(HOST) While the rest of us listen to weather forecasts, commentator Kathryn Blume says she’s been listening to – well – the weather itself.
(BLUME) Ok maybe it’s just me. After all I’m willing to admit having an overactive imagination. In fact I’ve made a career of having an overactive imagination. But I have to say that our thunderstorms of late seem different – almost scary, actually – and I am normally a big fan of charismatic weather.
But honestly, they don’t seem like real life thunderstorms. They’re more like something from a science fiction movie – like the ominous precursor to an alien invasion.
For one thing, the rain doesn’t look like it’s just falling from the sky because of gravity. This looks like rain which is plunging towards the ground because it’s being pushed.
This rain is the precipitative equivalent of stampeding soccer fans trampling over each other on the way out of the stadium. Or, as my husband Mark puts it, "It feels like God is hurling the rain out of the sky."
Also the lightning seems both flashier and somehow more pointed, more personal. Rather than lightning that’s just happening in my general geographic area, it’s lightning which appears to be specifically aimed right at me. Not that it’s setting out to hit me, but I’m getting the sense that lighting wants my attention, is looking me right in the eye, and flashing expressly for my personal benefit.
Then there’s the thunder, which is definitely…I think the technical term would be "boomier" and more sustained than any thunder I’ve ever heard before. It roils and stomps and plunders its way along. It’s a very ominous, bullying kind of thunder, willfully throwing its weight around to make sure we know who’s in charge.
And not only that, but if there were a message contained in this storm, if the storm were actually talking, then the thunder would be its voice. And I’ve been starting to wonder exactly what it might be saying.
So as the latest bank of apocalyptic doom clouds rolled in, I recorded a chunk of the thunder, and ran it through Google’s new Audio Translate feature. What came out was:
"Oy! What a fever I’ve got! When I find the mamzer who put all this shmutz in my atmosphere, I’m gonna give him such a zetz on the keppeleh!"
This, of course, can mean only one thing: Mother Earth is my Grandmother. Known as Mama Beattie to both friends and family, she ruled the roost – dominated it, really – from the comfort of her tricked out pink barcalounger, and God forbid you should make her mad enough to get up and come after you.
Mama Beattie did not mince words. Neither did the voice of this storm, which I guess we can call Big Mama Beattie. Big Mama Beattie went on to say things like: "I have had it with this mishegas! Stop it with the buying useless crap and throwing it away!" and "Who left the tap on in the Gulf?" and "Fracking schmacking!" and "Hey you kids, quit blowing up my mountains for coal! Don’t make me come over there!"
On and on it went – a beefy litany of complaints about our reckless eco-behavior and utter failure to keep our planetary room clean.
And it’s got me worried because…well…while I didn’t translate the whole storm, I have the distinct feeling that Big Mama Beattie may be getting up out of her chair.