I used to live in Atlanta. They don’t get a lot of snow there. So when this came out in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, I laughed until I couldn’t breathe.
So, in honor of the snow that is getting dumped on my current residence and in most other places in America, I share this article with you.
I take no responsibility for any damage you do to your computer or anything else while you read this.
Face it: Even the hint of snow makes us all go a little nutzo
Date: February 6, 2005
Publication: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA)
Page Number: ZH2
Word Count: 704
So they’re predicting some winter weather for our fair area this weekend. If you aren’t from Atlanta let me tell you that we are a very winter-dysfunctional people.
I’m not proud of us in the winter. The anticipation of snow is overwhelming. We really rarely actually get snow but we look forward to the possibility of a chance of snow every year. We have no release for our overwhelming need and want to have snow so that even when we get a small flurry, we go absolutely nutzo.
Once a winter storm begins in Central Asia, Atlanta meteorologists begin tracking it in the anticipation that it will hold its strength and deliver snow to Atlanta, which is some 60 million miles away.
We know the anticipated possibility of a chance of a possible opportunity for a snow event is not critical until that night when the meteorologist gets on camera with his sleeves rolled up.
This is a non-verbal signal to the people of Atlanta that the anticipated snow ‘event’ is now close, say only 30 million miles away. Conversation at dinner stops, work stops, and the city is silent for seven minutes while the weatherman, his sleeves rolled up, begins to point to things on the map.
Interpreting the Three Maps
There are three maps the meteorologist will point to. The first is the giant satellite photo of the galaxy. He points to the small white speck in the far corner. That represents the storm, now over northern Canada. That’s a teaser. It doesn’t mean anything. This is time you need to take to go to the bathroom and do whatever because you still have two maps left.
The second map is the computer map they can digitally flatten out and move around so it looks like you’re flying over it. It shows the outline of the states. You can see the clouds, the mountains, and Rock City. The map moves in a northerly direction, 15 million miles or so to Canada where the storm is dumping tons of snow on the Canadians who wish they were at least as far south as Atlanta right now.
Between the second and third map, the meteorologist undergoes a transformation from impeccable TV guy with perfect TV hair to impeccable TV guy with his sleeves rolled up and now, for the first time, perspiration on his brow. (I think the makeup guy dabs it with a paper towel but I have not been able to confirm it.)
At the TV station they have rooms named for bad weather. This is where they go to report from when the weather gets really bad. For instance, the Severe Weather Center is where they go when they reach a critical point. I think its underground, some 1,000 feet below the Big Chicken in Marietta.
It’s odd that they only have bad-weather centers. I’ve never heard of them reporting to us from the Nice Day Center.
The Third and Final Map: When the weather program returns from commercial break, the meteorologist is staring right into the camera at us. He says “Here we go.” He’s sweating profusely.
He takes us to the third map, which oddly enough is the most low-tech of the three.
This map is a large green map of North America but, unlike the other maps, it has the red and blue string of flags. You’ve seen them. They look like the grand opening flags at a new car dealer, strung from the streetlights to the ground.
The string of red flags represents the hot weather moving southeast. Don’t worry about that one. The blue one is what we want to see. It comes right behind the red one and this is the point where you have to find out where you are in relation to the blue string of flags.
The map of Georgia highlights the individual counties so you can see where you stand in relation to the blue grand opening flag.
The Snow Event
The day of the event is a great media day. It begins with the early, early news, airing about 15 minutes after the late-night news. Protocol dictates that the early, early, news should start with interviews with D.O.T. workers.
The D.O.T. workers come in and move the sand around their parking lot a couple of times with the bulldozers so the reporters can film it as they tell us, who are asleep, of the preparation plan.
Next, the D.O.T. spokesperson reads from the prepared statement telling us, while we’re still asleep, that they are prepared. During this time thousands of news crews across the state begin to travel north to find a snow flake. They will compete to file the first story from their embedded positions in Pickens County.
By 5 a.m. reporters are running around alongside a road somewhere north of Atlanta yelling into their microphones describing to us how it feels to be out there where the snow may soon fall.
The first video of someone hitting a light pole at 12 miles per hour on a sheet of ice is soon aired.
The meteorologist returns to the screen and, in plain English, says to us several times, “Please don’t drive in this weather unless you absolutely have to.” We interpret this as: “Please get in your car and go to the grocery store and buy all the bread and milk you can!”
Cars now begin to fill the ice-covered streets driving first forwards, then backwards, then sideways. Cars slide down hills into other cars. Cars merging onto I-85 south from Ga. 400 hit an ice patch and continue across the lanes and into the wall.
The ditches are soon filled with cars and the tow trucks have a field day.
Two days later it’s 65 degrees again and the bars are full of insurance adjusters swapping horror stories of dents and smashed fenders.
I’m sitting at home yelling at the kids because they aren’t drinking enough milk.
I can’t wait for spring.
Originally posted 2013-04-19 16:00:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter