If you've been anywhere near a TV set or a radio over the past few days you're certain to have heard two words at least a hundred times: "Mother Nature."
That's because Mother Nature took it on the chin for this past weekend's hurricane (or hurricane-ette, as it turned out for many New York City residents.)
Mother Nature was also to blame for the earthquake earlier in the week, as well as every earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, volcanic eruption, plague and pestilence since the earth cooled.
I've blamed her myself a million times in my working life, both as a print reporter and a TV producer. So why is Mother Nature the scapegoat for all these catastrophes?
For one thing, mothers get blamed for everything anyway, so we might as hang natural disasters around their necks.
More importantly, nobody gets mad when you blame Mother Nature. Not even feminists!
All those TV reporters (male and female) doing up-to-their-knees-in-water standups during Hurricane Irene invoked Mother Nature's name without even thinking about it.
(What they were probably thinking was: Hey, can I get these hip-waders on my expense account?)
Now here's the funny thing: we blame Mother Nature for the disasters, but what do we do when we survive these catastrophes?
We thank God.
Out in Queens, Mother Nature knocked out the power in my parents' house during the height of Irene.
But thank God, their next-door neighbor strung a cable from his house to theirs, and there was light.
Mother Nature also did a number on my friend's apartment, sending a flood from above that soaked through his ceiling.
But thank God, he was home at the time, and able to deal with it as it was happening.
It's pretty obvious what's going on here: Mother Nature takes the rap, God gets the glory. Why? Because nobody -- including atheists and agnostics -- wants to get God mad. (Even if you don't believe, why take a chance?)
How did I arrive at these conclusions about God and Mother Nature? They came to me over the course of time.
Father Time, that is.
Charlie Carillo's latest novel is One Hit Wonder. His website is www.charliecarillo.com. He's a producer for the TV show Inside Edition (which is going strong, thank God.)