Forecast: Gusts of hot air blow from weather center


News announcer: Good evening. Our top story tonight is Tropical Depression Vinny, which is shaping up to be the most deadly potential natural disaster ever to strike this nation since last week, when Tropical Depression Ursula came within just 1,745 miles of American soil before veering off and inflicting an estimated $143 worth of damage on the Azores. For more on Vinny, let's go straight to the FearPlex WeatherCenter, where meteorologist Dirk Doppler, in anticipation of a long night of escalating tension, has already applied 75 cubic feet of Rave Extra Hold hair spray.

Meteorologist: Thank you, Bill. As we can see from this satellite photograph taken from space, right now Vinny is located at a latitude of 36.8 degrees centigrade and is projected to follow a path that, according to our computer model, could potentially take it directly to any of the 13 original colonies as well as Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Canada and Western Europe. We are urging everybody within the potentially affected area to become extremely nervous, because this thing potentially has the potential to become a Category Seven storm, which means a storm capable of yanking the udder right off a standing cow.

Announcer: What is your best guess at this point, Dirk?

Meteorologist: Without creating undue alarm, Bill, I would say there is no hope for human survival on this planet.

Announcer: Thank you, Dirk. We go now to reporter Crystal Baroque, who has been standing by at the Homeowner Hell megastore. Crystal?

Reporter: Bill, as usual with storms of this potential, there are long lines of people waiting to buy plywood. Sir, how long have you been here?

Customer: I've been waiting 17 hours, but it's worth it, to get plywood. Whenever there's a storm, I hear these voices telling me, "Irving! Go get plywood!" And I don't even have a home! I just have a big pile of plywood.

Reporter: I see.

Customer: Also, my name isn't Irving.

Reporter: Back to you, Bill.

Announcer: In another important tradition, the supermarkets are jammed with panicked consumers buying bottled water, as you see in this videotape that we have shown during every potential storm since 1973. Now let's go back to the FearPlex WeatherCenter for an update from meteorologist Dirk Doppler.

Meteorologist: Bill, as you can see from this satellite photograph, Tropical Depression Vinny has not moved at all, which means we are now expanding the potential disaster area to include mainland China. The satellite is also reporting the entire planet Earth is surrounded by a cold, airless void extending for trillions of miles in all directions. It looks very bad, Bill.

Announcer: We now go to the National Hurricane Center, where we'll be speaking with the director, Harmon Wankel, who has been sitting in the same chair for 68 straight hours without food or sleep, staring into bright lights while being relentlessly interviewed by TV news people about this potential storm. Harmon, what's the latest word?

Hurricane Center director: I hope you all die.

Announcer: Thank you. Now we're going to go to the White House, where we understand President Clinton is about to make an emergency statement.

The president: As you can tell by my big sad moony face, my heart goes out to all of those who have the potential of being devastated by this potentially devastating storm. I have ordered the mandatory evacuation of North and South America, to be enforced by strafing, and I have personally instructed Vice President Gore to get into a helicopter and fly around until everybody in his entourage is airsick. I am also hereby offering clemency to every convicted felon in New York state. Let us all bite our lips and pray that this terrible potential disaster proceeds directly to the home of Kenneth Starr.

Announcer: Let's go back to the FearPlex WeatherCenter, where Dirk Doppler has an Urgent News Bulletin on Tropical Depression Vinny.

Meteorologist: Bill, according to our latest satellite images, Vinny is gone! It was right here, and now, pffft, there's no sign of it!

Announcer: Does this mean we can stop panicking?

Meteorologist: Of course not. Vinny could be anywhere. It could be in your house. Everybody should get under the bed now. Also we need to start worrying about potentially lethal Tropical Breeze Xera, which is forming over here. See it?

Announcer: No.

Meteorologist: Yes you do! It's right there! You've got to believe me!

Announcer: We go now to Dan Rather, courageously standing on a beach, wearing a slicker. Knight Ridder/Tribune

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