In event of weather, panic

Every time I hear an announcement about another snow event, my first thought is, “Do we need tickets?”

I inform the husband we are down for an event this week and his first question is whether we’ll have to pay for parking. The man loathes paying for parking. I assure him that if the event is as fantastic as they’re predicting, parking won’t be a problem because all the cars will be buried.

If you’re wondering what to wear to a snow event, skip the little black dress and go for insulated anything and layers.

Snow “events” sound pompous for occurrences that happen with droll predictability. Snow follows winter like ham and bean soup follow a bone-in ham. It’s not like you didn’t see it coming.

Now, a Beatle Reunion Tour would be an event. Snow? Not so much. We know it’s coming, just like it came last year and the year before that.

I miss the days when snow was simply snow, light flurries, a snowfall, a snowstorm or even a blizzard. Of course, that was before weather was repackaged as climate. Do we have to package, market, hype and ratchet up every single, solitary thing?

Yes we do. Which is why we also have rain events, previously known as rain, showers, drizzle, downpours or thunderstorms.

Soon, we will turn our attention to a spring event, which no doubt will be interspersed with ice events, wind events, dew events, fog events, humidity events and changing temperature events.

We’ve hit the panic button and hyped tornado weather, also known as potential tornadic activity, for so long that a lot of people no longer take the warnings seriously. A genuine tornado threat should have you thinking Kansas, Dorothy and Toto, and seeking shelter immediately.

Now stuck under the gray skies of winter, I wouldn’t mind hearing about a big sunshine event: “We’ll have a sunshine event launching Friday and lasting into early May. Main floor seating is full, but the upper balcony is still available.” (Sweeping hand gestures in the direction of a large yellow happy face and weather forecaster wearing formal evening dress in recognition of the event.)

There’s something of a pandering nature about turning routine weather changes into events. But it simply plays to our attention span. We’ve been conditioned for drama. Everything has to be bigger, better and more spectacular than the one before. We up the ante and continually crank the volume on the panic and frenzy.

Bombarded by the constant stream of hype and hysteria, the senses become muted to the quiet delight of the ordinary. “We’re having a pleasant weather event beginning Wednesday and stretching into Saturday.” Yawn. Click. Flip the channel. Surely there’s a weather event promising doom and disaster somewhere.

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