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run for the hills.. no, wait.. we don't have any

Earlier this evening I watched the evening news on WFLA Channel 8. Tampa got slammed today with some torrential rain, thunder, lightning and so on (typical for the region) so I figured I would tune in to see what's up.

My mistake.

A long time ago I made the decision not to watch the news on television anymore because it's a whole lot of sensationalized crap designed to scare the living bejeezus out of everyone. I thought that Florida evening news might be different. It's not.

For example:

There were "teaser" bumpers saying that there are parts of Florida that could be submerged in twenty-six feet of water if the mother of all hurricanes came by. Of course, they don't say which part of Florida it is.. stay tuned! Nah, don't think so.

Meterologists have a field day whenever anything major happens outside. In New England, they all got happy as pigs in slop whenever Mother Nature was going to dump a load of white goodness on us all (i.e. snow). Over here, they're all about the hurricanes. Oh yeah, it's comin'.. board up yer windows! Pack up canned goods! Have an evacuation plan! We're all gonna DIE! That's what it sounds like to me.

Just in case anyone wants to know my evacuation plan, all I do is pack up a few things, drive sixty miles north to Pop's place and wait it out. Yay.

And of course, there's the bird flu "epidemic". I put that in quotations because their ISN'T ANY EPIDEMIC. The news presents this "what if" factor if this bird flu caused a general fracas all over the state of Florida. What if bird flu came by and screwed everyone up? What if all the businesses were closed? What if you couldn't go grocery shopping? What if? What if? What if? Yeah. What if, indeed. What if you idiots actually tried something decent like, oh, I dunno, not encourage widespread panic.

The bird flu gonna-kill-you-all thing is the exact same crap I heard less than five years ago in Connecticut when the newscasters were spewing their sensationalism about the supposed Lyme disease epidemic (named so for Lyme, Connecticut).

Newscaster: Yep. We're all gonna croak. Really. I mean it. Ticks are gonna git ya. They'll attack you in your sleep, ninja-style. Seriously.

They didn't. We all lived. All my friends in Connecticut are still alive. They can still walk across the yard in their bare feet to go to the mailbox to get the mail, they can still walk through the woods without dropping dead, and so on.

The one tragedy about the Lyme disease "epidemic" is that people were going broke buying gallons of Off! repellent.

Here's a lil' tidbit of info for my CT peoples back at my old stomping grounds: A tick that carries Lyme disease cannot transmit it to you unless that bug is attached to you physically for ALMOST TWO DAYS. Read and learn. Learning is power. If you can't spot a tick on you in two days, well.. pff.. there's no hope for you then. Reserve a plot now.

So, in short, the evening news still sucks.

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