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Severe Weather Jeopardy


Deborah McAdams is the Executive Editor of TV Technology.

Category is, "Too Much Time on Their Hands!" Or maybe, "Skewed Priorities!" Because when it comes to the quiz show that is "Jeopardy," fans don't need to know about no stinkin' tornadoes ripping through the neighborhood. Apparently.

WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. recently made the dire mistake of cutting into an episode of "Jeopardy" to issue a tornado warning. A tornado warning means that a funnel has been spotted on Live Super Doppler radar, the areal relief map with the analog second hand spinning around it. The second hand reveals tornadoes in colors dramatically different from the map itself.

Tornadoes can drive a piece of straw into the trunk of a hard-wood tree, according to what you learn as a little kid in country school. This naturally leads to curiosity. Consequently, the National Weather Service invented tornado warnings so farm kids could go outside to see what happens (and natural selection can take place).

Natural selection is absent in cities, which is why there are so many people in them, according to Wikipedia probably. Kids in town school did something called "tornado drills," where you duck and cover under your desk. Because any force of nature that can drive a straw into a walnut tree cannot budge an 11-pound Scholar Craft 620 Series Student Combo Desk, no way.

So when tornadoes dropped out of the clouds recently around Washington, D.C., and WJLA interrupted "Jeopardy" to warn them, denizens were aghast. Not about the tornadoes, but because WJLA had cut into the show that questions the answer, "a long-handled gardening tool that can also mean an immoral pleasure seeker."

"Now that 'Jeopardy is over and it was interrupted three times, my Saturday evening is ruined," one viewer wrote. "Thanks a lot."

Nearby, people were digging out from what was left of their houses, having the Saturday night of their lives.