ValueSpeak
A Weekly Column
By Joseph Walker

KNOWING WHO TO TRUST

It was an unusually hectic Friday morning, and Anita and I were trying to make weekend plans on our way out the door.  My suggestion was sleeping late, having brunch, sprawling out in front of the TV to watch college basketball and then going to a movie or something.  Anita was thinking of something more along the lines of getting up early and going for an invigorating walk, doing some work in the yard, shopping for groceries and then going to a movie.

Well, at least we agreed on the movie.

Which plan we were going to follow pretty much hinged on the weather.  Inclement weather meant sleeping, eating and sprawling.  Good weather meant . . . you know . . . work.  We looked outside, where a clear spring morning was smiling on every unkempt corner of our yard.  A wickedly triumphant glimmer sparkled in Anita’s eyes.  But I still had hope.  We have a saying around here this time of year: if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes.

As if on cue, the weather guy bounded onto our TV screen.  You know that he’s the weather guy because he’s not wearing a tie and he bounds (serious journalists wear ties and almost never bound).  We lingered to see if the weather guy would settle our weekend plans.

“Let’s go to the radar to see what happened outside while you were sleeping...”

“I don’t care about the weather while I was sleeping,” I said (yeah, I talk back to the TV – doesn’t everybody?).  “As long as there were no tornadoes or hurricanes that changed local topography, I’m OK with pretty much anything that happened during the night.”

“Now let’s look at our Super Duper Whopper Dopler to see what’s going on now . . .”

“I can look outside to see what’s going on now,” I said, my voice rising slightly.  “I just want to know if I’m going to need a jacket today and what’s it going to be like tomorrow.”

“Let’s really crank up the Super Duper Whopper Dopler to see that a wispy cloud is casting a slight shadow on this compost pile in a back yard on State Street . . .”

I was starting to fume now.  “Oh, for the love of . . .”

“I should know better than to let you watch the weather,” Anita said.

“Tell me if I need a jacket today and what I can plan on tomorrow,” I groused.  “That’s all I want to know!”

“Yes, dear,” Anita said soothingly as she tugged me toward the garage.

“Save the technology for NASA and for people planning invasions and stuff,” I continued.  “I just want to know if I need a jacket . . .”

“And now, here’s our forecast . . .”

We stopped and edged our way back toward the TV.

“Today looks bright and balmy,” the weather guy beamed, “but there’s a cold front moving in, and it looks like winter will be returning for the weekend.”

“I love this guy,” I said, joyfully.  “He’s, like, NEVER wrong, is he?  I mean, look at all the great technology, the Super Woofer Weeder Tweeter and everything . . .”

“Grab your jacket,” Anita said.  “And rest up tonight – you’ll need it tomorrow.”

“But he said . . .”

“Exactly.”

Turns out I DID need the jacket that day.  And I’m still recovering from working in the warm sun all day Saturday (I even got the Christmas lights down, believe it or not).  But the yard looks better (we’re ready for our close-up, Mr. Super Duper Whopper Dopler!), the shopping is done and we saw a pretty good movie.

It’s amazing what can happen when you know who to trust.

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— © Joseph Walker

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"How Can You Mend a Broken Spleen? Home Remedies for an Ailing World." It is available on-line through www.Amazon.com.