Americans who endured stifling heat waves this year and mounds of snow two or three winters ago are looking for answers. What caused the extreme weather?
Could it be a television weatherman — or Edward, his contact in Heaven?
Daniel Breeze, author of the novel We're Having a Heat Wave, puts the blame on Jerry Sheldon, the TV meteorologist, and Edward, a cantankerous heavenly entity who is in charge of the weather on earth.
In the book, Edward is annoyed by all the complaints he hears about the weather and he decides to give Sheldon the power to control Toledo, Ohio's weather. Jerry is soon making outlandish forecasts, and they come true! Toledo basks in 80-degree temperatures in December as towns fifteen miles away battle snowstorms.
People are amazed at Jerry's forecasting success, but later his weather spirals out of control, and angry townspeople and rival TV weathermen turn on him. It all comes down to a fateful day when two tornadoes bore down on Toledo just as the National Meteorological Society holds a hearing to determine if Jerry should be banned from the weather profession.
Isn't this a little farfetched? the author was asked. Edward up in Heaven, controlling the weather. Giving power over the weather in one city to a television weatherman?
"Consider the alternatives," suggests Breeze. "If God is controlling the weather, why is it so screwed up? He is Almighty. And if He isn't controlling it, is the weather on autopilot and spinning out of control? I figure it makes as much sense, and is a lot more comforting, to have Edward, one of His assistants, up there controlling the weather. It makes sense because if Edward isn't very good at his job, that explains why we have a lot of bad weather. And it's comforting because there's always the chance that one day, Edward will finally get it right."
More than 130 years ago, Mark Twain spoke along similar lines. Addressing the New England Society, Twain said, "I reverently believe that the Maker who made us all makes everything in New England but the weather. I don't know who makes that, but I think it must be raw apprentices in the weather-clerk's factory who experiment and learn how, in New England, for board and clothes, and then are promoted to make weather for countries that require a good article, and will take their custom elsewhere if they don't get it."
Of course, if you don’t believe Edward is handling the weather, you can blame calamitous weather on global warming.
"Give me a break," Breeze said. "Who would believe that? Just how gullible do you think I am?"
We're Having a Heat Wave is a paperback published by McNeil and Richards. For more information about this and other books, see McNeilandRichards.com..
A HEAT WAVE
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