Partly Cloudy and Very Loud

They say college changes people. For once, “they” may be right. It changed my now-husband — especially his freshman-year meteorology class.

He’s never gotten over it. Since we live together, neither have I.

Maybe you wouldn’t think an introductory class in anything would make you an expert on the subject. You might, in fact, point this out to the guy who’s mouthing off on a regular basis. Are you sure you want to, though? You would be wasting your breath. I should know.


“What’s wrong?” This would usually come from me or, when they were young, one of our kids.

My husband continues his outrage, screaming at the TV.

“Look at the arrow that loser is drawing! You can tell he doesn’t know anything about weather. What a MORON — ”

“The arrow looks OK to me — ”

“If you knew anything at all about meteorology, you’d know that arrow is an insult to the audience. HANG IT UP, BUDDY! THE CIRCUS NEEDS A CLOWN LIKE YOU!”

Oh, yes, these outbursts have gone on for years — during monsoons and droughts, tornadoes and wildfires. Mostly, my husband gets upset about badly drawn arrows. But he also takes to screaming about inaccuracies past and present.

“You promised us rain last week! We didn’t get a damned drop!”

I would say he’s a good judge of meteorological character, but he’s not. One of the only TV weathermen he approved of (“You can tell from that guy’s arrows that he knows what he’s talking about”) was later sent to the slammer for molesting children.

My husband was also noticeably silent about a female meteorologist we watched briefly in Dallas. She was, I should point out, so well-endowed that when she turned in the right direction, entire continents disappeared. Her arrows, too, must have been top-flight; if they weren’t, he never complained.

But all the others — the tall, the short, the lanky, the righteous, the self-deprecating, the smug — have been found wanting over the years and decades, usually at top volume.

Educate a woman and you educate a family — I’ve heard that, too. Educate a man with meteorology 101 and you’ve got a full-blast, three-ring circus coming to your house every night at six.

You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, Dylan said; around our house, it blows for thee.

(Copyright 2014 by Ruth Pennebaker)

Read A Rant on Brazilians



13 comments… add one
  • Chris Link

    This was Hilarious! I suppose I especially identified with your situation since I am married to a weather geek who has a little “background” but is not a trained meteorologist. Thanks for a good laugh.

  • paul babb Link

    Simply wonderful, Ruth. Reading your words makes life better.

  • He and my dear must have been in the same class. And the weather channel! How can I ban it?

  • bonehead Link

    At least the meteorologist has a semblance of technical expertise. What about those news anchors, there’s a Cirque du Soleil fer ya. I’m searching Amazon for a Intro to Meteorology. Thanks for the inspirational article 🙂

  • You never fail me!! More than just a little laughing…

  • Mike Schillhahn Link

    As a recovering TV weatherman, I too rail on a regular basis at what is passing for weather reporting these days. These people are making a mockery of the art and science of the Sacred Order of the Isobar.

  • I needed a good laugh this morning. Thank you.

  • Men like to talk to the TV for some reason. You would think they know it can’t hear them.

  • Oh hon, that is nothing to have a pilot in the house. I get weather lessons any time the man sees a cloud formation.

  • Funny. The big complaint here is that they spend a LOT of time talking about what the weather WAS like today, then race through the actual forecast. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve tuned out the yammering, then missed the predictions.

  • At our house, I’m the weather nut. We actually have an excellent weatherman, NECN’s Matt Noyes. It has been fun watching him start out as a newcomer fresh out of Cornell with his “Weather Word” contest and move on to be in charge ten years later.

  • merr Link

    Very funny – and I love the dialogue.

  • I love the humor in your pieces. They brighten my day.

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