Cliff picked up the phone and hastily dialed. He tapped his foot and checked his computer models once again. Seven, eight, nine rings, but Cliff didn’t hang up, he knew better. Soon enough the click of someone picking up the other end announced the end of the ringing, but no one said anything on the other end of the line. Cliff thought he could detect the person on the other end was about to hang up the phone. “Don’t you dare hang up!” he shouted. “I demand an explanation.”
A timid female voice cleared itself. “I’m sorry, an explanation?” she asked. The voice grew stronger. “Since when do I need to explain myself to you?” She seemed to be getting on a roll. “You should be thankful for me Cliffy boy. Without me you would be doing infomercials at one a.m. selling pogo sticks that also finely chops tomatoes for salsa!” She took in a large breath as if to punctuate her point.
Cliff had heard it all before, except the salsa part. She usually went for the pruning shears accessory instead. “Yeah, yeah. You know if you would just work with me a bit I might have gotten a different gig and then you wouldn’t have to deal with me. Did you ever think of that?”
The chuckle on the other side made Cliff smile. “What fun would that be?” she asked. “Instead I would get a big hair drama queen that wouldn’t know the difference between a isobaric line and a punch line. So tell me Cliffy, what has you all upset?”
“Did you look outside?” Cliff asked. “I mean come on.”
“Watch out Cliffy,” she said. “You are starting to tread on sacred ground here. Be nice.”
“I want to,” Cliff said, “but I need to go on air in like twenty minutes and what I am going to announce to the masses is going to get me killed.”
“You are over reacting Cliffy,” she said. “Just tell them it’s all a joke. Your anchor will help you with his very professional laugh.”
Cliff paused. “You know that means I’m going to have to fall on my old standby,” he said.
The voice hesitated before responding. “Is this what the call is about? You wanted permission to duck and cover?”
Cliff responded with a small voice. “Yes please. It’s just the last time you got so pissed that it made my life hell for a month.”
“Well it was March,” she said. “I was well within my rights.”
“I know,” Cliff said. “But I’m still paying for that one.”
“Okay Cliffy, you have my permission. And Cliffy?” she asked.
“Yeah,” Cliffy responded, closing his eyes and dreading what was coming.
“Just wait till the next time you wash your car,” she said before hanging up the phone.
Cliff shuddered. “Damn you woman.”
Antonio smiled into the camera. “And now for the man who everyone has been waiting for, Cliff Hayes with the weather,” Antonio said.
Cliff’s camera went live and Cliff smiled his best, most polished smile. “I know it is April 18th, but Mother Nature has one more burst of winter in her. We can expect two inches tonight through Wednesday morning so be careful out there. I can also tell you it won’t be around for long. Thursday it will be sunny in the morning, but then the rains will come and wash the snow away.”
Antonio cut in, “How can you be sure of that Cliff?” he asked.
“Simple,” Cliff said. “I am going to get my car washed.” On cue Antonio began his most charming laugh, and Cliff relaxed knowing that he had hit it out of the park, even if it meant a wasted car wash.