WARD’S WORLD: By John Ward
Sometimes the silly side of life seems to overtake the supposed normal side or rather what we assume is normal depending on how you wish to measure such a thing.
During the recent snow storm, I am never ceased to be amazed at the length or the waste of money spent on bringing this matter to our attention by the assorted television news programmes that go that extra mile or miles – literally – to give us an insight in the obvious prevailing weather.
In this crass and wasteful procedure to tell us that it’s been/is snowing is quite breathtaking as we have news reporters coming to us ‘live’ from somewhere in the country that has had or still having snow fall as we see a shivering reporter in some anorak the bright colour of something that reminds you of being horrendously sick at some point plus a delightful logo of some trendy manufacturer very predominate on the front as he/she tells us that the weather is dreadful where he/she has been sent to report on.
The fact that we poor uneducated viewers have no idea of what snow looks like is neither here nor, or as is now usual, there.
The studio anchor or desk-bound presenter then goes for the Gold Award for both banal and crassness as he/she then asks: ‘So Blodnok – what can you tell us about the weather where you are?’
To overstate the glaringly obvious at this point is the stuff of Oscar winning performances as they trot out a load of bits of the now expected information that could well apply to any report over the past 60 years or so and continues to be but the sheer cost, risk to life plus limbs to bring us this by sending somebody out into the ‘thick of it’ beggars belief but no doubt based on the fact that if the other channels are doing it, so must they.
The bit at the end is a belter as they then recommend that ‘Unless your journey is really necessary, stay at home’ and whoever said the music hall was dead had not sat and viewed the ‘live’ weather update on television beamed live into your living room from a roadside 300 miles away.
However, the very same setting could have been achieved by going 300 yards up the road from the television studio as is there anybody who knows the difference in breeds of snow that differ from London or Stonehenge?
For those unsure, this substance or images of it are also used on a lot of Christmas cards and such like and you should be able to check on this when they go on sale at the beginning of April.
Meanwhile, back in the studio after thanking Blodnok for the earth shattering news that the snow is still falling, white in colour presently with no other colour options available.
However, social media is gearing up with assorted protesters wishing this to be changed as they have nothing better to do with their lives, with so far three million ‘hits’ as they feel that the other shades of snow are under represented with so far the majority are in favour of this ‘protest’ with colour indigo in the lead.
To be totally honest I would dearly love to hear the standard issue Blodnok ending his/her on-site report by saying: ‘I cannot believe I am stood here in the freezing cold, shivering, no idea of if I will get home as the snow I have been sent out into is worsening, with you sitting behind your desk in a nice, warm studio reading your stuff off an auto-cue and pleading your quarter of a million pounds a year salary is not enough – Alistair Blodnok, for News at Anycost, Britain’
Another side to this snow malarkey is shortages as if the roads are impassable due to the wrong sort of snow falling on them, then assorted supplies do not get through to the shops then sudden mass hysteria breaks out.
It was on the Saturday after MeltdownUK (remember where you heard it first, folks!) had kicked off on the Wednesday prior, but by Saturday things were about livable, that I overhead in one supermarket some delightful lady chanting on about the shelves were looking rather sparse, okay then – empty.
She was explaining to somebody she was ‘just about making do’ with a boxed selection of marzipan ruffles to ‘tide her over’ (these are her words in italics, not mine) as the thought crossed my mind that what was she aiming for in the first instance that had caused this Plan B alternative of hers coming to light – imagine getting home and letting her hungry family know while there was no bread or fresh vegetables etc but its not all bad news – there are marzipan ruffles to go round. I can picture it now: their little eyes lighting up, with tears rolling down their cheeks as they go together in unison ‘Hooray! The marzipan ruffles have arrived! What a wonderful and courageous mummykins you are!’.
Although we only have the occasional weather condition such as this thrust upon us, we still manage to get ‘caught out’ but in Scandinavian countries it’s a basic everyday regular event in winter but they don’t bat an eyelid, carry on as normal while we on the other hand use another option – blame ‘global warming’ and hire a few more bods with strange sounding titles like The Portfolio Holder for Snow, Blizzards, Hail, Sleet and Anything Wet or Damp coming via Bad Weather Conditions (Affiliated) For the Regions and Deep Ditches, but while the loot will be found to employ these bods, lack of resources will be blamed for the absence of gritting lorries, snow ploughs on the road that would enable road transport to get through with copious amounts of freshly picked marzipan ruffles in order to be in the shops thus avoiding panic buying.
Anecdote of sorts regarding hail.
My daughter in school years ago was asked to describe the weather condition ‘hail’ and she replied: ‘It’s like rain but with lumps in’ but why she never bothered to get a job as reading an auto-cue for quarter of a million quid a year she has never said.
Having said that, schools seem to shut nowadays as soon as the first snow flake falls but I won’t go into the merits of that, but as a lot of people of a certain age might also point out their experiences in the past, here is one of mine.
When I was at school it was snowing before I even left home one morning but as it was too bad to cycle, I pushed my bike there as on one occasion, I had walked to school in the snow but it cleared up after lunch and I could have cycled home – it was about one and a half miles in old money – but I misjudged it that time and I pushed it all the way back in a mini blizzard that afternoon, without even a marzipan ruffle in sight.