Sunday, 30 January 2011

Weather report

The weather report was blessedly brief, this time, but extremely confusing.
"The weather," said the meteorologist, a young, skinny man with bad acne, "will be mostly bendy." Then the news show segued to a discussion of the new "reasonable reporting" laws that had left the Daily Mail with nothing other than a knitting column and heavily-redacted reader's letters to publish.
"What was the weather report?" Tristan poked his head round the door, his blonde hair fluffy from the hair-dryer. I cringed inwardly, knowing how he'd react, and told him anyway.
"Mostly bendy?" He almost spat the words back at me. "What on earth is that supposed to mean? Didn't they say anything else?"
"They seemed keen to get away from it and on to the knitting," I said.
He smiled, momentarily distracted. "It's amazing isn't it? And I thought the Daily Mail would never be worth buying. But the weather, mostly bendy! How is that useful? How do I know if people are going to turn up for work tomorrow, when the weather forecast is mostly bendy? It's not like the old days is it, when the forecast would be for snow, and you'd know who'd be phoning in the next morning claiming that they couldn't open their front door for fear of triggering an avalanche."
"It wasn't that useful," I said. "They weren't as honest back then, they never said 'Tomorrow will be the wrong kind of snow, and the trains will stop running almost as soon as they start. I was trapped in East Croydon for two days because of that once."
Tristan's face recognised the horror of the situation, but he wasn't to be deterred from his problem with the current weather forecast.
"It's no better these days," he said. "Look at last Tuesday's forecast: Mobile trees. I mean, who looks at evaporation patterns and wind vectors and thinks, hmmm, this'll really annoy those trees, I bet they get up and start walking around?"
"We did get mobile trees, though," I pointed out. Our garden looked like a forest now, as something had apparently attracted them. We were also infested with squirrels.
"Great. So now we have accurate forecasts that we can't understand."
His head disappeared again as he returned to getting ready for work, and I relaxed a little. On the television some radio talk show host who'd been dragooned in to review the papers was complaining that the "reasonable reporting" law had left him almost without material for the fourth hour of his show.

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