by Kent Sterling
“Fun is where you find it.” Clark Sterling (1929-2002)
This has been a miserable winter that has refused to end, but that doesn’t mean every snow and ice event can’t be without joy.
The least pleasant seven hours of my life were spent answering the phone as the lone person in the WIBC Stormcenter during an afternoon blizzard in 1993. The damn phone never stopped ringing and the computer program we used for it was useless. Half the organizations, schools, and companies who called had no closing code, and the whole system was a total mess.
When local television started using scrolls at the bottom of the screen to alert viewers to school, business, and church closings, I remembered that bedlam and decided to use it for my own amusement.
A quick call to the newsrooms of the four local stations with a bogus cancelation kept me smiling for hours, and there was no end to the number of closings I could authorize. The Sterling Lutheran Foundation cancelled their annual taco dinner. Sterling’s Bowl-o-rama in Noblesville closed. Camp Sterling for Wayward Youth cancelled Bingo Night. Sterling-Pabst-Lanctot Schools closed.
Then I started using friends names with silly events that were postponed to odd hours, like the Witt Civil War Re-enactors Annual Breakfast postponed until 7 p.m.
The crawls were a cavalcade of my own idiocy limited only by my own imagination. What annoys all of Indianapolis kept friends and family laughing for an hour or two.
People think there is some level of security in posting closings because normal knuckleheads can’t just call in and close places. True, they are particular about closing existing schools, churches, and businesses. You need a code for that. But for the fictitious, they are surprisingly lax. The volume of closings is just too great to investigate each of them.
Mind you, I’m not suggesting that everyone reading this choose to clutter the system with closings that include their own name. This is just a funny little tale of a bored adult acting like a childish dork. Don’t try this at home kids.
Leave idiocy to the professionals.