Behind the times

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) light rail has a message board on each car that continuously flashes news, announcements, weather and so forth. This morning while taking the Ledbetter train to the VA Hospital, I noticed a few messages referred to several events taking place on Labor Day. I had to stop and think for a few seconds. Labor Day? I thought that was last month. Of course, it was last month.

Now I figured that some kind of programming error was made and thought nothing about it. A little while later, I glanced up at the message board and just caught the tail end of ” … Governor Jeb Bush has ordered an evacuation for the Florida Keys.” Wow, I thought, a hurricane is finally going to hit the mainland after a eerily quiet storm season.

For a minute or so after seeing that message, I wondered whether we were going to start having one storm right after another once one headed for the mainland. While waiting for my laboratory appointment at the hospital, I watched CNN for news about the hurricane. But the only news about Florida on the TV was about the horrific find of four bodies along a highway. Nowhere was news to be found concerning the hurricane.

When I got home I finally checked the National Weather Service’s Tropical Prediction Center Web site to find some information about the hurricane. I found out there is not even a tropical storm in the Atlantic, much less a hurricane.

All I could figure out about the message board was that somehow it was programmed for the wrong month and the wrong year. It was either that or I was stuck in a time warp. I suppose the sign miscue could be much worse, like a message aboard a Canadian train saying the prime minister eats babies. If I had seen that message I would still be confused this time next week.

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