2 years ago
The family gathered in the lounge to watch the weather forecast. It was a big event these days and people tended to arrange their commitments around it, often serving Turkish delight, sherry and brandy snaps, that sort of thing. The latest HD, digital, wide screen, slimline TV took longer to warm up than their old valve driven Bush model, but this didn’t prevent a rising tide of euphoria filling the room.
“It’s starting love!” cried Dad.
“I’ll be there in a minute” replied Mum.
“Hey! There’s supposed to be two presenters tonight” said young Ben.
“Two? What the hell for?”
“Well, it’s like reading the news and presenting children’s telly. The job’s too hard for just one person and what with all the spare money we’ve all got these days the bosses thought it best.”
“Whoopie!” yelled young Betty.
“Quiet in the cheap seats” growled Grandpa, in his corner.
“Ladies and Gentlemen-n-n-n-n-n-n-n. We now come to the highlight of the evening, a super-middleweight forecast for the United Kingdom-m-m-m-m-m-m. Introducing in the blue corner, with five correct predictions out of one hundred attempts – William... Wet and Windy... Wallis-s-s-s-s-s-s.
“Poor bloke’s got a speech impediment” said Grandpa
“That bloke’s got a fat arse” said Grandpa.
“You need your glasses changing” observed Mum.
“Aye. Yes please, another Brown Ale would go down very nicely, thanks”.
“I remember these two newsreaders. It’s Mork and Mindy isn’t it?”
“Be quiet Grandpa”.
“Or is it Dork and Windy?”
“Laurel and …..”
“Ha, ha, ha, ha. You are a wit William."
“Tee hee hee hee hee. But not as funny as you Jasmine."
"You were so good on ‘Strictly’ Micky."
“I’m such a liberal too”.
“I love you”.
“I love me”.
“We love everybody (as long as somebody else is paying for it)”
A tall man in white flannels then came in with some orange juice and bananas on a tray and the forecast fiasco took a commercial break.
* * *
By the following morning the commercial break had just about finished and it was time for the family to climb out of their sleeping bags and see what the weather had in store for them. It was a well established meteorological practice by this time to actually wait for the weather to actually occur before predicting it – the cutting edge conclusion of a three and a half million pound computer technology investment programme, begun in 2011.
“For those of you interested in the indoor snooker tournament in Hong Kong we have bravely flown out to give you the most accurate information possible” said Jasmine in her new sequinned bikini. This will be followed by further self-sacrificial flights around the world to ensure we meet our broadcasting obligations to you - the paying public. We will pause only to pick up twenty odd well known but declining TV celebrities who are currently in need of well deserved free holidays... er... I mean who are currently filming travelogues.”
“Oh for the love of God, what’s the weather going to be like?” said Grandpa, wafting away the overnight fart gas from his trousers.
“Stop distracting us Grandpa” said young Betty.
“Upper Nether Thornton in Wessex had the most rainfall over a ten minute period since records began last month” announced William.
“Lower Nether Thornton had more wind from a North by North-West direction since the Middle Ages” trumped Jasmine.
“I’m making a record with Simon Cowell” gloated William.
Then came the viewers’ photographs section, including a wonderful outdoor shot of the South Downs in the cold depths of Winter.
“But it’s only the beginning of August, William” said Jasmine.
“I know, but my house is on this one” replied William
“They’ve obviously moved it down to London” advised Mum.
“Oh. I was quite enjoying that storyline about the ethnic, dyslexic, gay lovers who’d just had a car crash.”
“They're getting married in hospital with matching duvets”.
“Yes, there will be plenty of that, no doubt”.
“Well, as for the much awaited UK forecast, viewers who really want to know, can get an update on my new awesome blog……..”
The presenters then joined hands in a recreation of the famous Tiller Girls Palladium routine and the station went on to its default setting.... The... Simp... sons.
Totally pissed off with the ever declining standards of modern television, Grandpa went into the kitchen and practised drawing a sharp carving knife across his throat. It wouldn’t be long now, he thought. “Good bye cruel world, and good riddance!”
And I can’t say I blame him really.
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