Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day After

Anyone in the news business will tell you that the day after a major event is an enormous let down, and usually absolute drudgery to work. It's like having to throw a party the day after New Year's Eve, using just the leftovers that you found on the floor. Not fun. I was expecting today to be like that. I was dreading it. Soundbites peppered with the word "tonight" or "election day." Night time video that would look out of place being shown in the middle of the day. Oh, and absolutely no other news to fill in around it and remind people that the world had kept spinning despite the fact something monumental had occurred. It was not going to be an easy job, and I had to do it. But then, just as I was getting ready to commit television hara-kiri and run a bunch of feature packages, something remarkable happened: it started to snow. And it snowed a lot.

I have written in the past about the snow in Utah, and how, despite the fact that it happens every year, people always freak out about it. Today was no different. About 7am the calls started coming in. How much was it supposed to snow? How bad were the roads? Was this white stuff falling from the sky punishment for the election of a black President? Panties were in a bunge all over the valley. People started driving like idiots, either going to fast or too slow for conditions. Tree limbs started to crack and fall into the street. I really hoped no one would get hurt, but I was also really glad I had something to put in my show other than election leftovers. My weatherman (yes, under his contract, I do own him) assured me the snow would most likely be over by the time we went on air, but it didn't matter. The snow would still be fresher than any other option I had. Little did we know it would keep going.

That is one of my favorite things about weather stories. A lot of the time we have no idea what is going to happen. Yes we have Doppler, and Viper, and Tarot technology, but things can always go awry at the last minute. It sucks on days when everyone is preparing to report on a big storm that never materializes because of a "split jet stream," but when it goes the other way, it rocks. That happened today. No one told the snow it was supposed to stop before noon, so it didn't. It didn't even slow. It just kept picking water up of the lake and dumping it on the city in big fluffy flakes. And with every one of those flakes my show got better, and my mood got lighter.

After the show I came home to find Sally practically climbing the walls ready to go out and play. She loves the snow. We shook off the tree branches, dumping flakes on to our heads (well, I did, she doesn't have thumbs), and kicked and danced around the back yard. I threw snowballs for her to catch until my hands froze through my gloves. Then I took off my gloves and threw snowballs at the cats while Sally laughed.

Tomorrow there could be no news. And I will have to deal with it. But today was so good, I don't mind. A new President is coming, and a soft blanket of snow cushioned the announcement of his arrival, giving me time to enjoy it, rather than wonder what to do with it next.


Emily-Ione said...

I can't believe that you have snow, and it's 60 degrees here.
Something is awry in the jet stream

Amanda said...

And you wonder why Rita hates humanity.