Monday, June 11, 2007

Weather in iambic pentameter

As a boy growing up in Lubbock, my dream job was to be the weatherman in Bemidji, Mn.

How hard could it be? Get up every morning, look into the camera and say, "Cold." Then you have the rest of the day off. To prepare for my life's calling, I would sit on the roof amidst the lightning to watch for the incoming tornado during West Texas storms. You don't have to be real smart to be a weatherman.

Or so I thought.

In Minneapolis, we have a weatherman who gets up in the morning and starts quoting Thoreau. Writing in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune, Paul Douglas gets airborne with the first sentence:

"Surely joy is the condition of life." Henry David Thoreau may have been reminiscing about a visit to the North Woods. There is nothing quite as magnificent as a Minnesota summer. You wake up, take in a lungful of sweet air, stare out over shimmering water and grin. "This is why people stay."

After more direct testimony dealing with actual weather conditions, Douglas concludes this way: "This is our belated reward for windchill, slush and assorted weather mayhem. The forecast calls for more joy."

Damn. The job is tougher than I figured. Maybe I can get a weather job in Texas. Although I would have to become more verbose. The forecasts require twice as much language: "Hot. Humid."

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