The Trial of the Weatherman

December 1, 2009
Local folklore has it that if you don’t like the weather today, wait twenty four hours and it will change…but not necessarily for the better!

The phone rang in John Weatherbeegood’s office at the WRNN TV Station. “John Weatherbeegood, meteorologist here. How can I help you?”

“John, this is Jerome Broadcastle. I need your expert opinion. I have my attorney and advisors here on conference call. I am planning a corporate fundraiser at my vacation home on the Sound. It’s up on the bluff with a perfect view of Connecticut. I’m planning to have it catered, and it’s a formal affair. What I need to know from you is what the weather looks like next Saturday the twenty-sixth.

“Let me check, Jerome. Oh! No problem whatsoever! You’ll have nothing but warm sunny skies, temperature in the eighties, and an occasional soft breeze.”

“John, you are absolutely sure that this forecast is accurate? A gentle breeze? And sunny? This fundraiser is costing me just over a million dollars!”

“Jerome, if there’s one thing I am, it’s absolutely certain that this forecast is guaranteed.”

“John, I banking on you for this, guaranteed!”

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were a flurry of activity; the caterer ordered gourmet seafood from the tropics, lobster from Maine, imported cheeses and olives from the Mediterranean, the best steaks from the Mid west, and wine and champagne from France. While the patisserie bakers fashioned a magnificent seven tiered cake, the chocolatiers created gourmet confections and a chocolate fountain. White tents were erected all along the bluff overlooking the Sound. Gold embossed invitations were hand delivered by messenger to the wealthiest financiers in world. A small orchestra was hired to play for the occasion. A serving staff of hundreds was hired for the day. Clear twinkling lights festooned trees throughout the property.

On Saturday morning everything came together. The tents came together with tables covered in the finest Damask linen cloths and napkins. Porcelain dinner wear and crystal glass wear were placed alongside gold placed flat wear. Huge tables were readied for the food and chocolate fountain. A special marble topped bar occupied one tent to serve wine and champagne. An enormous tent complete with a stage was readied for the orchestra in addition a sound system was set up for the presentation. A last minute check was made on the perfectly manicured landscape. Chefs and serving staff readied the banquet.

Jerome Broadcastle’s personal hairdresser arrived just before noon. Meanwhile his wife, Jilleana, left for her hairdresser, spa treatment, and manicure. At one o’clock they reunited for lunch at an intimate table in the conservatory. While they ate they looked out on the last minute preparations being made. Then they both left to get dressed for the most important day of the year. Jerome was dashing in his tuxedo while Jilleana wore a stunning white designer gown with beautiful crystal stones and pearls. A small but striking diamond lovelier encircled her neck while impressive diamond studs decorated her earlobes. Strappy high heeled sandals completed the outfit. Her exotic captivating fragrance wafted through the air as she walked.

Limousines began arriving with guests at about 3:30. Tuxedos and the finest designer gowns and jewels were worn by the guests. The day was perfect with only a few clouds in the sky to take the edge off the sun. An intermittent gentle breeze kept the guests comfortable. The orchestra played classical music to entertain the financiers. As Jerome began his speech a few softly gray afternoon clouds rolled in and the breeze cooled the guests from the warm temperature. No one, including Jerome, detected the soft rumble in the distance. The guests willingly promised their financial support to the corporate venture. The international mix of guests socialized freely under the influence of charitable feelings, and wine.

All of a sudden, a stronger breeze wafted through the tents lifting the table cloths and knocking over crystal glass wear and porcelain dishes. Jerome, his ego alight with financial accomplishment and champagne glanced furtively over the Sound. His heart skipped a beat as he saw a bolt of lightning strike less than a mile away. Almost immediately, the sky darkened and the wind picked up. Food tables flipped over and rain began to pelt the horrified guests. Screams and the sound of running feet combined with the increasing crash of plates, tables, and the chocolate fountain. Orchestra members scattered cradling their instruments in their arms. The wind suddenly increased and tents flipped up and over the bluff and into the Sound. “I swear I will get him if it’s the last thing I do!” snarled Jerome.

As Jerome stood in the conservatory surveying the devastation through the glass, he ordered his attorney to sue “that weather reader” for every single cent he owns! “He guaranteed this?! I want to make sure he has nothing but whatever clothes he’s wearing at the end of this lawsuit! Check all of his financial information carefully. I want to make sure he owns nothing because if he does, it’s mine!”

And that began the trial of the weatherman…

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