Just in time for August (literally), here is Taylor’s latest newsletter, I Am My Data. Enjoy!
September 6, 2016
I’ve written about it on these pages before: I am a Weather Channel junkie. Mike Seidel is a hero. Jim Cantore is a superhero. The “weather on the 8s” concept is part of my daily life. Nothing new there.
So when The Weather Channel (TWC) tells me to prepare for a major storm, I do it. We got hit by Superstorm Sandy, remember, and that kind of event sticks with you.
Our New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, declared a “state of emergency” over the Labor Day Weekend. People stayed away in droves from Long Beach Island where our house sits. We were ready to take on major wind and water damages. Sunday morning, tuned into TWC, hoping for a glimpse of Mike or Jim, a crawl appeared at the bottom of the TV screen and read something like this:
“Do not be fooled by the bright sunshine, the warm breezes and the comfortable temperatures. This storm could attack you – and we mean YOU, TAYLOR MASON – at any minute.”
It was then that I looked at my wife and youngest child, and the three of us headed to the beach.
You get the feeling, watching TWC during these weather phenomenons, that someone is saying, “Our ratings are peaking! Keep up the bad news!” But even with Doppler Radar and the NOAA advisories and satellite pix from space, the truth revealed itself: TWC was wrong. I wish they’d just come out and admit it: “OK, we made a mistake. The storm is gone and we exaggerated a little. Our bad.”
Because after a while even the hosts and the on-site reporters ran out of bad weather to warn us about.
They were interviewing joggers with questions like, “Do you jog often?” One particularly hilarious encounter took place on a windswept beach between a TWC reporter and one of those “metal hunters” – the people who have the radar equipment and patrol the beach, looking for loose change and the occasional trinket.
The ‘hunter,” a woman in her 40s, said she was hoping to hit the jackpot: a gold bracelet or a lost diamond ring. “I’m hoping to find some expensive joo-lery,” she said, hilariously and annoyingly mispronouncing the word jewelry and making me stand up out of my chair and cry, “If you want some expensive jewelry, why don’t you first learn to pronounce the word! Then sell all that equipment you have and by yourself a ring!”
The hurricane and storm known as “Hermine” did cause major damage and tragedy in Florida and along the Virginia/Carolina coast, and I feel the same anguish and sorrow most of us feel for the many losses people in those areas are dealing with.
But TWC? You got it wrong this time.
I’ll be in Chicago performing at Zanies Comedy Club this Sunday night! Stop by if you have the time!