KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Micro-Fiction: 291 words

On Meteorologists

by Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Meteorologists are stamped out in factories from vanilla cloth. Imperfect specimens are hired by small markets like ours, almost always owned by Sinclair. Some weathercasters have speech impediments that force them to pronounce deputy as “deppity.” Imported talent never learn where the accent goes on “LAKE shore,” but persist with talk of the “lake SHORE.” Don’t mention “fruit PORT.”

Our weathermen resemble hedgehogs and other ground-hugging animals with quirky ungovernable hair. Their female counterparts wear sheaths and plate-like necklaces capable of capturing interplanetary chatter.

Smokers who’ve quit begin again just to go outside during the shrill weather. The Tuesday meteorologist talks about the upcoming weekend, but no mention of Tuesday’s weather in the morning when it’s still too dark too see. Christmas Eve forecasting begins on Thanksgiving. The onscreen temperature icon, like so many other things, is usually at odds with the “reporting.”

Meteorologists personalize their forecasts by guessing where we will be at that time. “Looks like it will be 42 when you get out of church or crawl into a stranger’s bed or fall out of love.” They always mention church.

Meteorologists become supercharged like the atmosphere when bad weather approaches, but it’s rarely as significant as their excitement, relying as they do on the audience to do the reporting. That’s what we do in the Midwest: tell meteorologists what’s happening and lend them videos. Once a season, they give somebody a lawn mower or a snow blower.

If you grow up here, you can step outside and know a tornado’s sneaking up by the smell of the air and green sky. You can predict snow by the metal in the clouds. Humidity speaks to us, but meteorologists are deaf, the garnish on a plate of news.


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