My fathers profession was chosen for him, in a sense. At the age of ten we had moved to the midwest, the very middle of the west, my mother had said, to a town just shy of a city. The towns name was always changing so even if I told you about it now well, you wouldn't be able to find it, the locals were always taking down the street signs leading in, it was a town just shy of a city and they wanted to keep it that way. We had gotten lost to find it, which is a fun thing to say, we had gotten lost to find it, but my father never would ask for directions anyway so it wasn't that surprising. I say he fell into his profession, or it was chosen for him because he became the weatherman for this town, and without any previous experience either. He just opened up the newspaper bought from the hotel lobby where we checked in two hours prior and that was the first thing he saw and circled.
Needed: Weatherman for future predictions, no experience necessary, KRED radio station 430 West 2nd Street.
Now he moved fast on this one. He said his instinct had brought us to this impossible town and now he would use his instinct to get this job and then use instinct to predict the weather.
He didn't think twice about knowing nothing of weather, when asked at the interview if he was a meteorologist he told them he had once owned a telescope as child and did very much enjoy hunting for shooting stars. To this the two radio owners (his interviewers) glanced at each other with a hint of a smile, both in three piece suits one tan, one brown, both with matching thin brimmed cowboy hats.
“I think that will do just fine then,” the one in brown said. My father was left confused though, scratching his head wondering what the stars had to do with the weather. He stood up and shook their hands with a good grip, he attributed his getting the job nearly to his hand shake alone, the interview being so concise and quick. He was told to return tomorrow morning for the six o’clock show for the first of his predictions.
“But why would they choose you,” my mother had asked, “do you think it’s your radio voice, I can’t wait to hear you on the radio.”
“It should only be about thirty seconds every morning, but the pay is oddly just enough to keep us shacked up here, until something better comes along.”
I didn’t believe it one bit though, that much money for only thirty seconds, with no experience. I took my younger sister down to the hotel lobby to ask around, something my father would have never done.
That was when the front desk clerk told me something I will never forget.
“The new weather man? Your father? Well good luck to him, we’ve had four this month, seems no one can get it right, and they’re all just guessing, they all just get fired when we wear shorts and it rains, or we’re sweating through our new slacks, this town doesn’t have the money to go through clothes like that, we’ll just see how long he lasts.”
When he told me this I figured it was over for us, we would be out of this town in a week. It was the strangest thing though, like I said, his profession was chosen for him, and for the next fifteen years he guessed the weather, and he guessed it accurately, and he had no idea how. We finally moved out of that town one day when someone asked him if he ever played the state lotto, considering his luck, and so he gave it a try and he guessed those winning numbers too.