Neil Frank & Gene Norman -- The Odd Couple

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For those not familiar with the term, "HouStoned Theatre" (memo to web guys: name update needed) is an occasional presentation by the blog, wherein we present imaginary, but probably not completely untruthful, conversations between prominent Houstonians.

Today we take you to the newsroom of KHOU, where new meteorogist Greg Norman is tackling his first Houston tropical storm since the legendary Neil Frank retired.

"Retired" being a relative term, however, as Frank has been prominent on KHOU broadcasts in the run-up to Edouard's landfall.

[A busy newsroom. GREG NORMAN looks intently at a computer screen filled with weather crap. NEIL FRANK enters the room and stands looking over NORMAN's shoulder. Norman audibly sighs and turns around.

NORMAN: Hey, Neil.

FRANK: Boy, this is going to be one heckuva storm, isn't it? I wouldn't be surprised if it came on shore as a Category 5, completely decimated Galveston and everything up to Kingwood.

NORMAN: Yeah...ummm, actually, it'll probably stay a tropical storm.

FRANK: You never know!! There's no telling with hurricanes!! Why, this thing could flatten us, go up to Oklahoma, and then just as we're getting back on our feet -- BLAM! It'll come back and hit us again!! Good thing I'm here to handle things.

NORMAN: I, ummm, was going to mention that. I think we've got things pretty well covered here.

FRANK: I don't see any maps showing the storm laying waste to Dallas.

NORMAN: That's because we don't think that's going to happen.

FRANK: But IT COULD!! That's what I'm trying to tell you!!

NORMAN: Didn't you retire?

FRANK Did the weather retire? No, you need a steady hand here. I can answer viewer e-mail.

NORMAN: Actually, that was going to by my segment.

FRANK: Yeah, well, I tell you what: I'll answer the hundreds of e-mails I get, and you can answer both of the ones you get.

NORMAN: I really, really think we got everything taken care of here. I appreciate the offer to help, but --

FRANK: Stow it, rookie. Just sit aside and let the Big Dog off the porch.

NORMAN: But my contract clearly says --

FRANK: Oh, and one more thing, pal.

NORMAN: What's that?

FRANK: Get yourself a flat-top if you want to go anywhere in this business. Now let's get cracking with your intro.

NORMAN (Turns to camera as the red light comes on, his face turning from a rictus of hate to a beatific smile in a nano-second): Hello, viewers -- tonight we are happy to welcome back Dr. Neil Frank.........

-- Richard Connelly

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