Rooney: How's The Weather?

<B>Andy Rooney</B> Muses About Winter Woes

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney.


If you live somewhere other than in the Midwest or the Northeast, you've probably heard of the snowstorms we've been getting. Everyone likes to hear about how bad it is somewhere else.

The meteorologists on television always lay it on a little heavy, of course. We seldom get as much rain or snow as they predict we're going to get. They use that phony "wind-chill" temperature to make things sound more interesting.

Weather is always interesting, and snow is the most interesting bad weather we get. There isn't any other weather that's so much fun.

Kids love snow.

Grownups love snow.

Even dogs love snow.

Even television news shows love snow. They also like to warn people that shoveling might induce a heart attack.

Well, it can, of course, but the fact is more people die of heart attacks watching television than shoveling snow. Television doesn't warn you about that.

A rainy day can be fun. It's a snug feeling to be inside your house and dry when it's pouring outside.

It's satisfying to try to keep dry anywhere. I'm always surprised at how dry we stay driving a car in a rainstorm.

Raincoats aren't perfect because they never made one that keeps the bottoms of your pants dry.

Umbrellas are fun, but they aren't perfect either, because the handle is right in the middle where you want to stand.

Too much rain can be bad, of course. Nothing destroys more homes every year than floods. People are attracted to water so they build their homes too close to it. Then, they're surprised when they get washed away, and they want the government to do something for them about it.

By far, the worst bad weather isn't as obvious as a flood caused by too much rain.

It's a drought caused by too little rain. It isn't dramatic because it comes over a long period. No one drowns or freezes, so they don't show pictures of it on television. But a drought can be slow death to everything that lives. I don't even like to say the word "drought."

One of the interesting things about all this is that people who live where there's a lot of bad weather, ice and snow, seem to get more done than people who live where it's sunny and warm all day.

Hawaii is a great state for a vacation -- really lovely. But I don't think people who live in Hawaii do as much work as the people do who live in Alaska, Maine or North Dakota.
Written By Andy Rooney