Long before we met and before she had settled on a college major, my wife desired to be a meteorologist. (Side note here: does anyone else find it funny that we have the terms 'weatherman' and 'weathergirl?' Why the age difference between the word genders?) Anyway, as a result, I have ended up watching more Weather Channel and more weather reports on TV than just about anyone else in California.
Of course with Hurricane Irene in the news, and my wife with the remote, I watched more of the typical weather reporters braving the stormy elements, which to me all look like the same storm. I always find it odd that they say things like, "This is a really dangerous storm! We are not kidding! Local authorities have ordered a mandatory evacuation of this entire area!" Then to give you some kind of idea of how dangerous it is and the precautions you should be following, they ignore their own advice and send some poor sap to the most visually dramatic and probably dangerous area to start broadcasting.
Up until now, I thought it was more like watching a less-funny version of America's Funniest Home Videos, but this last weekend, WTTG reporter Tucker Barnes was sent to cover the hurricane down at the sea wall in Ocean City, Maryland, where he encountered a foul smelling, and according to him, bad tasting foamy goo. (Again, why send a poor fellow, knee deep in toxic sludge, right where he could get swept out to sea and show it on national television, unless you were trying to encourage stupid college guys to do something equally foolish?)
Apparently, the Ocean City Wastewater Treatment Plant is just around the corner from where poor Tucker was sent and they had shut off the power to the plant, so in all likelihood, the fellow was being slapped with untreated raw sewage.
How Tucker, his crew, and the news anchors couldn't figure out that going down to the shore during a storm and standing in foul smelling (oh, and foul tasting, thanks again Tucker) sludge, maybe wasn't the best of ideas is beyond me.
If you have the stomach to see the video, you can watch it HERE.