire communities are gripped with the fear that they may never get to visit Walmart or watch TV ever again.

At present we are in the grips of one such severe blizzard and so I dutifully prepared for the worst. I bought what seemed like a small forest of wood so that I could crank up a fire.  Of course it is inadvisable to light a fire when the wind is gusting to upwards of eighty miles per hour. The smoke would be pushed back down the chimney setting off all the smoke alarms and causing mild asphyxiation.
I stocked up on food supplies, mostly cold cuts because there would be no way of cooking hot food, together with a hundred or so assorted bottles of booze.
I filled large containers with water for emergency drinking, washing and flushing crap down the toilet.
I was ready for the onslaught.

The first storm barrage began it’s half hour of warmup at around six p.m. I waited as the first flicker of the lights suggested that pretty soon we would be loosing power. It was all a little anti climactic; the power stayed so by ten o’clock I decided to turn in and get some sleep. I dropped off to the sound of the wind relentlessly trying to strip my house of it’s shingles.
Came the dawn and with it the realization that there were sizable dollops of snow blanketing my lawns. My back yard looked like the photographs that you might see in National Geographic of the arctic tundras or the South Pole.
But we still had power and I was able to make coffee. I turned on the local T.V. channel to find out what had ensued during the night.

The various T.V. programs were in fine form; all running what they called ‘extended coverage’ of the ‘Blizzard of 2013’ 
They were all doing their best to milk the situation leaving no stone (or in this case, drift) unturned. 
Information was what I really was hoping for. Pretty simple questions that could be easily answered.
How much snow had fallen? Would it continue to fall? What effects would it have particularly in my nick of the woods? Was there anything of which I should be aware that might have an impact on my well being like an impending snow laced Tunami? When would normal weather be resumed?

The ‘extended coverage’ was using the same format that they would for, say, ‘The Super Bowl’.  A football game has four quarters with a fifteen minute half time for repairs and medication. This year the complete Super Bowl presentation show was stretched to around six hours, the extra time being allocated to possibly the most inane commercials that I have had the misfortune to watch. Come to think of it that proportion is pretty much the formula for most T.V shows. It has to be an indicator of the rapid deterioration of even marginal public taste. After all it seems that this is what they want.
Sudden weather anomalies follow the same patten. It’s all down to filling time with entertainment. 

There was the usual studio command post with a dishy young lady and an aging, but still handsome gent acting as ‘anchors’. They made sure that we knew that this was a major event; a must see and to this end the studio was littered with photos and signs descriptive of the vapid presentation. The blizzard was obviously a God send for the station. It provided a much needed program to fill the usually rather dreary morning slot. 
The dishy female anchor with her dazzling smile, teased hair and tantalizing cleavage gave us the initial run down. 
We were immersed in a major blizzard that had affected almost everything. There were massive power outages. There were no cars on the roads, in fact it was hard to actually find the roads. The sea was angry, fish had been sighted swimming around on Main Street; gigantic waves were pounding the crap out of coastal regions and temperatures were in the low single digits. Currently they were keeping a close watch on things but there were no signs of it abating anytime soon. 
And now over to Anthony on the South Shore for his report.

We can dimly make out a figure in Arctic gear leaning sideways to stop himself from being blown over by the gale force wind and sideways barrage of ice and snow. He’d had a rather late night at the Motel bar and would rather be anywhere other than outside in a shit storm nursing the mother of all hangovers.
The noise of the wind in his microphone makes it almost impossible to hear what he is saying but frankly it was quite clear that he was not having a good weather day.
We see a car slither past in a slow glide behind camera.
So back to the studio.
Thank you Anthony. Looks pretty bad down there. You be sure to stay warm and drink lots of water. Now we take you to the Lisa who is talking to the Mayor. Over to you Lisa.

Lisa is having a bad hair day. She is to the station, what Sarah Palin was to the Republican party. Clad in a down parker, fur hat and mountain climbing gear she is with the mayor. She is well known for coming up with utterly zany remarks and we wonder what this current assignment will bring.
So Mr. Mayor what is the situation?
Is she kidding? I mean, it must be perfectly obvious to anyone with half a brain that the situation is bloody awful.
The mayor would just a soon be in his cozy office rather than standing out here in subzero temperatures talking to an eskimo
Behind them we see the grey hazy outline of a building half lost in the tumbling snowflakes and mist.
‘Well, the situation is serious but we are doing our best to cope’ The Mayor manages a thin smile.
‘I have banned all road traffic, all trains, the Chinese Unilateral take out food and Episcopalian Church is closed and evacuation is being considered which of course negates the no driving ban ( shouln’t that be ‘driving ban’ ) which I felt would be the safest thing. I have asked the Governor to declare a State of Emergency but owing to the closing of the Chinese Church, this may take a while’.
Thank you Mr. Mayor. Lisa cannot even pronounce Meteorology let alone begin to grasp why they chose her for this assignment. ‘Incidentally Mr. Mayor I have a real good recipe for stir fry! The Mayor gazes at LIsa with a bewildered expression. Lisa washes us with a gushing smile as she is blown sideways into a snow drift. O.K. now back to Peggy Lou in the studio.
Thank you Lisa. Now for an up to the minute report from our own meteorologist. How’s it looking Frank?

Surrounded by large computer graphics Frank points out what is happening in terms of barometric pressure, wind direction, size of waves, size of snow fall, size of hail, size of freezing rain, and what happens when all these thing collide. He is genial and upbeat and doing his best to keep a straight face and at the same time project an air of sober concern.
The chances of him making any kind of prediction is next to none and even if he was stupid enough to try he would stand a one in a hundred chance of being right.
It could have been a lot worse he tells us, and treats us to a comforting well rehearsed grin displaying dazzling teeth but very dry lips.

Well this goes on and on ad nauseum. We are treated to interviews with line men, DPW work forces, police, railway employers, turnpike officials and even the machinations of climatic change.
We see one last shot of the turnpike where we dimly make out cars and trucks ambling along which tends to be a little contradictory. Perhaps the driving ban does not apply after all?
Of course through out this presentation we have been treated to the usual stream of obnoxious commercials telling us to rush down to some store that is having a ‘Blizzard Bash’ at unbelievable prices. How the hell do they expect anyone to even get out of the driveway let alone find the store with out being stopped by balaclava clad roaming police patrols and carted off to the local hoosegow
I changed channels to watch a soccer game.
After having given my full attention to the marathon extended T.V.coverage I was no wiser as to what the predicted duration of the current weather pattern would be, than when I awoke a few hours ago.
The best that I could deduce is that it would last until it passed. There would be inconveniences, hopefully no one would do anything too stupid and no one would be the worse for wear when it was all over.

I could however envisage the poor lady who responded to one of the commercials. Having shoveled her way out  of her driveway and battling the storm in her four wheel drive Land Rover, navigating the almost impassible roads she finally arrived at her snow covered destination only to find the store buried in mountains of snow and a notice on the door. 
‘The Blizzard Bash is cancelled owing to the Blizzard’

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