Tuesday, September 22, 2009



Department of the Weather

Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir or Madam

I am writing you to volunteer my services. Seeing as how I am one of the 30 billion still hopelessly unemployed Americans, I can begin immediately or possibly even sooner.

I've been told by the people down at the unemployment office that one of the best ways to get hired in the new millennium is to get attention of a prospective employer by doing volunteer work---i.e. “...work for free for awhile, Mr. Cantrell and let them see what you've got.” I also saw one of those TV pundits, Suze Something-or-other, who seems to think that she knows know everything say it too, so I guess it must be true. Seems like a counter-intuitive way of paying one's bills if you ask me, but then again, what do I know? When the next threatening bill collector calls demanding immediate payment and I tell him that I am working for free in hopes of “getting noticed”, I hope that he will be as enthusiastic about the whole idea as Suze Something-or-other seems to be. ( Of course, given the broad swath of the recession, maybe the is the oft chance that the bill collector himself or herself, is also volunteering for the collection agency although I am not counting on it.)

This 'work for free' business seems kind of a hair brained idea thought up by somebody who's probably never been unemployed a day I their life. Wouldn't you think that the best “How to get a Job” advice would come from people who were formerly unemployed and who have just recently been hired. Unfortunately it seems as if that cross-section of people doesn't exist. I think that they were killed off long, long ago by that same asteroid that knocked off the dinosaurs. But having tried damn near everything else under the sun including sending out thousands of resume's, attending dozens of job fairs, re-inventing myself and even considering, for a few terrifying brief moments, becoming a Republican in order to get a job. Alas, I remain unemployed in this dumb ass recession and thus, I am volunteering my service, and trying Suze's Something-or-other's approach to finding gainful employment.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I will admit that I am not an expert on weather although I know that we seem to have a lot of it. I picked the Weather Department as the place to volunteer as it seems like a fun place, you have a lot of neat equipment with flas

hing lights----I really like those fancy charts and storm tracking equipment----and you weather people seem to have an awful lot of enthusiasm.

I like the way that as soon as there is even the hint of a light breeze in the Azores, you once again talk a whole crew of men climbing into a old rickety airplane, flying directly into the storm and gathering data. I've always wondered how you got these Hurricane Hunters to actually go up in the plane. I figure that if one just had to get involved with a hurricane the best way was to let it find you as opposed to actually going to the trouble of actually tracking one down. (Isn't this is like teasing an angry bull with a red cape.) I can understand the first guy who did it. I figure that he was actually lost and because given the track of most hurricanes that he'd gotten himself lost inside of the Bermuda Triangle----maybe had even been briefly abducted and then released by aliens.

I have no idea of why the second Hurricane Hunter took off but it wouldn't surprise me if drugs, liquor, or hot women were involved. I would ask what kind of drugs and or liquor were involved but there is absolutely nothing that I would want to ingest that would make me even want to think about becoming a hurricane hunter. In the meantime, if I just have to hunt something, I'll stick to hunting for my missing left shoe, glove or something of that kind. Anyway, it seems to me that hurricane hunting is just asking for it! In a way, it reminds me of those guys on cable TV do who go out into those jungle rivers, play “chicken” with the crocodiles in the pursuit of science.

I also like the enthusiasm shown when your guys wander outside during a Category 5 hurricane to show the TV audience just how bad the weather conditions are and then almost get blown out to sea. When you do this I have often wondered whether or not you were married, had a mother, or in fact knew any females. Females usually have better sense than we males about certain things and will say, at the drop of a hat, or even the first sight of a hurricane.”Are you nuts? Get your ass back inside. Don't you have damn sense?”

Those Weather Satellite pictures from space are pretty cool too. I especially like the ones showing

say Hurricane Hattie, engulfing the entire planet. I understand that with the satellite camera that you can read the license plate on a car from 300 miles put in space. I wonder what else the guy in the space station is spying on? For instance, I wonder if he can see Melanie, my hot next door neighbor, out on the back deck? It is rumored that she sunbathes in the nude although I have not been able to confirm this. Do you think that the guy in the space station knows?

Speaking of Melanie, that's the other reason that I am writing you. I am specifically asking that you stop using Melanie's name, or anybody else's name, for that matter in the naming of hurricanes.

It seems to me that the use of people's names is also counter productive. Hurricanes are ferocious, powerful storms that oftentimes cause massive destruction. Most of the time you need people to get out of the way of the storm, maybe even evacuate their homes (i.e. “...get the hell out of Dodge or Miami or Norfolk or wherever else the storm may choose to stagger). Naming a hurricane “Bob”, or “Mindy” or “Barbara” or “Suzette' does not motivate anyone to evacuate. It encourages them to stick around for a party. What self-respecting hurricane wants to go around with a name like say “Jimmy”? No hurricane that I know would be caught dead with that name. The name “Mindy” for example, does not say “You better get the hell outta my way”, but rather, “Please, please stay for dinner. I'll make quiche and we'll have a fine ol' time”. How many mean, obnoxious people do you know whose name is Bob? Or Suzette? Or Robin? Right. Me neither. Instead of using these mild mannered “names”, I think that you should use nouns and adjectives such as “Crazy” or “Vicious” or maybe “Planet-eater” Another good name for one of these hurricanes is “Satan”, “Beelzebub”, or “Psycho”. That'll get people to evacuate. Hell, everyone has had a psycho ex-girlfriend, ex-boyfriend, or ex-spouse that you NEVER want to see again as long as you live. Names like “Joaquin” , “Odette”, “Mil house” just don't get people scared enough. You might as well name the storm “Sunny” or “Happy”.

You will find immediately below the list of the names that you have already chosen for 2009. Below are some better names chosen by me.

2009 Actual List of Names from National Hurricane Service

Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, Wanda

Better Names for Hurricanes

Atrocious, Bonkers, Crazy, Dizzy, Evil, Ferocious, Goofy, Heinous, Insane, Jackass, Kooky, Loco, Malicious, Nut-so, Onerous, Psycho, Quinetta1, Reprehensible, Satan. Treacherous, Ugly, Vendetta,

Wrong, eXtreme, Yelp, Zany.

You can bet your ass that you can get all of Florida to evacuate if need be with a name such as Hurricane Psycho, Hurricane Jackass, or any of the names on the “Better Names” list. Yeah, I know that we'll need names for the second and subsequent years. No problem. Just hire me. I'm available.

Best regards,

Will “JustPlainWIll”Cantrell

1 O.K., you've caught me speeding a little. Do you have any idea how hard it is to come up with a synonym for “terrible” that starts with “Q”? It wasn't easy. I was forced to use my cousin, Quinetta's name as a suggestion. It's all right though, because most people who actually know Quinetta think that she is psycho.

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