According to the New York Times, Hurricane Irene boosted the Weather Channel to its best ratings in its 29-year-history. America sure does love rolling around in the sticky dread of natural disasters.

The Weather Channel was rewarded with more than four million viewers at one point on Saturday for throwing its reporters in harm's way. This was back when it still seemed possible Hurricane Irene might flood New York, sending millions of rats scurrying out of drenched subways, causing a vortex of shit and all sorts of other bad stuff. I'm sure you were one of them, lounging in your living room with a flashlight and 28 D batteries at your side, scaring yourself shitless.

But now everyone has stopped watching, now that New York was spared and it was just my puny home state, Vermont, that's been devastated by flooding. I don't begrudge the Weather Channel for capitalizing on our most base terrors, though. It's not like they have anything else.

[Image via Getty]