C-rappy Cacophony

Friday, January 19, 2007

Thanks, TV guys, for Ice Hysteria '07

We have them to thank for staying home on Austin Winter Warning Freakout Day

It wouldn't take a Nobel laureate to figure out why News 8 Austin and the other local TV stations painted this week's pantywaist ice storm like it was nuclear winter.

At first I thought the coverage of gloom and doom over a little ice was because there aren't any chili cookoffs to cover this time of year. But then it occurred to me that the channel 8 folks made a big deal out of this wimpy ice storm because they have a TV station.

So naturally they want us to stay home and watch it.

This is smart marketing. Your dentist tells you you need your teeth cleaned, right? And your barber tells you you need a haircut.

So why should we be surprised when the TV weather dudes tell us that, for our own safety, we should stay in the living room watching them standing out by the highway in a fuzzy coat?

Oh my God. You would have thought these weather geeks were covering the end of days. My favorite was the female TV reporter who interviewed the guy who was waiting it out in a convenience store in Williamson County because the roads were too icy to keep driving. She was treating the story like the guy was holed up in there. What a hardship. Imagine having to exist on caramel lattes, peanut patties and Doritos.

I can hear it now. "I dunno if I can make it; all they got in here is Starbucks."

The trouble is that the weather really wasn't all that horrible, and the roads weren't, either. The only difficulty I had during this storm is that when I got where I was going, nobody was there, and everything was closed. And it was starting to tick me off.

On Tuesday afternoon, I tried to go to the movies at the Regal Metropolitan 14 in South Austin, and it was closed. Apparently the popcorn guy was snowed in by a quarter inch of sleet. The same day, nobody delivered my mail. What happened to that old "neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow" philosophy? Has this been replaced by, "What are you? Crazy? You expect us to go outside in this stuff?"

Thanks to the urging of weather people, Austinites spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday staying home sitting on their butts. Not that this is all bad. One of my strengths is goofing off.

But don't try to tell me the weather brought the city to its knees. No, what brought the city to its knees was the weather forecasters warning us to stay off the streets by showing these large areas of pink approaching on radar.

Why do they use pink? Are they trying to tell us that Paris Hilton is coming?

You call this an ice storm? If you scraped with a shovel you could have scratched up enough slush to build a snow midget.

What a joke. The roads were safer during this storm than they were back in July. Why? Because, thanks to the TV weather wonks, there was nobody on them. And what few drivers there were were so weirded out by the TV warnings of death, doom and destruction that people were driving 20 mph.

So anyway, I'd like to thank channel 8 and the rest of them for creating a new holiday: Austin Winter Warning Freakout Day. We should make it an annual event, like Spamarama.

John Kelso's column appears on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact him at 445-3606 or jkelso@statesman.com.

I have to agree to the above said things completely.The weather channel guys went overboard and completely made a fool of everyone in town.While it gave 3 days holidays to most organisation in austin,it was a true case of TV guys manipulating everyone and causing panic everywhere.

Posted by rajesh |

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