Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Salt in the Wound

Saltpile MeditationMan, look at the size of that thing... No, not my bald spot! I'm talking about that barnload of rock salt I'm pictured pondering. I must have stood there for a good fifteen minutes, waiting for enlightenment to wash over my lowly photog form... Nope, nuthin'. Still, there must be some kind of elemental magic in this county-owned space - for no sooner does a weather guy uses the 'S-Word' than some doofus in a suit insists we haul ass to the nearest pile of sodium, dirt and rat droppings. Why? To look for meaning, I guess. That and to prove to viewers that their municipalities really do have a plan for inclement weather. Basically, they're gonna season it. Why that's such a news sensation each and every year I don't know, but I have no more control over my assignments than I do over my eleven year old's opinion of the Jonas Brothers. Some things mortal men just ain't supposed to grasp, no matter how long they linger over spilled spices. So, instead of dropping to the floor and busting out a 'salt angel' I'd regret all day, I wandered outside...

Saltpile Close Up...where I found no less than four TV News outlets setting up their electronic encampements:. trucks, tripods and enough logo'd parkas to choke a sasquatch. Speaking of whom, the abominable snowman himself must have been at the bottom of the salt pile, for all the lenses pointed at it - and judging from the breathless voice in my own earpiece, he's got Osama Bin Laden in a headlock under there. Otherwise, there's no way to explain why half the Piedmont's live truck fleet is idling down at the county yard. Sure, every weather bunny from Murphy to Manteo is calling for some kind of wispy precip, but does snow in January really require continuous team smotherage?

Saltpile WatchApparently, it do. Early on, the TV vehicles outnumbered the brine trucks. That is until the evening shift rolled in: burly he-men in Carrhart jumpers, carrying heavy lunch pails under their arms and less than delicate words on their lips. I don't want to alarm any well-meaning meteorologists, but there's a whole bunch of county employees who really don't appreciate their MLK Day plans for quiet reflection interrupted by the flagellations of the Fourth Estate. Okay, they didn't put it exactly like that, but this is a family blog. Besides, I'm afraid if I repeat the exact sentiments of the salt crews, I'll awake to find Unit 4 encased in a frozen block of truck driver urine and county-owned brine. That kind of funk won't towel off, ya know...

Saltpile ScrumStill, there only so many lamentations the fellas could muster before they had to load up and get in line for the salt parade. As luck would have it, that's when everyone's live shots started and while all the movement made for a great backdrop, I could have done without all the hairy eyeballs and air horn blasts. Hey, don't blame me, Bandit. I'm just another schlub who drives around with tools in the truck and spreads muck across the greater Piedmont Googoplex. We got a lot in common, you and me. As long as their are AMS certified scientists with raging weather woodies and a general population that can't keep it between the ditches on a good day, you and I got a job. So don't spray me in slop when you pass my tripod spot on the interstate, Love the Cameraman! After all, we're the hardworking lifer of the TV news lot; we'd no sooner sound a false alarm than put our top-heavy logomobiles into an uncontrolled skid. On second thought, everyone should be allowed to sling some nasties once in a while. Look at it as job security...

Or don't - just watch where you spray that stuff, wouldya? These shades are prescription...

2 comments:

Jana said...

Hi Stewart!

I love your blog. You are an amazing writer, as well as a talented photographer. I can see why so many people are big fans. It was a pleasure meeting you last week; I'm excited to see what you come up with.

Jana (www.themeanestmom.blogspot.com)

P.S. I love the Nathaniel Hawthorne quote on your sidebar. So true...great stuff.

turdpolisher said...

With all that rock salt, did anyone think to bring an old-fashioned hommade ice cream machine?

I'm just sayin.