Monday, June 30, 2014

Baja, Flames and the Firemen

When you put them all back to back like this it sure appears I have lived an exciting life...for someone so dull.

Please note that the paper in my home town had an issue with getting my name correct. In my little town my family names were ....totally freaking out there unique. My name is FOUR letters, its not hard, and I always spelled it out too. But still they insisted on butchering my last or first name, every chance they got. This spelling was a particular favorite of theirs.

This nice tidy little recap however isn't he whole story. hee...he..hahahar! Nothing in my life is that cut and dry.

Neither is this follow up article.

To get the full picture, and totally enjoy the show you must pull up a chair and hear it from me or my sister.

*pulls up my chair and cracks my knuckles*


First off this is all that is left...melted keys in the ignition.

Second sister and I cast a frightening accurate foreshadow on that Tuesday evening, on our way driving out to the Rollerdrome. Shortly after getting in my sisters old dodge dart, Vangelis - Chariots of Fire came on the radio.

Being the creative writers we are, we naturally added our own lyrics to the instrumental.

Which included.....

"My chariots on time has expiiiiiiired!"

over and over...

The night was filled with the usual Roller-skating crowd and the skate was uneventful, until suddenly the rink went black. Not willing to let a black out spoil the evening, we kept skating while the owner shined a flash light on the giant mirrored disco ball to give us a wee bit of light. After ~15 min, and multiple crashed into the walls and each other, we had to give it up, and we all reluctantly called a end to the session.

We were among the last to leave and as we backed up there was a tiny bump then the sound like we had driven over tin cans. Knowing there is nothing in the parking lot drive over/or make that noise/sensation. my sister braked instantly and looked at me with a what the? look on her face.

Here is where the story goes covert.

My mind, my writers mind, INSTANTLY jumped to full gear and started throwing out causes. We ran over a can of spray paint...we can over cans....we ran over a power line....and that one clicked with the power outage already in play.

WHICH then got my anxiety to chime in with its knowledge about cars and downed power lines. and I instantly pulled my arms and legs inwards away from the car.

The line was starting to arc at this point, and give off a glow and strange sound.

My sister opened her door and leaned out to see what was going on. I waited watching. My mind already envisioning that she would get fried once she stepped from car and grounded herself. I half laughed to myself, as my brain tried to shake off the strange crazy idea that we were on a power line and in danger. I at that point honestly thought my run away imagination/anxiety was just nuts. I had no idea we  really WERE on a power line.

Still I waited to see what would happen as she stepped from the car.

She didn't die.... so I opened the door without touching anything metal with my skin, got up on the seat so as to not touch the frame at all and jumped from the car without touching it or the ground at the same time.

Clearly laughing at myselves for being such a drama queen, for inserting danger into normal situations.

Once away from car we and the other people could see the rapidly increasing ball of raw power where the line was arcing. Thoughts were tossed back and forth including the idea it was a road flair. Some of the bystanders even suggested that my sister GET BACK IN AND DRIVE IT OFF the object!!

The writer in me was enjoying this whole situation. I don't remember who finally figured it out and called for help. By the time the police arrived it was arcing to a point it was looking very menacing.

It would take Pacific Power and Light quite some time to get the power shut off so there wasn't anything to do. So my sister, me, the newspaper reporter, the police and the fire department stood back and watched the show. Which was spectacular! The combination of cool night air, burning flames, the evil sounds of raw power zapping and spitting and hissing, and adrenaline, was quite thrilling.

The line finally got to such a size it ignited the car, and it make short work of consuming it.

At one point my anxiety couldn't contain itself and it pondered aloud, "should we be standing so close? Is the gas tank going to explode?"

The big burly police man chuckled and said, "That only happens in the movies."

A few seconds later one of the tires blew.

We all jumped and the cops stepped behind my sister and me using us as shields.

"Ummm many be we should watch from over there" a fireman said backing off.

Once the power was off they doused the car in short order. A fireman walked to the other side with a flash light and looked at the downed line where it was under the car. I will never forget the look on his face as he made the discovery. He came right over to us, and brought us back to show us just how close we came to being fried crispies.

When my sister rolled onto the wire it curled up and the ragged end was about 3-4 inches from the frame. The firemen told us if that end had connected with the frame itself this would have been an entirely different accident. A very tragic accident.


That's when my anxiety started doing its cocky little I told you so dance.

The police drove us home and about 1/2 way there my mind burped up our foreshadowing song lyrics, and I burst into nervous giggles, and leaned over to my sister...and sang...."My chariots on time has expiiiiiiired!"

We laughed like the warped humor of it.  Hey, if your going to cheat death, you have to at least enjoy it.

We woke out parent to fill them in. I'm not really sure they fully comprehended it until the paper came the next day with the above article in it.

A very interesting phenomenon occurred in the following days too. Apparently a time/space portal opened up and transported quite a few students homework into my sisters car, where it perished in the flames, as the number one excuse for not being able to turn in homework/projects was..."it was destroyed in ____'s car!"


Despite what the paper says, it was NOT the urging of bystanders that saved me. (hello?! get back in and drive it off? what the!!!)

It was the fact that I watched EMERGENCY! as child and I learned from squad 51 the proper way to exit a car with power line on it.

It was the fact my mind is not normal and everything thing I experience is turned into a drama that is directed by my anxiety. My heightened awareness of my surroundings saved in other words. I can thank my PTSD, and TV for getting out alive.

But I credit my sister for saving my life.

She is the one who taught me the What if? game.

What if  I leave you here?
What if  we run out of food?
What if  the cow stampede is heading our way?
What if the dam bursts?
What if there is a robber in the closet?

Playing this endlessly with her as a child taught me to think quickly, assess the situation and come up with fast plan.

What if your car is on a power line?

You wait till your sister gets out and see if she dies...then you get out properly. heh.


  1. Any yes my sister, I did really want to call this Faja, Flames and the Firemen. Or Baja, Blackout and the BIG BOOM!

  2. Thank goodness for television. What if it were never invented?

  3. You are really death on cars.....