Talking about weather people in my blog yesterday made me recall one weatherman I really liked in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. I spent a summer there during college, and there was a weatherman who was named Dave (or Bob), who gave his weather report like any other person would do, drawing circles around hurricanes with some kind of TV chalk and telling about the temperature. At the end he’d take the piece of chalk and toss it high in the air, and it would hover up there forever. Meantime, he’d open the pocket on his shirt and catch the chalk in it. He was keeping a record of his successes and was on day 350 or something. We tuned in, not to watch the weather, which was pretty much the same – hot and humid with showers between 2 and 2:15 – to see if this guy broke his record or missed.
That’s television worth watching. Another guy I used to love to watch was a used car salesman somewhere around Knoxville, Tennessee. I spent a lot of time there with friends, and this guy’s commercials would come on and we’d drop everything to watch him. He was some fusty dealer from the outlying area – some town you’d never go on purpose. I can’t remember his name, but he’d stand out in his used car lot and talk really fast so he could showcase a few cars in 60 seconds. He’d stand to the side of some souped-up car, and the words spilled out of his mouth like marbles from a bag: “I got this 1972 GTO, possy traction, four in the floor. $1995.” Then he’d kick the car’s back wheel and say, “Get that som bitch outta here.” The driver screeched out laying rubber and another car zoomed into its place, breaking with another screech and practically throwing the driving into the windshield. “Now, here’s a nice family car,” he’d say, “a 1969 Vet.”
We laughed our asses off, and it was because he was so funny, and not for any other reason college-aged students might have found things that weren’t particularly funny extremely hilarious. I don’t think he ever actually said, “Som bitch” because that was before trash talk, but he mumbled it in just the right way that it’s what we all heard.
None of us bought a car from this dealer. We were driving beat-up Volkswagens. But if we had been in the market for a vehicle past its prime that was loaded with worthless options, he would have been our man.
I’m going to have to Google used car dealers in Knoxville and see if he’s still around. Probably not. Some marketing genius, or one of his college educated kids, most likely convinced him that he needed to change his image and become more upscale. But it just goes to show that we get opportunities all the time in life to enjoy what’s going on around us if we open ourselves up to what’s there. In spite of a bleak world, there’s always something going on that can raise the corners of you mouth – one corner anyway.
If I can think of any other TV personalities, I’ll write about them later. But for now, I’m looking out the window and seeing ordinary rain has returned to Portland – not freezing rain as highly touted all day and night on every forecast within the Portland viewing area and beyond. Who would have figured the weather people would get yet another impending storm wrong?