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Desperate Housewife Angered By 'Severe Weather' Coverage
Birmingham (JM) - Honey Prater, a homemaker from Roebuck Springs, was incensed last Sunday evening when her favorite program, 'Desperate Housewives' was pre-empted for wall-to-wall coverage of normal springtime thundershowers. "I can't believe they cut in again!" screeched Mrs. Prater, throwing an overstuffed sofa pillow across the room. "Every single week they find some excuse! And always during Housewives!"

Prater may not be crazy, according to research on trends in television weather reporting conducted at Birmingham-Southern College. Anthropology student Pridesh Gupta recalls that when he started researching his thesis on depictions of sexuality on prime-time television, he began to realize that week after week his videotaped footage would show giant animated 3-D radar images instead of regularly scheduled episodes of brief partial nudity, sexual situations, and adult language. "At some point, I decided to start compiling statistics on which programs were most often interrupted by severe weather coverage," said Gupta. "Strangely enough, a weather-related interruption is 48% more likely to happen during a show known to feature risque content or language. This has been true throughout tornado season, and all winter long. I haven't yet been able to posit a reason for this correlation."

The Coalition of Christian Meteorologists has a theory, though. "I'd suspect that if what Mr. Gupta says is true, that it could be interpreted as the divine will of our Lord Jesus Christ," said Maxwell Pinella, a spokesman for the powerful prognosticator's union. "Obviously we can't control when severe weather strikes, all we can do is come on the air and urge people to go to their place of prayer and safety. If we have to interrupt programming for that, I don't think anyone here is upset that it might be programming with unwholesome content."

Mrs. Prater was not impressed, though. "It wasn't even [expletive deleted] raining Sunday night!" she moaned. "Samantha's softball game went into extra innings and we had to call in and grab some carry out from Outback to even make it home by 8:00, and there's James [expletive deleted] Spann striding back and forth with his sleeves rolled up talking about 'possible rotational signatures' heading for some insignificant little cluster of trailers nobody's ever heard of. As if he has personally mapped the location of every Unocal and Shop-A-Snack in central Alabama."

Mrs. Prater paused to sit back down on the couch and hide her face in her hands. "The [expletive deleted] radar map was completely clear except for some faint green readings right around the center of the radar sweep," she whimpered before gathering her composure. "This is just stupid! Even I know that's just ground clutter!"

Digging deeper, this reporter was able to shed light on another possible influencing factor: A source at ABC 33/40 who asked not to be identified revealed that CCM meteorologists are guaranteed a certain number of 'severe weather events' each year in their contracts with the local stations. "A lot of these guys make a lot of extra money with public appearances. They rely on severe weather to give them credibility as trusted figures. If there's no fear, there's no respect. Furthermore, the standard CCM contract gives the head meteorologist a lot of say in when to break into programming. It's their call, not the network, and certainly not the National Weather Service."

At press time the Coalition of Christian Meteorologists could neither confirm nor deny this allegation.