“May you have an interesting life.”
They say this is a Chinese curse–and I fully understand why.
Saturday we had taken Little Miss to a birthday party (oddly enough, she gets invited to all of them!) and then did some errands. After we picked her up, we returned home to unload a car of groceries, when it became clear something was very wrong.
The faint odor of rotten eggs we’d noticed when we walked in had gotten stronger, particularly in the basement. This wasn’t something new for us, as there has been some contamination of the sewers going on, causing periodic governmental action. Which is what hit us next.
The fire department knocked on the door and told us to get out. This gas can apparently kill you, so we complied. They advised us to go to their staging area in a nearby strip center parking lot; they had buses where people could wait.
Okay, so picture three special needs kids evacuated from their house, Captain O particularly obsessing about everything that wasn’t routine, waiting in a bus with a bunch of strangers for an undetermined amount of time. I don’t think so, Tim.
So I called my father, who lives in town; he was clearly less than thrilled for an invasion at 7 p.m. on a Saturday evening when he was firmly cuddled up with his bottle of bourbon, but he said all right.
On the way out, it occurred to me that if the city was looking for the source of this poison in the sewer, the smell shouldn’t be in our house–because we’re not attached to the sewer. We drove to the fire department staging area to point out this oddity to them. The officer appeared thoroughly overwhelmed and just nodded, suggesting we should find a safe place because of tornadic activity in the area.
Of course, Captain O hears this and starts obsessing about where the tornado is, because you know they can change direction at any time and how we could be hit by it and… So the Cabana Boy reassures him we’ll be very safe. We change our destination and go to my office downtown instead, because we have Internet service there (which my dad doesn’t have) and that way we can keep track of things. As we pass by the fire station, what goes off but the tornado warning siren. Fabulous.
At the office (where there’s some huge party happening on the floor above us with a live band, and people oblivious to the dangers outside), we wait. And wait.
Did I point out I’m not good at waiting?
So after a couple hours I call down to the fire department to see when we can go home. They don’t know. They’re going to call us back. (Right.) So we wait some more. And I can’t stand it. For all I know, Hazmat has demolished our house and found some Indian graveyard under it releasing deadly gas poisoning the white man. So I leave the Cabana Boy with the kids, who are absorbed playing on the computer, and head home. Nothing. Except the high winds brought down a huge tree branch into my front flower garden. Fabulous. I check my basement which still smells of rotten eggs, and march down to the Hazmat truck to warn them. They send a team of four people down to check, and they reassure me we are barely registering on the scale, so we can come home. All is forgiven. Etc.
I drive back to the office, where the fire department has ACTUALLY CALLED BACK to release us. Impressive. So we went home and opened all the windows, aired the place out, and spent the night. No one woke up dead this morning, so it’s all good. Can’t wait to see what crisis we have tonight.