We were just outside Khaddaffi's hidey-hole when the laxatives kicked in... Okay, so that never happened but when you're humping gear under heavy deadline, you never know where you'll be forced to offload, er...upload. Which is why it's important to have a partner who can pull you up when you're stuck in the dumps. Take Charles Ewing - but don't think it'll be easy. Dude's a stone-cold prognosticator with a black belt in News-Fu. Sure, folks know him as their weekend weatherman, a genial bloke whose gravest hope is that you pack an extra pair of galoshes in your kid's lunch tomorrow. But come Monday, this mild-mannered meteorologist transforms into a tracked-package assassin, a cross-trained field operative who can break down a city council impasse in ninety seconds and tell you why it's gonna rain in five. That's a malleability I admire, which is why I never duck and cover when I see Chuck comin' with a crumpled piece of paper and a certain look in his eye. Many a morning he's dragged me out of the building and into some foolishness in the name of news. Does your weather guy do that?
Mine does, and though he might rather be holding down the green screen back at the shop, he's evolved into quite the safari partner. Why, just in our sporadic collaborations, we've drummed up conundrums, stared down rare scenarios and processed more oddities than most veteran detective teams. Call it a by-product of the grind, an accumulation of minutia so diverse it starts to wear away at your frontal lobe. Thus, my recall is less than total. I don't remember everything I shot last week, but I hold hazy frames of Charles in my head from half a decade back. There was the time we chased chatty hoarders around that Goodwill Store, posed as museum pieces at the Rosenblum Institute, turned day-old storm damage into breathless updates and fended off apoplectic residents of a most glowering inferno. Yes, the good Mr. Ewing and I have had many a misadventure and while this may read like some farewell piece, Charles and I ain't goin' anywhere. We're both fathers of two who count ourselves lucky to have a job we can rarely mail in. We may not chase down fire trucks unrequested, but when a subject matters gets in between us and our lunches, you'll not find a more focused predator than this brashly placid forecaster. Just don't mention the goldmine.