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Thinly Read

The way the world least on the evening news
Scripps Howard News Service


August 01, 2005

Good evening. We interrupt your regular, unwatched news programming for this special report on hurricane... um... well, there's another hurricane. Let's go live to our reporter in the field. Larry, how's it looking out there?

Thanks Steve. Well, it's pretty calm out here. I'm reporting live from, uh, Southwest Ohio, which is about as far south as our travel budget allows. Right now it's pretty calm and sunny, but we are prepared for the onslaught, as you can tell by my poncho and golf umbrella.

That is a nice poncho, Larry. We'll come back to you in a moment. Right now let's take a look at our Doppler Ultra High Resolution 3,000 Color Super Llama Weather Radar and see how this storm is shaping up. What's on the screen there, Pete?

Well Steve, since we're based out of Toledo, the Llama Radar isn't really picking up too much. There are some clouds, possibly, out in Elyria... or that could be truck exhaust. Whatever it is, it's this little speck of Venetian red on the right side of the monitor. Or maybe that's vermillion. Or, uh, carmine...

I'm going to have to interrupt you here, Pete _ we've got an update from our public eye reporter. Sally is out in the community interviewing men and women at risk from this impending summer storm. Sally, who are we speaking with?

Steve, I'm here with a gentleman who has asked to remain nameless. I'm pretty sure he has no idea why I'm talking to him; obviously, the potential of losing his home to a brutal and terrifying hurricane has put him in a state of shock. He has not boarded up any of his windows, and has made no plans to evacuate. I've been speaking with him for about two hours now, and he is still unaware of any kind of weather system bearing down on this city.

Look, lady, we're in Cincinnati. There are no hurricanes in Cincinnati. You need to be, like, 800 miles south of here. Shouldn't you be reporting on something important, like Karl Rove or the war or...

And now we're going back to Larry, where there has been a development. Larry, what's going on out there?

Steve, just a minute ago we experienced a slight gust of wind. Well, I guess it was a breeze. A very violent breeze. I'm sure there are some warm fronts and cold fronts at work here. As you can see, I have lashed myself to this telephone pole as a precaution.

Thrilling television, Larry. Do we have a radar image of this... breeze? Pete?

...brick? No, maybe that's salmon. Okay, okay, I'm colorblind! There, are you happy? I don't need to see color to tell which way the wind blows! It's blowing south by southeast! All you do is read the cards, Steve! You can't handle the Llama Radar!

Truly fascinating stuff, Pete. We don't know how you do it. We're almost out of time here, so let's check in one last time with Sally out on the street. Sally?

...or the Supreme Court nomination? Or how about debt relief in Africa? Honestly, why do you think I would care about the roof blowing off of some condominium? What are the priorities here?

Thank you, Sally, for that heartwarming story. Our prayers will be with him and his family.

And that's all we have for this evening. Please stay tuned for our hour-long special on some actor, his fiancee, the woman he's seeing on the side, and the movie they all have coming out on Friday. Until then, I'm Steve, and sadly enough, that's the way it is.


Ben Grabow writes for the young, the urban, and the easily amused.
Contact him at thinlyread(at)

Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service,

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