There is a woman who gives the morning traffic report on a local network station. I never really cared for her—and I couldn’t put my finger on it as to exactly why—until I was told by a close friend that her father was in the waiting room at his Ear, Nose & Throat physician’s office when in walked Traffic Reporter. He overheard her ask the receptionist if there was a separate waiting room where she could sit away from the general public. He actually heard her ask if they had a waiting area for celebrities.
My mom and I thought this was hilarious and completely off-putting; Traffic Reporter must have been concerned about the swarm of people who were about to beg for her autograph. She was not even a meteorologist who required specialized training or an anchor, but she had convinced herself that she was an actual celebrity and deserved star treatment. My feelings were now completely validated.
A year or so later, I found out that Traffic Reporter had been putting together her wedding invitation order at the stationery store in which I was working at the time. I was grateful that she had come in on my day off. I don’t know if I would have been able to wait on her and hold back from telling her how ridiculous she was—and ask her who wears red lipstick at 5:00 a.m., really? She ended up not placing the order at our store and going somewhere else, after wasting hours of my co-worker’s time. Typical.
A couple of years later I was working as the director of customer service at the catering/gift/floral company, and it was my job at Christmastime to issue replacements if anything went wrong with a gift or if it never arrived, etc. Sometimes cookies would crumble in transit or someone would be on vacation when their turkey was delivered, and it certainly wasn’t edible upon their return. I actually had to issue a replacement gift to Traffic Reporter because she claimed she never received a fruit basket, even after I was able to track down a signature of the person who received it at the network downtown. Now, there is a possibility that she didn’t really receive the basket—someone could have signed for it but it never made its way to her. I bet she received it, though. Celebrities are entitled to two fruit baskets after all, right?
Not long after that, Traffic Reporter had a baby and they gushed over her on the news. They showed photos of her [and her hairy arms] holding her newborn. It was almost too much—and then they announced that you could go on the network’s website to sign her “guest book” and send her well wishes. I called my mother immediately and told her about this amazing opportunity.
I wrote an overly-elaborate, flattering message about how much I enjoyed her traffic reports, I told her that no one delivered the traffic like she did, and I hoped she would hurry back to give me more. I waited patiently for the site moderator to push my message through—for some reason he wouldn’t post my first draft where I threw in a friendly suggestion that Traffic Reporter possibly consider laser hair removal for her gorilla arms—so I changed my approach and moved forward with one that they might let through. I couldn’t bear to sign my own name on the gooey message, so I threw my mom under the bus and signed her name instead.
I sat in anticipation and laughed maniacally when my over-the-top kiss ass message [from my mom] popped up. I thought I was so clever and witty and was just about to call my mom to see if she had seen what she wrote, when a very similar message from ME popped up in the guest book. We had had the same idea—and now we both looked like a couple of goobers who had just publicly professed our love to someone we mutually loathed. Brilliant.
It has been years since my last run-in with Traffic Reporter. I became pro-active and now get my morning commute information from a different source. And I think she finally took a hint and decided to quit popping up at my various places of employment.
Thank you, Marm, for letting me tell this story. xo