DEAR ABBY: I have a different sort of pet peeve, but I hope you will let me air it. If you do, I'm sure it will generate a collective sigh of relief from a few million TV watchers -- and hopefully, a station manager or two might take notice.
The weather reports all start with the terrific computer-generated maps and diagrams presented by both local and national TV meteorologists. However, they insist on standing in front of their display and waving their arms madly around, which is distracting, infuriating, and adds zilch to the report.
A typical example: The weather reporter announces the temperature in Boston is 74 degrees, then he walks across the screen to point at the number on the map. Then the reporter shows how a front is moving from the Southwest, following the station manager's instructions:
"Crouch low, sweep arms around crazily and move to the center of the screen. Stand in front of the home city data. Smile proudly. Point out the local forecast because the map is now completely obscured."
Why can't the old rubber-tipped pointers used by our grade school geography teachers (who stood thoughtfully off to the side while lecturing) be retired from the chalk trays of America and put back into service? Unlike little children, TV weathercasters should be heard and not seen. -- RETIRED TEACHER IN MORRISVILLE, N.Y.
DEAR R.T.: I agree that at times some weather reporters get in the way of the viewing -- and your recycling idea has merit. Thanks for pointing it out. I'm printing your suggestion in the hope that those who need to see it will take it to heart. But I'm not holding my breath, and you shouldn't either.