What do I have to be anxious about?
Those hurricanes for one thing—that one with the foreign sounding Name that was heading to New Orleans seemed at first a replay of Katrina—and I really had not liked that one at all. Now something called Hanna is heading possibly up the coast and into the Carolinas where I have relatives. I know they are in a drought and want rain, but I am not sure they want it in hurricane form.
To allay my anxiety in this area—information sometimes helps—I have been forced to tune into the weather channel. I cannot stand those people. One evening two of them were talking to each other about the hurricane with the foreign sounding name—Gustav! That’s it—Gustav—and I could not make hide nor hair of what they were talking about….they two were saying stuff like it is a cat 1 but it may be a cat 2 and later become less than a cat; and the other person said, yes, that would appear to be the case depending on “sheer” in which case going in a counter clockwise direction it might become a cat 3 windwise but probably not a cat 4.
I sat there dazed thinking they were talking about cats until I figured out they were using “cat” as an abbreviation for “category.” I found these people sickening in their use of hip weather forecaster slang when talking about a force of nature capable of drowning people and destroying homes.
And then they yack on—in the most bewildering ways—about how this particular cat so and so located off the coast of Africa appears under “favorable” conditions capable of becoming a cat 4 by Friday—and I want to ask “favorable”? To the people who might be hit by this cat 4. No, they are talking about conditions favorable to the hurricane becoming a really massive and destructive hurricane. These people have completely screwed up values. They identify with the hurricane—and in a world where we are all just spectators WANT to see a cat 5. How else to explain it when having viewed a bit with a roof being ripped off a building as if it were Kleenex the weather person says, “Awesome.”
Now first the word “awesome” should be banned forever. And on top of that it really seems the wrong word. “Horribly destructive” would be better. After all, somebody had the roof ripped off his or her house or place of business.
So while I was relieved at the information that Gustav had fallen to a cat 1; I came away feeling anxious that these forecasters seemed vaguely disappointed that the storm had not turned out as awesome as they had predicted.
Why but of course, you say. Those people don’t care about the hurricane or the damage done by it; they care about their ratings and how many people see them talking about the hurricane—and that might mean more money or even turn them into an overnight celebrity like that Anderson Cooper guy who has his own TV show now because of the way he reported on Katrina.
38 days without a cigarette and I really, really WANT one.