The local TV voiceover guy opened the weather segment with a booming, “This is Eyewitness weather with meteorologist Sandy Storm sponsored by Oger Supermarkets. Oger, for the best bread and milk.”
“Good evening Southlanders. Hold on to your seat. I have big news for you. It’s a four letter word that starts with S…”
The producer whispered to the cameraman, “$#*^?” The cameraman jiggled the HD camera as he laughed.
Sandy continued with her big sleet-eatin’ grin on her face, “Yes, you guessed it — it’s going to SNOW!!!!!”
And at that moment, the whole Channel 5 viewing area exploded into panic.
Bread and milk were the first to go. Beer and toilet paper weren’t far behind. Crazed shoppers ran up and down the aisles of the local Oger grocery store in fear. Kids dreamed of a snow day. Parents shook their fists at the sky.
People absolutely freaked out.
18 Hours before the storm:
Thelma Lou Franchesco pushed Wendy Winehouse trying to get a can of tuna. She hit a display of canned corn, sending it and her flying into the diaper aisle. Tom Drysdale tripped Frank Watson so he could get to the last loaf of white bread first. Fights began to break out at the local grocery store. ”How will my baby eat?” cried one shopper as she fell to her knees crying.
“How are you coping with the chance of snow? asked Buck Strong to anyone who would pay him any attention. Buck was the longtime anchor/reporter legend at Channel 5 news who was famous for once mixing it up with a governor he caught in the same strip-club he was in. Strong’s defense was “You can’t just find news sitting in your house. Sometimes you have to go to a strip club to find it.” Management didn’t fire him, but refused to expense the numerous lap dances.
Shoppers hustled past the legendary reporter and into the store, trying to scoop up the last jars of peanut butter and cans of sardines. “Oh the humanity!” one portly man cried.
12 Hours before the storm:
“Do you think we’ll be snowed in for weeks?” viewers tweeted Sandy Storm. Sandy kept her 1,000 twitter followers on top of the latest forecast and explained the latest forecast models. “Dress warm!” she replied.
Panic had hit 11 out of 1o.
10 Hours before the storm:
Bubba Franklin, the local auto mechanic, readied his four-wheel drive and chain. He’d pull the people out of the ditch. Sure, all the Yankees could drive on snow. But not when there was an inch of ice under it. ”I’m providin’ a public service,” he told Buck Strong. “For $50.”
Sandy Storm broke in during the SEC basketball game and said, “Just to let you know, we’re under a winter storm watch. I’ll break in to tell you the latest.” At this point, the basketball fans had already called the management at the station to complain. Sandy didn’t mind. She loved to break into prime-time programing.
Road crews busily readied trucks with salt. Bartenders busily readied margaritas with salt, too.
The city had nearly shut down in preparation to Winter Blitz 2013 (what Eyewitness News 5 had now dubbed the storm.) Now the Mayor was ready to enact his emergency plan. (He loved to plan).
8 Hours before the storm:
The city was ready. The population was ready. Kids dreamed dreams of snow men, snow angels, snow balls, snow forts and snow whatever else you can make out of snow. Schools had been preemptively cancelled. “We can’t risk running the buses during Winter Blitz 2013,” said the local superintendent in charge of making such lofty snow-related decisions. The grocery store manager was busy rolling around in a room full of money as he looked out as his store’s bare shelves.
Sandy Storm was on the air wall-to-wall tracking the snow as it came in on radar.
As the sun went down, people huddled in their homes ready for whatever Mother Nature could throw at them. It was all over but the snowing. “Bring it on!” cried Sandy Storm. Buck Strong had hunkered down at the local strip club.
And just as predicted, the first flakes fell. They were big, fluffy flakes. They quickly covered elevated surfaces and then dusted the grass. Roads got slushy and the surrounding countryside began to look like a Thomas Kincade painting. It was truly a Southern winter wonderland.
Kids woke up to the beauty of the freshly fallen snow and quickly put on their winter clothes. Winter Blitz 2013 had hit. Sandy Storm broke into the morning show to update her viewers one more time.
And then it happened.
The sun peeked over the oaks and the pines and began illuminate the fresh blanket of snow.
Within 10 minutes it was slush. By 9 a.m. all the snow was completely gone.
Winter Blitz 2013 had ended nearly as quickly as it had begun. It was yet another exciting Southern snowstorm. And all the people had to show for it were kids at home and a whole bunch of milk and bread.