Weather or Not

By Spencer Christian

I am a weatherman. I study, analyze and forecast the weather every weekday morning on national TV. And yet, just like everyone else, I can't do anything about it.

Still, people approach me on the street and demand to know "what's wrong with the weather?" If there's a dry spell, I can't get through the supermarket checkout line without hearing complaints about brown lawns and withering shrubs. When there's a heatwave, the postman always rings twice just to let me know he's tired of it and wants me to "order" a cold front. And when the mercury plunges below freezing and lingers there, the gas-station attendant teases me about not coming back until I have "done something" about the frigid weather.

I remember one winter night a few years ago, when I worked on a local news program in Richmond, Va. My forecast called for partly cloudy skies with cold and windy conditions. Then Richmond was hit with unexpected snow squalls, and the next day an irate viewer called the television and demanded to speak to "that weather jerk." When I answered the phone, she said to come over to her house and "shovel off that six inches of partly clouded" from her driveway.