I tell you what. I'm not going to sit here and write about our latest winter storm after a week of nonstop chatter about it. You poor folks have had enough.
For five days straight, news reporters battered you ceaselessly with emerging details about the storm. If you turned off your TV and threw your paper into the fire, we'd come over to your house and bang on your windows. "Hey! You in the robe! They're now saying as much as 30 inches of snow may fall along the coast! Temperatures to remain dangerously low while ... Hey! Don't try to hide behind that divan. I can see you!"
To be fair, I have no idea what a "divan" is or whether you can hide behind one.
But the fact is, the clamor over this storm was long and it was loud. We were obsessed, oblivious to other things going on in the world. If extraterrestrials decide to invade, they should do it the day before a blizzard pounds New England because nobody will pay them any attention.
Page A1 of the local paper: NEW ENGLAND PREPARES FOR MONSTER STORM!
Pages A2-A10: GROCERY STORES MOBBED. READ HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PETS! SCIENTISTS EXPLAIN THE CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF SNOW! SLEDDING TIPS FROM A 10-YEAR-OLD!
Pages B1-B9 are mostly charts. Expected snowfalls, parking bans, bugs that can be eaten if you're trapped in your basement, etc.
Then, on Page C9, you'll find this, in tiny print: Witness reports tentacled thing marching up Main Street. Experts say tentacled thing is in no way related to Winter Storm Tinkerbell.
If you weren't talking about the approaching blizzard, you were complaining about people talking about the approaching blizzard. Like me, you are a bitter, cynical disbeliever, the kind of person who would have said mean things about Copernicus after he made those ridiculous statements about the sun. You are, I'm afraid to say, one of the "back in my day" people.
"Back in my day," you said repeatedly, trying to be heard over the sound of that young person's horrible music, "we woke up, saw snow and went out to shovel it with our bare hands. Sometimes we were so hungry, we ate the snow. And we liked it!"
The sad fact is, back in your day, weather forecasting consisted of watching a squirrel to see what he was doing with his nuts. Squirrel nuts, bird's nests and the throbbing of the corn on your left big toe, that's all you needed to predict a storm, by gum.
And don't get me wrong. I had a grandfather like that and he was right every time. I believe in the farmer's way of forecasting. Unfortunately, satellite technology has advanced to the point where we can now spot developing storms in the zygote stage. If a few grains of sand are stirring a certain way in South Africa, we know that it's going to whip itself into a frenzy of wind and moisture and head toward the East Coast of the U.S. where all the sinners live. With that advanced knowledge, the weather and news people start putting out their warnings, to the delight of anyone who vends emergency supplies and cold-weather gear, including L.L. Bean, BJ's Wholesaler Club and Suzie's Adult Novelty Emporium.
If we didn't warn you about encroaching storms, you'd find yourself trapped in a car and eating your own foot to survive and you'd complain about that. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't, damn it all kind of scenario.
Please just remember that, as part of the Sun Journal Storm Team, a force of nature in itself, I don't like it any more than you do. I'd rather be writing stories about those tentacled things inhabiting the mayor's office. But if there's bad weather coming, it's my job to tell you about it. I have a sense of duty and responsibility. I have a moral obligation to do what I can and I accept it with pride.
Plus, I have a snarling editor standing over me with a pointy stick and he's making me do this stuff. I need my job, you know. I need that weekly paycheck because that stuff from Suzie's Adult Novelty Emporium isn't going to pay for itself.
Not to mention the corn pads.
Mark LaFlamme is a Sun Journal staff writer. When it comes to weather reporting, he doth protest too much, we thinks. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.