June 28, 2010
Close Encounters, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 26
Close Encounters of the Tornado Kind. A 100% True & Embarrassing Story
I’ve managed to keep this string of instances to myself for a bit.
I probably wouldn’t even be sharing now, except that it so significantly impacted my current psyche.
And because I was accidentally too honest last Saturday afternoon during a yard sale lull and didn’t want you all hearing this from someone else.
We got to talking about last week’s tornados. I marveled aloud at being able to maintain live-contact via laptop and cell phone texting as two storms passed through. “Tornado warning! Are you up? Turn on your radio.” Communications travelled even faster than the 70 mph winds as I announced my whereabouts just in case anyone had to look for me later: “In my bathtub: laptop, phone, ipod, purse, wallet, comforter, pillow, the cat & me. Another night of tornado warnings. Stations are giving conflicting reports, so… here we hang.”
About 3:20 am, I made the decision to disengage. Shut down the computer, silent mode-ed the cell phone, set the radio alarm clock that runs on batteries in case I still lost power somewhere in what was left of the short space of the night, curled my blanket around me, and coiled up pretty comfortably in the bathtub. On the edge of drifting into sleep, I heard an unmistakable sound that would have me shaking my head for days. I distinctly heard the Close Encounters communication theme. You know that note progression that resulted in supposedly intelligible intergalactic communication? Well, it was loud and clear - in my bathroom. It sent me into a bit of illogical panic. I immediately texted a friend who I knew happened to be riding the storms out in her bathroom as well: “I am so not kidding. Lying here & I hear Close Encounters notes. Not laptop or phone or ipod…wtf?”
Just to validate, I did another prompt electronic inventory: Phone - still silent. Computer - still off. Ipod not eaten by the cat – I know because (sigh, here comes the too honest part…) I lifted her tail and checked her puckered backside for musical emissions. Not that I have the Close Encounters sound track on my ipod anyway, but it was late, and there was excess air pressure, and I was somewhat confused.
I considered the theory that someone’s still active TV had ended up in my yard, not likely. Or perhaps, someone was watching the C.E. movie in their car due to their power being out – hillbilly, but possible. Either way, I wasn’t about to leave my sanctuary to check the situation. I credit myself with at least being smart enough to know that if I opened the door, Miss Fred would fly by me, long gone and unretrievable. There’s no way I could have corralled her back into seclusion with me, especially after my indiscriminate and insulting butt-check behavior.
I shook my head - nothing was rattling around in there, either. I was just about sure I had fabricated the tinkling tones, and was starting to mentally giggle when I heard the simple strains again.
I jumped out of the tub, and lunged for the phone just in time to see a fading message inform me that I was “roaming.” I was pretty sure I wasn’t, but then again things were looking a little muddled at this point. After some consideration, I settled on believing that Sprint has the dorkiest roaming tone alert system on earth, climbed back into the tub and settled down - uneasily wondering how and when Miss Freddie would choose to seek her revenge.
So, back to the slowest yard sale on earth…. To my weight-of-the-world-off-my-already stressed-out-fragile-psyche relief, it turns out that I was not the only one who heard those bars. My neighbor had been monitoring the weather channel when she thought she heard something recognizable but extremely odd. She knew it didn’t resemble a normal warning siren so she lowered the television volume via remote, and listened for a heartbeat or two. Not hearing anything except driving winds and rain, she re-upped the volume on the set. Suddenly, a bedroom door crashed open. A blur ran past her, flinging the front door wide open, as well. The Close Encounter vibes were so loud they had woken someone up, catapulted them from their bed, and driven them down the front porch stairs only to be left standing on the sidewalk in the turbulent dark night scanning the sky for alien lights.
I’m sure gonna miss my real-life neighbors when I move. And I really do appreciate my local friends in other neighborhoods who checked up on me, family and friends across the country who made me feel safer because they knew where I was, and am incredibly thankful for technological blessings that give us the chance to weather storms of any type as closely as if we were in the same room.
In this issue: Civil Defense Sirens, Close Encounters, "I'm a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here!", and Appreciation of the Good Things in Life.
Now posted: New Orleans, October 2009, Out Reaching Me
Posted by jaselin at June 28, 2010 09:07 PM