Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another Boring Day in the Suburbs

Well, the fever is breaking. I was so busy with work today, that I barely thought about THE NEW BLOG. But nothing was happening, anyway. Nothing was happening! It was hot, I had to work in it. So what?

Later in the day I mulled over some old blog ideas I'd had rolling around: the Great Re-Wiring of the Family TV, the huge cucumber in the backyard (Took a picture of it! You can look forward to that some boring day in the future!) and then there's always the latest cuteness of the lit'ln. And I had some footage of the new Weaver which I hadn't gotten around to editing. But no, too tired. I even made a nice red wine reduction and poured it over a few BBQ'd steaks of fresh albacore, recently given to me by a generous client, but even that was met with a certain lack of event by the missus. Put the kid to bed and moved to the couch to find there was nothing on TV. No, it was just another boring evening in the suburbs. And then a helicopter landed in my street.

I imagine the apocalypse will come in a similar manner: you're watching reruns after a lackluster summer day, wishing you'd poured less wine into the reduction sauce and more into your glass, when all of sudden your backyard is bisected by a military maneuver. Well! Now, a helicopter is a helicopter, but a large helicopter flying a hundred feet over your kiddie pool is a wee dram more intimidating. I found myself backing me and the wife off the patio and into the kitchen. Really, it was flying pretty low.

You gather your wits about you pretty quick in these situations, do a mental run-through of where you keep the flashlights, shotguns, emergency wipes, and maintain calm so as not to fill your shorts, alarming those near you. That's right about when you glance through the blinds and notice that the neighbors are in the street. See honey? I'm sure it's safe. The neighbors are in the street!

So a helicopter landed in a nearby intersection. I walked down to check it out -really, there was nothing good on- and arrived to find about 50 of us on either side of the boulevard watching a good-sized Medi-vac chopper, rotors spinning, sitting there in the number two lane. Word was someone on a bike got hit and they were airlifting him out. "Oh, you've only lived here two years? Yeah, this same thing happened five years ago and then again three years ago. Still haven't put a stoplight in that intersection, damn bureaucrats" and "Hi, I haven't seen you since the party. How's your little girl?" and "Stand back everyone, this thing kicks up a lot of dust!" So you stand back, and it flies away. Over someone else's patio.

I noticed that of all the people who had come out to investigate, it was mostly the women and their kids. The kids I can understand, but the wives? Well, this is their neighborhood, I guess. They're the ones that know what goes on around here -which kids play in the street, what days the streetcleaner is followed by the parking enforcement officer, who got their building permits for which remodel, what the house went for, and who deserves sympathy in the divorce. The men go off to work, the women run the neighborhood. Believe me, when the terrorists strike, these women will know when the bad guys last got their car washed.

I walked home. You can't help but think about the poor soul on the bike, if that's what it was. You hope it's not something that happens to you, or your kid, or your neighbor's kid, or your neighbor, or anyone. When are they going to put in that damn streetlight? Why doesn't somebody do something about that?

Earlier this evening, I got a voicemail from Mrs. Ditchman. It was unusual, it's not something she does often. She had heard there was a bad accident in the vicinity of where I was working today. I hadn't seen it, must've just missed it, and she wanted to make sure I was okay. I'd thought for a moment how nice that was, how sweetly profound to have someone check in on you on your way home, and how I often think about her out on the freeway when I hear about some deadly accident on the traffic report. And I thought about putting it in the blog. But it wasn't anything, really. I'd missed the accident, the traffic, everything entirely. I was fine. It was a hot day. There was nothing significant to report.

Thank God.