This blog contains material I wrote and posted on between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Weather Report

And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes the weather report. Good night.”

With a satisfied sigh, I walked out of the studio and down the steps to the basement garage. I’d just bent to unlock my car when I felt something cold and hard at the back of my neck.

“Turn round,” said a voice.

I turned. He was young, fat, with a spotty pimped face and a suit in a style that went out of fashion twenty years ago. He was also soaking wet. But in one hand he held a big gun which looked as though it would go off at any moment.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“You’re Dan. Dan, the Weather Man. Isn’t that so, Dan the Weather Man?”

“Yeah,” I confessed. “I am Dan, the Weather Man. And what do you want?”

Instead of answering directly, he held out his other hand. In the centre of his palm lay a half-congealed white mass, like frozen froth. “What do you call this?”

I shrugged. “Hail?”

“Quite right, Dan the Weather Man. I picked it up from the street outside. And do you know why I could pick up hail from the street outside?”

I stared at him. “Are you stupid? Because it’s been thunderstorming all day, and we’ve just had the heaviest hail in recent history. I’ve just been talking about that on the weather report. Haven’t I?”

“That you have, Dan the Weather Man. But do you remember what you said yesterday? What did you forecast for today, huh?”

I tried to cast my mind back to yesterday. Something about… “Bright sunshine and a south-westerly wind, wasn’t it?” I asked. “And so?”

“And so?” he almost screamed. Unfortunately, the basement parking lot was deserted and there was nobody to hear him. “You stupid twit, what do you call that weather outside? Do you call what we had all day sunshine?”

I thought of the rain smashing down outside. Thunder rolled across the sky, loudly enough to be audible all the way down in the basement. I could imagine the lightning that slashing across the heavens in jagged streaks. “Well, no,” I admitted. “But what does that have to do with you holding me up like this?”

“What does it have to do with it?” He almost choked, and for a wild moment I hoped he’d have a stroke and die right there. No such luck. “I’ll tell you what it has to do with it. Take a good look at me,” he shouted, waving the tip of his gun barrel under my nose. “Look!”

I looked. He still seemed to be the same as before, still as fat and spotty and as dripping wet. “Yes. I’m looking. And what about it?”

“I’ll tell you what about it. Last night, I met the girl of my dreams. The girl of my dreams, d’you hear? And she actually agreed to see me again. And just then, you were there on TV spouting off about what a nice day today would be, and quick as a flash I suggested we go out for a picnic. And what do you suppose happened then, huh?”

I didn’t say anything. My attention was focussed on his gun barrel.

“I’ll tell you what happened. We had rain…and thunder…and lightning. We were bloody soaked! And do you think she liked it?”

“Some girls probably would have,” I suggested mildly.

“Well, she isn’t some girl, Dan the Weather Man. She’s the Girl of My Dreams, and the Girl of My Dreams doesn’t like getting wet. She said she’d never talk to me again. And who’s going to pay for that? You’re going to pay for that.”

“I’m not in control of the weather.”

“But you certainly talk about it as if you are, don’t you?” He began a falsetto attempt to mimic my voice. “Cold weather front moving in from the sea…chance of snowfall in the hilly parts of the state…you talk about it as though you own the weather, Dan the Weather Man.”

Something buzzed faintly, and his hand went to his pocket and fished out a cell-phone. “Hello? Oh…it’s you, darling. I’m so sorry about the rain. I promise you, I didn’t mean it.”

I watched him as he stammered and blushed for a while. It was both entertaining and squick-worthy. “Love you too,” he said, and turned back to me. “Well now, hotshot; what kind of weather will we have tomorrow?”

I didn’t even have to think. The weather map was still in my mind, with the satellite photos of cloud formations. “More of the same,” I said. "Thunder, lightning, hail.”

“That’s all right,” he said into the phone, walking away. “We can go on the picnic. Tomorrow’s going to be bright and sunny.”

And, do you know, he was right!

Copyright B Purkayastha 2011

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