Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Whassup in Da Hood?

It’s been a while since my last confession blog, but this time I really have something to talk about.

On Monday, I was washing vegetables at the sink just before dinner when I heard this insanely loud tire screeching from outside on the street. I have a little window above the sink and through it I saw a black muscle car (Mike’s dad would call it a “greaseball car”) billowing white smoke out its tires as it burned rubber up our sleepy little kids-playing-everywhere street. It skidded and lost control, flipped around on the curb just opposite our house, flew into our across-the-street neighbour’s yard, destroying their fence like matchsticks and knocking down two trees. (This last is unforgivable to me; one tree was about 25 feet high and beautiful. Poor tree. And the one between the sidewalk and the road was only small, but was annihilated.)

So now this moron was parallel to the road, facing back the other way now, entrenched in our neighbour’s front yard. Incredibly, he was still revving the engine and burying himself into their dirt. (Used to be fence, trees, and grass, but hey – he made short work of THAT) Smoke was pouring up and over the car, and he was roaring the engine. About 40 or 50 people had poured out of their houses and driveways, and everybody was yelling their heads off at him. He sat in the driver’s seat, SMILING, as he revved, revved, REVVED. The street was full of cars, three or four of which had followed him from the main street and they were yelling that he already caused four accidents up the street. People started blocking traffic both sides of this lunatic and diverted cars through our complex so they didn’t have to drive by this guy. I saw tons of people on their phones calling 911.
These pictures were taken by our neighbour Tammy - we should see them in the local paper, eh Tammy?

Then the car caught on fire. We could see flames licking out from underneath his engine. He was STILL hammering on the gas pedal.

I stared open-mouthed from my balcony and yelled helpful comments like “Get away from there”, “What the Hell is going on” and “Aaahhhh the car is on fire”. When my mind finally caught up to my open mouth, I did actually do some useful things. I yelled to the kids to stay inside and called 911. While I was waiting for the fire department to come on the line, I yelled down to Mike (who was out on the street) did he need me to throw down the fire extinguisher? From my end: lots of yelling.

From our neighbours: lots of action. Four men ran to the car, reached through the open window and wrestled the keys out of the ignition. Then they hauled him out of the car and ran him across the road, where they all sat on him. Two other guys blasted the car with fire extinguishers until it was all covered with foam and the fire was out.

Then my future husbands the fire department showed up. Although they looked pretty (and they did look pretty :) sorry Mike but they were in uniform and you KNOW what that does to me), in reality they were pretty useless as our neighbourhood had controlled the situation very capably on their own. Let me add too that the fire station is 4 blocks from our house, and the time elapsed from the first 911 call to the arrival of the first emergency vehicle was probably 10 minutes. That is pathetic. The police arrived after that and got the loser into their squad car.

Now the 100 or so residents who were out and about (it was SO loud there was no way you could NOT go outside to see what on earth was going on) were all discussing who saw what, giving statements etc.

It took about two hours for the excitement to die down, the police to evidence the scene and the car to be towed. The police pulled a lot of little packets out of the car; looked like drugs to me but let’s just say “allegedly” so I don’t get sued.

And the kids? Excited, upset, and a teensy bit traumatized. Our 10-year-old neighbour was playing with the boys when this all happened, and I had yelled to his mom (yelling again!) that he was safe inside. Ethan, Jack and Kaz were all watching this out the kids’ windows upstairs. When I came inside after making the 911 call, Ethan was crying and the two other boys had eyes wider than saucers. Kaz had his arm around Ethan to comfort him (I love that kid... best neighbour ever). We got them calmed down and took them outside once the man was in custody. Then they were excited and we played catch and chattered nervously to all our neighbours.

Later, after dinner, I overheard Ethan saying to his Star Wars figure, “Silly Wicket, the man is in jail. It’s all ok now.” And then turning to Jack and saying, “Can you believe Wicket is scared right now?” I don’t know the psychological term for that – transference of anxiety or something – but I do know that Ethan required a lot of extra cuddles at bedtime and somewhere around 2:30am when he awoke from a nightmare. Jack, on the other hand – more like water rolling off a duck’s back. That kid is so laid back.

So there you have it, news from da hood. You think you live in a nice area, but damn – it’s still Surrey, man.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

All the girls in my family cry at tree death. We've literally turned our path and driven a different way when they rip up a woods to create a new neighborhood, it hurts our hearts. What's up with that? Sounds actually like you have a great neighborhood, bonded together in time of trouble. I don't think we can escape insanity, I've tried. It comes calling, or in this case, barrelling down the street hitting fences and trees.