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Leo Vine-Knight

I'm a tutor in health and social care with a Ph.D in mental health studies. My acaemic interests include the sociology of psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, individualised mental health care and the recovery model. My articles have been published in various journals. I also write mental health fictio...

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Windows of Madness

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03/15/2011 10:55am
The Modern Weather Forecast

The family gathered in their lounge to watch the weather forecast. It was a big event these days and people tended to arrange their commitments around it, often serving Turkish delight, sherry and brandy snaps. The latest HD, digital, wide screen, slimline TV took longer to warm up than their old valve driven Bush, but this didn’t prevent a rising tide of euphoria filling the room.

“It’s starting love!” cried Dad.
“I’ll be there in a minute” replied Mum.
“Hey! There’s supposed to be two presenters tonight” said young Ben.
“Two? What for?”
“Well, it’s like reading the news and presenting children’s telly. The job’s too hard for one person and what with all the spare money we’ve got these days the bosses thought it best.”

First came the sponsorship ads; Rainy Day Umbrellas, Cool Cat Sunglasses, Percy Pig Pork Pate and One-a-Day Vitamin Bricks. For fifteen minutes Mum carefully made notes for the following day’s shopping and then a trumpet fanfare, followed by two drum solos and a thirty-second recorded firework display, heralded the main event.

“Whoopy!” yelled young Betty.
“Quiet in the cheap seats” growled Grandpa, in his corner.

Two searchlights picked out the drawling American impresario.

“Ladies and Gentlemen-n-n-n-n-n-n-n. We now come to the highlight of the evening, a super-middleweight forecast for the United Kingdom-m-m-m-m-m-m. Introducing in the blue corner, with five correct predictions out of one hundred attempts – William……(Wet and Windy)……. Wallis-s-s-s-s-s-s.

“Hooray! Hooray!”
“Poor bloke’s got a speech impediment” said Grandpa
“Shush Grandpa!”

And in the red corner, challenging for the UK title and already European performing prima donna of the year, having a perfect record of no correct predictions in a professional career spanning fifteen glorious years – Jessy…… (Jolly Jumpers)…… James-s-s-s-s-s-s.

“Hooray! Hooray!”

Then the preliminaries began, the two forecasters twirling and preening for the cameras, their hair extensions shining with good health and their make up applied with Punch and Judy precision. Jessy cleverly attracted the attention of the director to her new engagement ring (why didn’t those pesky viewers hurry up with her presents?), while William subtly lifted the tails of his morning suit and wiggled his ‘buns’ at the audience.

“That bird’s got a fat arse” said Grandpa.
“You need your glasses changing” observed Mum.
“Aye. Another Brown Ale would go down very nicely”.

It was time for the news presenters to get involved now, and Cheshire Cat #1 soon had everyone laughing hysterically about his last perfect score on ‘Strictly Come Prancing’, while Cheshire Cat #2 reminisced tearfully about her failure to reach the televised rounds of ‘Celebrity Hex Factor’. Unfortunately, viewing figures were finally going down for these shows, because most of the UK population were now starring in reality TV themselves. There were very few ordinary people left to watch. Everybody was a genius (went to university), a celebrity (had their pubic hair shaved off for charity) or a hero (they were too ‘challenged’ to do anything but procreate).

“I remember these two newsreaders. It’s Mork and Mindy isn’t it?”
“Be quiet Grandpa”.
“Or is it Dork and Windy?”
“Shut up!”
“Laurel and …..”

By this time there was so much badinage and merriment in the studio that the director had to step in with buckets of cold water to separate the orgiastic foursome before one of them soiled themselves. The grinning Cheshire cats were joined by a tiny sports presenter who leered madly at the cameras, whilst trying to draw attention to his latest c.v., cleverly typed in 26pt Ariel Bold.

“Ha, ha, ha, ha. You are a wit William.
“Tee hee hee hee hee. But not as funny as you Jessy.
“You were so good on ‘Strictly’ Micky.
“I’m such a liberal too”.
“I love you”.
“I love me”.
“We love everybody (as l


humour, satire, tv, media, celebrity
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