Sunday, January 06, 2008

Why Movies Are Sometimes Better Than Real Life

Tonight we're trapped in Grant's Pass.

We almost made it out but the snow and visibility were dropping like crazy and we decided to hunker down here for the night.

We had several exciting moments along the way. We saw a semi flipped over in a ditch and several cars that had slid into the snow. Also, we noticed a fire on the side of the road, which appeared to be an electrical fire. There was a loud popping sound, and you could smell electricity in the air. I called 911 and reported it while our van sat, stopped on I-5 with the hazards on while snow continued to bury it, the road and everything but the fire. It turned out that the fire department had already received calls about the fire but couldn't find it. So I stood on the highway and tried to explain its precise location for a while. Then my family started to freak out because they thought the transformer (or whatever was aflame) could explode at any moment.

(Favorite moment of the phone call to 911:

ME: Do you want me to climb off the highway, cross the ditch, jump the barbed wire fence and see if I can find an address to help you find the fire?

911 operator: That would be very helpful if you could do that.)

Then, when we finally found a hotel, we discovered that one of Z's boots was missing.

This is why a good movie is better than life, sometimes: closure. Did the semi get out of the ditch? Did the transformer explode and cause a raging fire? Did Z's boot fall out of the car when we put on the chains or when we stopped to report the fire or is it somewhere in the van still?

In a movie we would have satisfying answers to all these questions in 90 minutes or less.

Since a blog is scarcely the real world I will create answers for you (although I will have to continue to live with uncertainty):

1) While the driver of the semi in the ditch was fine, his truck remained in the ditch for many years, and became the home of many forest animals, including a rather friendly family of skunks, who were thankful for the man's misfortune, as it gave them a nice shelter during the winters that followed.

2) Using the clever directions provided by the anonymous tipster (that would be me) emergency services found, fought and destroyed the dangerous fire, which would have surely consumed several towns and all its inhabitants if not for the anonymous tipster's quick thinking, clever wit and pleasant speaking voice.

3) Z's boot, abandoned by the side of the road, slowly filled with snow. When spring came a young child found it and was pleased to have one boot. She hopped around in it all the time and eventually became a champion hopscotcher, lifting her from the status of nerdy girl to hometown hero.



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