I stole that title from the late Bob Talbert, an everyman columnist from the late, or possibly undead, Detroit Free Press.
He would use that title whenever he had a column to write but didn’t have sufficient time to put enough similarly themed words together to make 800. It also allowed him to insert pet peeves in print that would otherwise have no home.
So I watched the Superbowl and forced—forced—myself to sit through the entire halftime show. About which I can only say thank the Lord for beer and loud crowds. For without those, what came out of the television speakers would have been unbearably clear.
I didn’t know the name of the fellow in the black hat, but he should be strongly discouraged from ever approaching a microphone again. He was so bad that the only thing that kept the chicken wings I had ingested from making a reappearance was the drunken fellow next to me, who possibly was trying to sing along. Anyway, he was making a lot of noise. But he was loud and I was grateful for him.
I already know the counter argument: “Briggs, you fool. Black Hat used to be a star. He was a Rock God. Have some respect.”
To which I respond: I notice you speak in the past tense. Good he may have been, but good now he is not. Why should all of us be subjected to his caterwauling? Respect? If you are determined to highlight music from bygone days, and wanted to show respect, we would have been infinitely better off had the NFL wheeled out Cab Calloway’s ashes and put on a scratchy recording of “Minne the Moocher.” I would have sung along to that.
The Tim Tebow ad was ho hum. It started with his old ma talking to the camera. I couldn’t hear it clearly and thought at first it was a soap commercial. I hadn’t realized my mistake until after she had recovered from the blind-side tackle, son and ma lovingly embracing, and the Focus on the Family website was on screen. This was controversial?
Mencken said that the best poems are those about something we know is false but want to be true. It’s the same with TV commercials. This is why ads for “light” beer or “diet” pop always tout their “great” taste.
Let any diet beer inch above freezing even slightly so that it isn’t cold enough to numb your taste buds and you know the ads lie. And never was there a sugar-free pop that didn’t go down like chemical soup.
It’s not just TV. The fast-food chain Panda Express boasts that it serves, “Gourmet Chinese Food.” In their favor, it might be a mistranslation of “glutinous.”
Many people are laughing at this guy, a TV meteorologist from AccuWeather. The title of the video is “Snowpocalypse Now! Meteorologist Freakout.”
What people don’t understand is how weathermen live for—lust after—storms. He is not freaking out. He is loving every minute of it.
He wouldn’t have been so excited had he not lived in such a dull area, meteorologically speaking. How many different ways can you say “Humid and overcast with a 30% chance of afternoon showers”? He finally had something meaty to talk about. “Fourteen to twenty-two inches of snow!” Back in Northern Michigan, we called this a dusting.
I recall this freshman coming to our meteorology program who had saved every weather clipping—those maps with temperature gradients in the back of the newspapers—for five years. He kept them in a binder which he carried everywhere.
If today’s weather conditions were this many millibars, this hot, with the wind coming from that quarter, this kid knew the historical analogue. “Today’s 500 mb flow reminds me of the ’77 Memorial Day storm that dumped over three inches of precip.”
This young man was not uncommon. He type is known as the weather weenie. These guys come in thinking that all meteorologists do is sit around and talk about the weather—which is true. They do. But they first have to slog through all the math. Years of calculus, physics, PDEs, thermodynamics, equations of motion. Many weenies drop out and change their majors to communications.
It is there they learn their bad habits.