This guy Brian is one of our favorite topics of conversation in the morning. The dude is one of the reporters for the morning news of choice. I don't so much watch the news in the morning because I'm frantically trying to get ready for work, heading out the door while still chomping a piece of toast, jumping into my car while also opening the garage door, hoping that by the time I put the gear into reverse the door will be open enough to let me through. Then there’s the harried drive to the park & ride lot and the finding of the parking space before sprinting madly to the bus (madly sprinting pregnant woman: that’s a sight to see). Anyway, because Chip leaves for work later than I do, his morning routine is a bit more leisurely – and includes the Q13 news team. Their traffic reports are better than the others, I must say.
But this guy? Brian? Is just... well, he's an original. He’s the guy that thought he was loved and adored at school, with his love of Phil Collins and his subsequent homage to Phil during the 8th grade talent show – all the while most of the kids are either laughing until Orange Crush comes gushing out of their noses, or they’re cowering behind a raised peechee folder, just praying that the SPECTACLE WILL END because they KNOW that this is not acceptable pack behavior and man, Brian is going to be crucified after this. (Guess which one is me… just go on, guess.)
Anyway, it's possible that everyone feels that their news overstates the weather to epic proportions. It's possible that everyone sees their friendly local news people as the Harbingers of Death and Destruction because one word from THESE PEOPLE will leave the streets void of all human life (What? They mentioned that we were going to get some rain – IN THE FORM OF A 500-YEAR STORM. WITH ACTUAL ANIMALS FALLING OUT OF THE SKY.). It’s possible that you have some very imaginative news folks in your neck of the woods. But I just have to say: ours are worse. Really, they are. News people in the northwest are the most overly dramatic gloom and doom HARBINGERS OF DEATH that ever haunted the television airwaves. When we’re expecting some snow, even a bit of snow, it becomes ICE STORM 2007 – ICICLES OF THE FROZEN WASTELANDS OF JUPITER ARE COMING FOR YOU. YES YOU. AND YOU'D BETTER RUN. AND TAKE YOUR FAMILY WITH YOU. AND A GENERATOR. AND LOTS OF FOOD. TO LAST YOU FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS.
Sweet little Brian, dear Phil Collins-loving* Brian (who has a BAND, which I discovered from reading his bio on the news site) - little ninny-muffin headed BRIAN is the fall guy for the entire news team. It’s like the HARBINGERS OF DEATH need a straight man, and Brian’s their guy. Last year, when we had the wicked wind storms, we found Brian standing on the side of some deserted highway, reporting about the wind. And how bad it was! See my hair! Just blowing! Look up at the trees! How they sway! And look at my umbrella! It’s all inside out! (and then, if that wasn’t enough to show us how bad the wind was – Brian pulls out a wind velocity tester thingy (yes, that’s what we’re calling it) from his pocket and goes to SHOW US JUST HOW BAD IT IS. First off, if you didn’t click the link, let me describe the wind velocity tester thingy to you: it’s tiny, for one thing. And it’s silly-looking. With a little stick part that you hold in your hand, allowing two circular sail-things to spin around and around based on the wind speed. And then the Anemometer (yes, I know the correct term for it – but isn’t wind velocity tester thingy so much better?) gives you a read out for how strong the wind is. The wind that you’re CURRENTLY STANDING IN AS TRASHCANS BLOW PAST YOUR HEAD. I know that everyone else thought it would be funny. The news team, the cameramen, the producers—they’re all, Hey, Brian, let’s send you out into the storm and have you stand on the side of the road with a wind velocity tester thingy. And you can be our Man About Town reporting on the ferocity of the wind. What do you say? (snicker, snicker) And then Brian’s all, Oh my gosh! I just got an Anemometer for MY BIRTHDAY and I’ve been DYING to use it! This will be perfect!
Another favorite Brian moment was during a heavy fall of rain, with some subsequent flooding (not our recent storm). And as you know, I take flooding VERY seriously. But this was so quintessentially Brian that I have to tell you. Here’s the dude, standing on his favorite Side of the Road, reporting about WEATHER. And how WET it is. He’s holding a stick (you know it’s going to be good when they give Brian a prop), talking about how much rain has fallen and yadda yadda yadda – WOULD YOU BELIEVE HOW DEEP THESE PUDDLES ARE? (Brian pulls out stick) HERE, LET ME SHOW YOU. (The guy then steps into the puddle, with his stick, of course. And proceeds to poke the puddle with the stick – to show us JUST HOW DEEP THAT DARN PUDDLE WAS GETTING. NOT THAT WE WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TELL BY THE DEPTH OF HIS SHOES OR ANYTHING.
I was feeling particularly bad for Brian this morning when he was reporting about the opening of the Seattle Streetcar. Brian was all up with the anticipation of the event, and goes to show the little Seattle Streetcar Passport that they’re giving out – WITH STICKERS, FROM LOCAL BUSINESSES (which you then exchange for lots of free stuff, apparently). And then, referring to the Mean Kids News team in the studio, says, “Bill & Carmen – I picked up a sticker for you guys as well!” That’s when Mean Kids became Truly Mean as they (on camera) all DID THEIR LEVEL BEST NOT TO CRACK UP – all the while the camera crew & others in the studio (off camera) laughed themselves silly. I felt so bad for Brian. After the commercial break, Brian comes back on, trying terribly to justify his kind gesture. “Hey – hey, you guys. These stickers are really great. You can really get some good free stuff! You can save on your Pilates, Carmen."
Be strong, Brian. One day the Mean Kids will understand just how awesome you really are. Until then, you go on with your bad self. And that wind thingy.
* I have no idea if Brian is a tried and true fan of Phil Collins. It's possible that I was projecting here, thinking about this kid I knew in grade school who really LOVED Phil Collins. And did something really unfortunate at the talent show that will forever be seared into my brain. Also for the record, I was the one hiding my face. I was not a Mean Kid.