“There’s heavy traffic out there!”

I live just outside a very large metropolitan city. It has been said that even when you die, you MUST pass through Atlanta to get to heaven or hell. I know the commuters who work in this city face a helluva lot of traffic for a couple hours each morning and evening. And that makes me wonder. We have a hot shot radio station that breaks into programming, even during the mid-morning and mid-afternoon periods, every five minutes with “TRAFFIC ALERTS!”

The silliness of this is that everyone who works in this area knows that the same highways and byways are going to be traffic clogged every day! This radio station even uses “filters” so it is supposed to sound like one of their reporters is in a helicopter or airplane “high over the jam on I-400.” That’s an old trick.

Years ago I worked at a small radio station. At 6:00 PM we had “News from Around the World!” What it was, was a hoax. Four of us sat around a table in a studio with four microphones and a “filter box” in the middle of the table. We each had a chunk of teletype paper from the Associated Press with various news stories. One of us would read a news item and then say, “Now to Buenos Aires for this story.” We flipped in a filter that made the next guy’s microphone sound like a long-distance telephone line, and he would read a news piece “supposedly” from South America. We worked our way around the table reading the news, but certainly not “Around the World.”.

I have been a tourist in other large cities and they all seem to have at least one station that does the same silly traffic reporting thing. Since the traffic jams always occur at the same places and since any commuter knows it is going to take at least two hours to get to his or her place of employment my question is: WHY must programming be continually interrupted for these useless“reports?”

Which, incidentally, are given with the solemnity of another 9/11 terrorist attack. We all know the three jerks doing these interruptions are sitting around a table listening to the police radio and viewing the traffic cameras that line all our highways so they are not fooling anybody into believing they are providing a public service.

I don’t know. Does anybody pay any attention to them? They could just record one and play it back every day because anyone who has lived here more than a day knows where the traffic jams occur every morning and evening. To me they are just as annoying as a pesky fly so I just ignore them and I suspect most motorists do the same.

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About johnbeckmanbooks

John Beckman, a retired meteorologist, was known as “Johnny the Weatherman” in a career that spanned forty years. He forecasted the weather on WSJS-TV in Winston-Salem, NC, at WFGA-TV in Jacksonville, FL, and for thirty-three years in Atlanta at WSB-TV and WXIA-TV. Also a well published author Beckman now devotes full time to writing fiction. He currently has several eBooks on Amazon.com, "Tropical Knights," first in a series of adventure/mysteries about a sailor and his lovely CIA cohort on a mission to save America. Now available the sequel, and second in the series: "Tropical Daze." The third Jack & Amy adventure is "Tropical Rage" which became available on 30 April 2014. All of his books are highlighted on http://johnbeckmanbooks.com and available from Amazon.com. . .
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