Saturday, August 27, 2011

August Terror Alert

The month is almost over, and I realized that little or no effort had been expended during it to alert the public to another of the many nefarious organizations out there trying to terrorize the general public.  Of course, such a lapse cannot be tolerated in the decrepit cubbyhole more commonly known as the editorial offices of Just Blowing Smoke.  (As for the Department of Just Blowing Smoke Security, they have long since been relegated to corner of  the attic, with little more than empty cigar boxes and the tin-foil hats that no longer fit the editorial staff as company.) 

The delay in this alert, occurring as we are looking at the first Hurricane of the season approaching the East Coast however, has provided a timely opportunity to identify yet another of these execrable institutions.  And while there is a real potential for property damage and loss of life from such a storm, perhaps little of it will compare with the devastation perpetuated by the WACKO's now on-site. Knowing that most of you are probably unfamiliar with these hooligans of popular media, I should perhaps explain that the members of WACKO are in fact, agents of the Weather Anticipation Crisis Kibitzer Organization.

I'm sure that you know now who I'm talking about; those highly paid purveyors of panic on all forms of major broadcast media.  In an often successful effort to create an atmosphere of abject terror, these are the media operatives in the very path of the storm whose reporting and commentary during the all too frequent updates (constantly interrupting your favorite episode of 'So You Think You've Got To Dance In Front Of A Idle American', and usually right at the good part) are broadcast seemingly every waking hour of the day (and most of the sleeping ones) to convey information that cannot possibly serve to help us.  

While purported to be but simple reporting of the facts, few notice that the pronouncements of these WACKO's (made in the name of public safety and information) are often contradictory.  They tell those potentially affected to go out and buy emergency supplies of food and water, long after such supplies have disappeared from the shelves.  They taunt those in the storm's path with accounts of the last bottle of water, loaf of bread, or generator to be sold at a local outlet, all the while wailing over their necessity.  In stern tones, these WACKO's extol those who cannot hear them (since they probably no longer have a working radio, television, or power for that matter), to seek a safety that no longer exists.

They carefully use terms like 'might' and 'may' when describing the path and strength of such storms; giving themselves the greatest possible latitude in sowing hysteria amongst the greatest numbers, while maintaining at least a shred of credibility.  Perhaps most interestingly antithetical, these WACKO's are the first to demand that residents abandon the area that they themselves are reporting from, in spite of having just traveled many miles from an often safer locale to get to it.  Showing not even enough sense to come in out of the rain for their own part, and while handling electrical equipment in a rainstorm, they castigate as ignorant, the hardy souls who choose to defend the homes and stoically face the weather head on.

Having no new information to offer in their hourly (if not more often) reports, they content themselves with endlessly repeating hours old information as if it were 'hot off the presses' until most are more afraid of listening to these broadcasts again than of any impending doom that nature has to offer.  Pointing at the blowing tops of trees or large waves on a shoreline, they attempt to define the concept of wind as if we had never seen it before.  With carefully unmopped faces (and often glasses) they attempt to convey to a no longer riveted audience the concept of rain falling.

The agents of WACKO can normally be identified by their uniforms, consisting of dusters or windbreakers, usually with hoods blowing over their faces and microphones to obscure critical parts of their safety announcements.  Their handlers in turn, can usually be found sitting behind big desks, and can be easily identified by the phony looks of concern on their faces when the cameras cut to them (and secret joy at no longer being one of the WACKO field agents required to brave the elements).

While these WACKO's can be dangerous, true peril usually lies in listening to them too closely or too often.  They are easily evaded by the simple expedient of turning off the television (and leaving it off until the storm has passed).  Do not attempt to confront these WACKO's, as their droning voices have often been known to have a hypnotic, and sometimes suicidal effect.  DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES attempt to contact the DJBSS at 1-800-RAT-BUTT to report their activities.  Not only do we not care, but it is unlikely that anyone would answer in any case, as the entire staff will probably be found hiding under a table (wind, rain, and thunder scare us).

In honor of first Hurricane of the season, Irene, the terror threat has been duly raised to Sea Green.


Roland Hansen said...

Bravo! A very well-written piece, indeed, worthy of a Pulitzer or something like that. Excellent. Superb. Not only that but it is good, also.
It really, really is worthy of a nationally recognized public award.

Timothy W Higgins said...

Wow Roland,

I thought I had worn out the sarcasm key writing this, but you may have outdone me in commenting. ;-)

Roland Hansen said...

That was no sarcasm from me, Tim. I really mean what I wrote. Seriously.