The new weatherman, Bud Ford, sat at the makeup mirror in the backstage area of the WDHN studio preparing for the five o’clock newscast.
“What’s up tiger? That’s right, I’m talking to you. Who’s a pretty boy? Uh-huh, yeah I heard that. You are the man, the weather man, sexy.” Bud Ford said to the mirror as he psyched himself up for the weather report. “Who’s got pretty hair? Who’s got a gorgeous a—“Bud stopped as he noticed Kevin Presley was watching him. “How long have you been standing there?”
“Long enough,” news anchor Kevin Presley said with a smirk.
“There’s a new kid in town Presley, and his name is Meteorologist Bud Ford. Soon to be replaced with News Anchor Bud Ford.”
“Why, you little!” Presley was angry.
“Get used to it Presley. This suit coat has four buttons. ABC wants someone with a little style and that is me, because I’m fresh…exciting…so inviting to me,” Bud Ford sang out the lyrics from one of his favorite contemporary hip-hop artists, Kool and The Gang.
“If I wasn’t a certified Baptist minister I would punch you square in the mouth,” Presley said trying not to ball up his fist.
“I can’t help it Presley. You got soft when you left for Mississippi. You came back and your hair was all different and don’t think those sideburns haven’t gone unnoticed by the network. The corporate boys said viewership is down since those burns went up.”
“But I have children now,” Presley said. “I’m trying to set a good example.”
“Don’t get your panties in a wad Presley. Once I get the ratings back up while sitting next to Hot Lips I will be moving on to host the Saturday night Cowboys music show, which is perhaps Dothan’s most watched show.”
“But I was told that time slot would be switching to a Christian music format,” Presley said.
“Hmm, I didn’t get that memo,” Bud said as he went back to primping. He opened the drawer and brought out an eyelash curler. Presley grabbed the hand and applied pressure.
“That is my eyelash curler. As a matter of fact, if you will look at the handle you will see an inscription recognizing me for Wiregrass Newscaster of the Year for 2008 presented by the Red Hat Society ladies. If I catch you using that eyelash curler or my prized sideburn straightening iron I will break your fingers.” Presley said matter of factly.
“Ow, you’re hurting me,” Bud cried.
“Let’s get this straight radio head. I am the anchor at WDHN where Dothan’s First and I will continue to be until I change my mind. I can make a call to a buddy at the National Weather Service to throw your rain percentages off by five or ten percent.” Presley said sternly. “Think how angry people will be if you tell them there is a forty percent chance, when actually it is a thirty percent chance.”
“Ha, you didn’t even notice I hacked the system two nights ago and you had a warm front coming in which was indicated with blue triangles instead of red rounds.”
“What do those lines mean anyway? All I really care about is the temperature the next day and if it is going to rain. I am thinking about phasing out the river schedule, maybe throw in a joke or two.”
“Dear God! You can’t be serious. The Wiregrass depends on those river readings. You’ll throw the entire area into chaos. You have got to take the weather more seriously.”
Ken Curtis sat at his desk sipping the usual four o’clock bourbon, watching and listening to the conversation through a hidden camera. He liked a little competition. Bud was taking it too far but like the old pro he is, Kevin Presley took control of the situation. He needed Presley to mentor Bud, nurture him, and if a viable match, donate some hair plugs.