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Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Circus Came To Town

Last night at about 11:00 pm the circus showed up in front of our house, and it didn't leave until about, 8:30 am this morning.

Darn, I missed the elephants and the sword swallower.

Here's a question I have.
How many news crews does it take to cover a story, in a residential neighborhood?

Obviously about 5 or 6.

Let's start at the beginning. Shall we?

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep..."

Oh, not that beginning?

It's 5:45 pm on Wednesday, and I'm throwing something together for making dinner. Some orange ginger chicken, with green beans and rice. Which was dee-licious by the way.

Mmm, mmm good. Finger lickin good? Good to the last drop... oh never mind.

Our friends M and his wife, B would be over at 6:00, so I wanted to have everything just about done when they got here.

Hooray for me, it was!
(Doin' the happy dance)

When M and B arrived, the guys sat on the couch and talked for a bit, while B and I chatted as I finished up in the kitchen. After thickening the orange glaze for the chicken, everyone sat down at the table.

Little did we know that in about three hours, give or take, things were going to get interesting. Really interesting.

We had dinner, and finished things off with some desert that B brought. Cream cheese topped brownies. Yum! Try it, I think you'd like it.

M and I needed to have a meeting about a logo and web site he wants me to design for him, so we sat down to discuss it, and discuss we did. I'm pretty sure we made some progress, although M will need to make some decisions about the web site when we get to that point.

Meanwhile, J was the sweetest husband ever, and cleaned up some of the dishes from dinner.

The meeting lasted about an hour or so, but I think we figured out what M would like and where we need to start - the logo.

It was about 9:30 pm and we suggested watching a movie, if everyone wanted. M picked out The 13th Warrior, while B and I were looking at pictures. We pulled ourselves away from the cuteness, before our heads exploded, and made popcorn.

Kettle corn to be exact.

The movie progressed and a fun time was had by all. This included Kira, because she managed to score a few pieces of popcorn. She's a cute little mooch.

Our evening was coming to a close around 10:45 pm.
So we thought.

M and B gathered their things, and stood up to go to the door. All of a sudden we heard sirens. We all thought it would be best to wait a couple minutes, so the police could pass and then M and B could leave. My thought was that the sirens were going down the street next to our subdivision, and would pass on by.

I was incorrect. This wasn't the first, and probably won't be the last time either.

Then M and J said,

"Wait, I can see lights now."

"They're coming down the street."

The sirens got louder, and louder, until.


The End.

I'm only kidding!

What I wrote as a crash, really can't be described properly. It was an odd sound, that didn't really "explain" what had happened. With all the lights and sirens, I thought it was the door of an ambulance being slammed, but I knew that didn't quite match the sound either.

"One of these things is not like the other, one of these things doesn't belong."

A SUV missed the turn (it's actually one street that curves into another) and ran right up our next door neighbor's driveway and into their garage. It took out a brick column, and a bit of dry wall and trim in the process.

Exciting don't you think? A bit scary too.

Fortunately no one was hurt. Especially, because there was a 5 year old child in the vehicle with the driver. Gah!

I'm still amazed that the SUV didn't plow right into our neighbor's GMC sitting in his driveway. He had parked it over to one side, instead of the middle like he normally does. I think the big man upstairs was watching out for all of us last night.

Our neighbor's daughter saw the whole thing. The car coming down the road, getting closer and closer. Not stopping or turning, and then crashing into their house, which they had just sold and would be closing on in the next couple days. Talk about some bad "luck".

Turns out, after hearing the police, speaking to the driver's husband, and listening to some mis-informed news reporters... the driver had been taking care of her granddaughter. (At least that's what we were told by the husband.) The child became ill, so the woman was in the process of taking the child back home to it's parent's house.

Unfortunately, the woman had taken some medication (possibly a sleep aid) that she takes on a regular basis. However, driving after taking the medicine, was obviously not a good idea. Hello.

The police reported that they had tried to stop the woman, after seeing her drive erratically and swerving into the median on the main road by our sub. They pulled up along side the SUV, to tell her to stop, and they noticed that she was unaware they had even been behind her. One officer supposedly said that the driver seemed "catatonic". She was taken into custody, but it's still unknown if charges will be filed.

Amazing, a slow speed car chase came right into our neighborhood, and ended next door.

