I want to resist, but it hounds me like a personal injury lawyer with an Amway franchise. It draws me in like some kind of magnetic field, pulling me closer and closer until I can no longer with-stand its seductive charms.
I’ve tried to escape but there’s really no place to hide. It lurks in every corner of the country. Just check in to any hotel, turn on the TV and bam, there it is—my obsession—The Weather Channel.
Even with knowing that it possessed some kind of bizarre control over me, I cave in. Persuaded that one innocent glance at the “Local on the 8s” couldn’t hurt anyone, I sneak a peek. Ah, but the lure intensifies as it tickles my senses with the enticing background sound of smooth jazz. And I swallow the bait when they roll out that city-by-city forecast.
Feeling as if I have taken flight, I rise high above the continent, lost in the weather systems playing out below me. Soaring over the great expanse of land I catch sight of cities like Kitty Hawk, North Carolina — Chattanooga, Tennessee — Paducah, Kentucky, and I just can’t get my fill.
Sky conditions, sustained winds, cold fronts, warm fronts, probabilities of precipitation, occasional periods of this, widely scattered periods of that; it fascinates me.
Minutes turn into hours as I sit there watching the same forecasts, the same radar screens, and the same ten day outlook repeated over and over again. I try to change the station, I really do, but my thumb has gone rogue on me and refuses to press the channel button.
I continue, imprisoned there in front of the TV until the voice of reason breaks my trance, “Enough already!” My wife takes the controller from my hand and powers off the TV. I’m left there perched on the edge of the bed, staring at a blank screen thinking “But Pocatello, Idaho was coming up after the break.”
I can’t be the only Weather Channel junky out there.
How could a program that repeats itself hour after hour maintain an audience if not for some addictive charm—or hypnotic effect? Or maybe, just maybe it’s an escape.
Could it be that The Weather Channel depicts the ever changing conditions of life? Like unpredicted rainy weekends followed by sunny back-to-work Mondays. Weather happens and no one is exempt from what’s coming.
But maybe there’s encouragement in knowing that storm fronts come and go, that it’s always raining somewhere, and that the sun doesn’t constantly shine … but somewhere it is shining, and it will shine here again.