December 13, 2001
The KRON TV-4 Weather
Puppet is feeling a 'funny twinge in her knee' this morning.
"That's how I know a storm is
heading for the Bay Area later today," she tells her television
audience earnestly. "And it feels like it's going to be a BIG
While this unscientific
approach to meteorological forecasting is certain to irritate the
weather geeks and the cynics in the audience (read this:
Ð®åƒ±êrvØ¡), those of
us with open minds and our moons in
Pisces (read this: me) understand exactly
what The TV Weather Puppet is talking about.
It's a proven fact: there
are people who experience definite, specific physical weirdness,
weather is changing ... especially when it's about to change in
dramatic fashion. For some, it's a twinge in the knee. Others report a
throbbing elbow or a singing wisdom tooth. I had a boyfriend once who
swore he lost hair whenever an electrical storm was on the way. (Of
course, he said the exact same thing when a heatwave was on the way ...
or a blizzard, or an earthquake, or a four-way stop. But still. It sort
of explains why he never left the apartment without his 49'ers cap,
As for me ... *I* have a
On the top of my right hand,
just below the index knuckle, is a small gnarled lump of scar tissue,
the result of a botched IV insertion attempt during a Tot birth. (As I
recall, threading that fudking vein hurt worse than all three Tot
Births PUT TOGETHER.) The wound hardened into a knot almost
immediately, and it remained hypersensitive for years afterward. At
some point while the Tots were growing up, we all realized that the
scar on Mommy's hand would grow especially huge and throbbing, a day or
two before it snowed in TicTac. Thanks to my weather vein, I was able
to accurately predict The Big Snow of November 1985 ... The Big Snow of
February 1988 ... The Not-So- Big (But We All Called In "Sick" Anyway)
Snow of January 1989 ... ad infinitum. (I screwed up The Big Snow of
November 1996, but that's because I was drunk in a chat room and wasn't
paying attention.) Occasionally the weather vein reports something
other than an impending snowstorm -- an overnight freeze, for instance,
or an especially chilly rainstorm -- or an ice cream headache -- but
most of the time it specializes in snow.
Of course, I haven't had a lot
of opportunity to use the weather vein since I moved to CALIFORNIA.
I long ago reconciled myself to the fact that as long as I am
married to David -- and as long as the two of us live in California --
I'm never again going to wake up to a backyard filled with
freshly-fallen snow. (The only "white stuff" I'm likely to find on the
ground around here is goose poop.) Once in a while the weather vein
still pops up -- like a thermometer popping out of a Butterball turkey
-- whenever a high pressure system is building over the Bay Area. It
happened this morning, as a matter of fact, which sort of supports the
KRON TV-4 Weather Puppet's theory that we're heading into another
weekend of big storms and small commutes. But the rest of the time,
being able to predict a snowstorm is sort of like having a purseful of
Taco Time coupons: they're both absolutely worthless in
But that's OK. I seem to have
acquired a handful of other interesting
clairvoyant abilities, somewhere along the way. In fact, I'm beginning
to think that my entire almost-44-year-old body is turning into nothing
more than one big precognitive receptor. I mean ... how else can you
explain the way my heart starts beating sideways whenever the telephone
rings at 2 a.m.? Or the way my forehead breaks out into one big cystic
zit, the day before we're invited to dinner with the in-laws?
Or how about the way that ALL
of my most important nerve endings stand at attention when David lights
the bedside candle?
Granted, this talent for
predicting the smaller events of my immediate future isn't going to
make me rich or famous or get me on Oprah anytime soon.That will have
to wait until the release of *FootNotes: The Movie.* (Which, my
twitching left eyebrow is predicting, will do boffo box office in
Wichita, New Jersey and Loo-uh-ville, but will tank harder than the
Hindenburg in Pittburgh, PA.) My precognitive powers, including my
weather vein, are too weak and too specialized to be of much good to
the rest of the world, I'm afraid.
Although I would probably make
one hell of a Weather Puppet.
At the NORTH POLE.
throw a snowball