How funny does that sound? "Slow speed car chase, and amazing in the same sentence."

Of course a tow truck came to move the SUV, and first had to knock the huge chunks of brick column off the hood. That was interesting, and almost painful to hear. Heavy bricks, scraping against the paint and metal, landing on the ground with a loud thud. Ugh.

We even saw a journalist with a camera talking to police. Did she have a radio scanner? How else would she have heard about the accident? Maybe she lives in our subdivision.

That was just the start of the media circus.

After all the excitement, M and B were finally able to go home. That was actually after the ambulance moved from blocking our driveway, and then after we asked a police officer if he could move his car a little bit so our guests could leave. I would guess it was about 11:30 pm by this point.

Ambulance still blocking part of our driveway.

It's not the best picture I know, but I haven't
had a lot of experience shooting flashing lights.

I pointed out where our friend's car is sitting, but it's hard to see.

J and I finally went to bed. Amazingly we weren't awakened until about 5:25 am this morning. I got up, nature calling, and heard this constant buzz or hum. I tried looking outside without having to open the front door while standing there in my pj's. I really didn't want to be caught on TV, looking like some stereotypical nosy neighbor.

The channel 11 news van.
I can't quite remember which station the van on the left was from.

I walked into the front bedroom of our home (where we have our workout stuff). I looked out the window and could only see three news vans. They had their spotlights on, pointing at our house and at the neighbor's. Nice.

Lovely lights and buzzing noise emitting from the van.

If my bedroom had been at the front of our house, I might have gotten dressed, gone out and first asked them to move. If they gave me some lame excuse, "...but it's our job... we have to report the news..." I would have said that they needed to leave. Pack up your vans, lights, and stifle the noise. They were keeping us awake, also known as: disturbing the peace. J and I didn't need to be up for another 2 hours.

The noise was coming from some sort of generators the vans had on, which we could hear in our bedroom from the back of our house. I could see reporters recording their stories, because I finally saw one online that had been recorded earlier in the evening, and then reported live at 5:00 am. They had actually interviewed our neighbor's daughter as we walked back inside after saying good bye to M and B.

This means that someone from their station was outside ALL NIGHT LONG. From about 11:25 pm until 8:00 am.

Do I even need to say how much the media bothers me? Invading someone's yard? Check. Standing right in front of the gate to our sidewalk and door? Check. Shining bright lights into our house and the neighbor's? Check.

I'm so glad that I didn't double major in journalism like I had started to do in 1997. I don't agree with what most of them practice. I know it's a job, but I'm pretty sure they can do the same things in a less invasive way. Follow common courtesy, obey the laws, and have some shred of human decency. If you were on the receiving end, would you like it?

I took a few pictures, as you can tell, and tried to go back to bed. I finally fell asleep again around 6:45, 7:00 am. Thanks so much channel eleven news. I appreciate the early morning wake up call - that I didn't ask for. Especially since your video won't load.

This was actually the Fox 26 news van.
Late to arrive, and late to report. Nice.

Here's one reporter giving what I'd
call really LATE breaking news.

A day late and a dollar short?

This photo was probably from about 7:40 am. All the other crews had recorded their footage, packed up, and already gone. Way to be on the ball guys!

ETA - I took these pictures a few minutes ago, at 6:25 pm. It's incredible to see the damage now in the daylight. I'm glad the SUV wasn't driving any faster, or it probably would have taken out more of the wall.

The aftermath.

I wonder how long it will take to repair everything.

The big chunk on the right, was a section that had to
be pushed off the hood of the SUV, when it didn't fall.

So, who wants to come over to our house for dinner? You never know what will happen, and what kind of story you'll get to tell everyone the next day.

4 thoughtful comments:

Caroline Kaufman said...

that is a GREAT story!... and no we will not be coming over for dinner anytime soon...maybe a nap this afternoon will make up for the lost sleep.

Marcia said...

I just saw this on the noon news, but I didn't realize where it was. Matthew refuses to watch channel 13 news if he can because when he was directing traffic at an accident or something they wouldn't move. Hello, even reporters have to listen to the police!

Biddy said...

you're funny when you're sleep deprived! and actually? i like the flashing light picture!

i'll come over for supper, but only if you can promise my car will get totaled while we eat...

mommiebear2 said...

Crazy! Glad everyone is ok!!

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