Partly Cloudy With a Chance of Numbnuts

In LA, the weather is usually a non-event. Sure it’s been deathly dry as of late, but it is a desert after all. Steve Martin’s character in LA Story was a weatherman who got so bored by the monotony of “72 and sunny” days, that he taped a weeks worth of weather reports in advance so he could get away.

In Georgia they talk about the weather a lot. And sometimes there’s good reason: The “Carmageddon” incident a few years back comes to mind; as well as this year’s hot Christmas and subsequent tornadoes. They must have weather reporters on call 24-7, because one night at about 3 in the morning Alex and I found ourselves unable to sleep and turned on the TV. There was a blonde weather-lady, trying to hide an obvious buzz from whatever bar she just left, reporting on some flooding near the Georgia-Florida line.

But please tell me why the old-school BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, of the Emergency Broadcast System is still used here in this day and age? Worse, they have the nerve to take up half my screen, even when watching paid-for fare like HBO. And they don’t just warn you and move on, they run a warning the entire evening for a storm that is hours away in places you’ve never heard of and probably will never be.

They do the same thing for Amber Alerts, which I’m told are more often custody disputes between divorced parents than actual abductions (and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do from the comfort of my couch anyway).

We were at a dinner party in Atlanta one night when all of a sudden everybody’s cell phones went off at the exact same moment. This was right when they started that automatic Amber Alert thing on cell phones. Turned out a grandma took her grandkids away from what she considered an unsafe environment with her son-in-law she called “Numbnuts.” I was just happy I found out I could turn that notice off on my cell phone, so now I don’t have to hear about Numbnuts while I’m at the dinner table.

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