TORNADO ALLEY, KS – Citing a lack of operating funds coupled with no attention paid to it by the mainstream media, the tornado tracing group Tornado Observers Tracking Observantly (TOTO) announced it will merge with the much larger hurricane tracking group Eyeing Yonder Equatorial Storms (EYES). Formed in Kansas in the late 1880’s, TOTO enjoyed a surge in popularity after the release of the movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” We picked up tornado chasers across the country after that,” said ace tornado tracker Bill “Chubby” Checker. “The San Francisco group disbanded after finding out we weren’t chasing Dorothy, but the rest numbered in the thousands.”
EYES was formed in the 1950’s but surpassed TOTO in membership and funding after Dan Rather popularized hurricane weather reporting. EYES is based in Miami, Florida, but it recently moved all but a few non-essential personnel to New Orleans, Louisiana. “It’s the best spot in the country for us,” said EYES president Hugo Andrews. “The food is great, Bourbon Street swings and the media hasn’t left since 2005. All we have to do is point to the Gulf every few months and the rest of the time it’s party on the tab of the major networks.”
EYES gets most of its income from its Hurricane Weather Reporter School, which teaches weather reporters how to stand in the wind, keep their eyes open in the rain and hang on to a pole, a microphone and their hat using only two hands. “Reporters never stand in front of tornadoes,” said TOTO’s Checker. “They show up after it’s over, take a picture of the cow in a tree and go home.” TOTO used to get a small income from selling kits to make simulated tornadoes in plastic bottles, but Checker explained, “Kids quit making tornadoes when they found out about Coke and Mentos.”
TOTO members will be absorbed into EYES as junior hurricane trackers. They can become full-fledged senior members by either completing the Hurricane Weather Reporter training course or spending one week hermetically sealed inside a FEMA trailer.