Once upon the time there was a very naughty Meteorologist called Peter who liked all the attention and coverage he got when Hurricane Season began. He would spend all Summer giving the same forecast every day:
No one listened to him and nobody needed him because they knew it was scorchio. It made him sad. He fell into a depression. A Tropical Depression. Show time! When the Hurricane season started he realised people got very excited by the threat of a Hurricane and the disaster it would bring.
Every day he would spin out a yarn about a tropical depression out in the Atlantic that may manifest in to a huge bad hurricane. The people got scared and exited and rushed out to stock up their Hurricane kits for the on coming emergency. Each time he announced a new threat the hardware store would run a BOGOF on generators and plywood. Shop keepers would make small children cry with tales of woe about the hurricane that would hit hard if they were not ‘prepared’. When the Naughty Meteorologist spoke, locals would fill all their pots and pans with water. Shops would sell out of granola bars (whatever they are) soup and rubber gloves! There was also a rush on Ruby slippers. Everyone would brace themselves for a storm and would be relieved when the storm didn’t materialise into anything more than ‘piss and wind’!
The very naughty meteorologist would thank God (who else) for sparing the good folk of NC from a Hurricane before announcing the next flutter which could at any moment gain strength and translate from a bit of a cloud to a force 5 hurricane and threaten damnation.
When it didn’t materialise people forgave the hysteria the TV Meteorologist and his chums had created through their 10 minute updates on the storm progress: _...we have a cloud in The Bahamas…Someone’s beach towel has blown away… Oh no! it has become a tropical depression 500 miles out to sea… Poor Nemo! They forgave the overly cautious forecasts because of the major fuck up the Naughty Meteorologist had made in 2005. They had failed miserably to forecast the path of Hurricane Katrina as it didn’t go in a straight line. Who knew?! When it weakened it didn’t stay weak. In fact it went from a tropical depression to a force 3 in days and then to a force 5 in hours. This wasn’t God – HE wouldn’t do that! It was bloody Mother nature, contrary bitch! How could a meteorologist warn against that? Peter was well pissed off. From now on he would behave like every storm could become a Katrina at any moment. A little bit late for New Orleans but it got him unprecedented airtime.
When a tropical storm kicked off a bit, the meteorologist got very excited. They named the storm Irene and became very hysterical for a week. It even gained the attention of the BBC. Some Brits considered driving to the coast to watch Irene from the safety of their cars, eating sandwiches with a flask of tea. Some locals took the warnings seriously and didn’t do any housework. Prudent, given their house might blow away. Some locals couldn’t be arsed to go out and buy generators and book their cats into Pet hotels for the duration of the storm. Some didn’t take it very seriously at all and went pole dancing. This was clearly the work of the Devil – or Peter the Naughty Meteorologist. Either way people had stopped listening!
Peter the Naughty Meteorologist was right to warn everyone. Irene could have been a massive disaster, being the size of Texas! She was a force 3 but thankfully by the time she hit she was a 1. Apparently, according to Peter the Naughty Meteorologist, this still made Irene a ‘doozy of a storm’! Desperate to keep the spot light and drama he tracked Irene’s every act of cruelty in painstaking detail, merely adding insult to injury to anyone hurt by the storm!
The danger with Irene was that not everyone listened because Peter had been hysterical all season long. They thought it was just another storm in Peter’s tea cup! If Irene had gained in strength and hit even harder too many people would not have been prepared. Peter the Naughty Meteorologist should see that less is more and be more sparing with the hysteria – that way – people might hear more than ‘ scorchio’ every day!
And the Moral is: Meteorologists and liars: even if they tell the truth, no one believes them