Forecasts hail the Madonna of all storms

TV/RADIO COLUMN

Parody: Neither rain, nor snow, nor gloom of dark prophesy can keep the intrepid newscasters from being a testament to the craft.

January 03, 2001|By David Folkenflik | David Folkenflik,SUN TELEVISION WRITER

In light of last week's television news weather predictions about the blizzard that never was, The Sun is providing, as a public service, excerpted transcripts from weather reports of truly biblical proportions. First, from WMAR:

Male Anchor: "... Coming to us live from the city zoo today is WMAR's own Noah Lewis, who can tell us what lies in the future. Noah?"

Forecaster: "Stan, we've got one nasty prophesy for the days ahead. If you look here to this part of the Storm Trak parchment, where the cloud-like hieroglyphs are covering the entire known world, you can see that we're expecting to have as much as 30 to 60 days and nights of rain. That's right - 30 to 60 nights of unceasing rain expected to submerge all of God's Green Earth.

"It's a complete wrath of Jehovah thing. Old Testament. Brutal.

"As part of WMAR's continuing `Real People, Real Gospels' coverage, I'll be taking two of every kind of animal - one male, one female - and sailing with them out into the waters to see what develops. Watch WMAR as it serves as your guide through the great flood of the new millennium. Mary Beth?"

Female Anchor: "Well, Norm, you're not the only one who's going to feel flooded - a lot of area parents are being swamped with kids, due to early school closings. Nebuchadnezzar Hanging Gardens Day School will be shutting at noon, while the Hebron Academy-Carmel High homecoming game is postponed. Also, there will be no field trips to the Tower of Babel for the next few weeks ..."

Click over to WJZ.

Female Anchor: "We hear that there's an unusual heaven-sent torrent coming our way - and Eyewitness News' Balaam Turque is in the Outback to provide us with that Accu-Weather prophesy. Balaam?"

Forecaster: "That's right, Denise. You know, it's been kind of tough down here for the last few days, what with the rods turning into serpents and the blood running in the streets. Made for some traffic snarls over the Bay Bridge, I'll tell you what!"

"But now, we have frogs on the way. No joke. Frogs. They're going to be all over the place - and some folks are going to be hopping mad."

Female Anchor: "Ha ha ha. That's funny, Balaam. (Puts on serious face.) Frogs - you pet them, you pithe them, you think you know them. But WJZ's Baruch Carter has the first in a chilling four-part special report on the region's newest affliction. Baruch?"

Male Anchor: "Denise, after intensive investigative reporting, Channel 13 Investigates has learned that these so-called "frogs" deluging the metropolitan area are actually creatures known as "amphibians" who thrive both on land AND in the water. Boy - aren't they tricky little tykes?"

"But the Eyewitness News Night Team has come up with several ways to help you, our viewers, cope with this latest plague."

"First, drive carefully. Experts say that driving not carefully can be dangerous when frogs are pelting your chariot's windscreen. Second, stock up on flies. Frogs love to eat them, and there's likely to be a run on them in area stores as supplies are depleted. And third, top-secret sources tell WJZ that frogs' legs, when sauteed with garlic and butter ..."

Now, over to WBAL.

Male Anchor: "... and aides to Mayor Mordechai O'Malley also say that, despite persistent anecdotal reports of the continuing worship of false idols, official statistics show a marked decline in bearing false witness and coveting neighbors' wives. Now, for a weather report on why surf's up Downy Ocean. Tobit?"

Forecaster: "Thanks, Rod. Tobit Tasselmyer here, with the BAL Intellicast Insta-Weather DoppelGanger report. Using the latest in Greek Pythagorean theories, overlaid with a cutting-edge lunar calendar here at the prophesy center, we've been able to whip up a scenario that's going to surprise more than a few people.

"Water may well stand at a right angle within a few hours later tonight. How is this possible? Well, just listen. I have here the following small craft warning from the Scriptural Weather Service. It says: `the Lord will cause the sea to go back by a strong east wind all night, and make the sea dry land, and the waters will be divided.'

"So waves are expected to crest at somewhere between 30 to 100 feet before the waters are released to cover the ocean bed.

"Now, although this is a boon for surfers, this is also your classic good-news, bad-news dilemma. Despite the warning, the Egyptian Army appears intent on running exercises in that area throughout the next few days. The Egyptians are expected to continue what they're calling a "dry run" on practice military maneuvers. Might not be so dry, if these prophesies hold up.

"Marianne?"

Female Anchor: "Thanks, Tobit. Up next, we'll have Jael Miller with an update of a story about a youth from a politically connected family accused of smiting a Philistine dead with a single stone from a slingshot. If you recall, Jael first brought you this tragic story earlier this evening on WBAL ..."

Comments? Questions? Story ideas? David Folkenflik can be reached by email at david.folkenflik@baltsun.com or by phone at 410-332-6923.

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