A few years ago, I was approached by a headhunter.
Instead of asking me about a particular open position, however, this gentleman opened our conversation with a rather startling question.
“What would be your dream job?” he said.
The funny thing is that I’ve joked for as long as I can remember about “the greatest gig in the news business.”
My friends are tired of hearing this spiel by now, but the headhunter represented a fresh new audience.
“I’d like to be the weather guy for a TV station in Honolulu,” I told him.
“You’re pretty much living in paradise, for a start, and your ‘work’ is so easy that it’s ridiculous.
“ ‘Hi, folks, we’ve got another gorgeous day coming up. The high will be 83 along the coast with a low tomorrow night of 74. We’ll have some clouds and little rain up in the mountains — and for you surfers, it looks like we can expect trade winds of 10 to 15 miles per hour.
“ ‘Right after this message, we’ll be back with forecasts for our neighbor islands.’
“And hey, guess what? The neighbor islands are exactly the same, too. You could tape five identical forecasts on Monday and just change shirts for each one. Then just go play golf on Maui for a week.”
The headhunter laughed at my imaginary job description — most likely just to humor me —and then got around to pitching a newspaper editing position in Scuzzbucket, Ohio.
Or somewhere equally forgettable.
Anyhow, that Honolulu thing popped into my mind today because I’m thinking that doing the weather here is just about the opposite.
For one thing, unlike their counterparts in Hawaii, forecasters in this neck of the woods often must pass along some really crappy news.
I mean, it’s hard to think of two words that make you glum faster than “wintry mix” — especially when you hear them on a beautiful fall afternoon, and the weather person is talking about the next morning.
Our favorite stand-up comedian, Bill Snyder, summed up how all of us feel about the weather when he was asked if the chill predicted for Saturday would affect the Cats’ game against Oklahoma.
“Not at all,” Snyder said. “Our guys are used to it.
“This IS Kansas, isn’t it?”
And so sometimes we have a brief winter in November or a quick, two-day summer in March.
When I first arrived here from California a million years ago, a buddy gave me some advice.
“Always carry a jacket in your car,” he said. “And an umbrella. And your golf clubs. The weather will change too fast for you to get home for any of those things.
About a decade ago, I moved to Scotland to research a novel.
I wound up staying three years, and almost every day, some local would warn me about that country’s notoriously fickle weather.
Blowing a gale, is it?
“If the birds ain’t walkin’, it’s nae windy,” they’d say.
Ho, ho, ho.
Hey, once you’ve lived in Kansas, pal, weather stops being an issue.
Just dig out your car and get on with things.