911 redux

Rant D’jour
Blog Post for 2/6/11 – Superbowl Sunday – 29 degrees. Very icy cold

I didn’t see it happen. I heard it, but didn’t think too much about it.

Sounded like someone going by on Rt. 315 scraped the snowbank. Not much different than the cursed plows that go by 24/7 this winter.

It’s important to understand this story that you know we have had a hard cold freeze here at the Rising ranch, below freezing temperatures after feet of snow with an ice, sleet and freezing rain chaser.

The driveway to the road is an orthopedic surgeons wet dream. The road itself is what tow truck drivers and body shop workers hope for.

I injured my shoulder about 10 years ago, skiing. I walk on clean dry surfaces like I am treading on egg shells, living in terror that I will fall and cause my shoulder to bark at me like a rabid dog. You can imagine what walking on the Olympic quality ice on our steep sloping driveway is like.

I looked out the window and saw that someone had indeed ventured too close to the snowbank across the road. There were ice chunks in the right of way. I turned away when through the thick branches I glimpsed it. There, deep in the woods, I saw the front end of a car.

I grabbed my coat and boots and ran for the door, shouting at the long-suffering wife.

“Take your cellphone,” she said.

Obedient, if nothing, else I grabbed it and the broom I use for a cane. I tried to dial 911 and walk on the ice-covered wooden deck. That’s when I heard it.

There is nothing quite like the wail of a young women in pain and trouble. It raises the hair on the back of your neck.

I skidded back into the house and shouted at the long-suffering wife to call 911. She was already on the line.

I made it about half way down the driveway before I could see the car and her.

“Are you all-right?” I bellowed.

A pause. Probably only a second. It felt like, cliche alert, an eternity.

“I’m ok,” she wailed, “But my car…” and broke into sobs.

I got to her, somehow, without falling. The snow was well over my knees. The first thing I saw in the debris around the car was an unused disposable diaper, lying in the snow.

I got a sinking feeling.

“Is there anyone else in the car? Is your baby in there?”

She was young, dazed and confused. But she was alone.

There is a god, small “g” who watches over children, injured shoulders and girls who drive too fast on ice covered roads.

The rest was as it always is. Cops arrived. Traffic kept going by too fast. The roll-back hooked up the mini-van and nothing is left but the gouge in the snow and the black shards of a smashed rear-view mirror.

I made a cup of tea and thought about spring.


Today’s rant is a good example of a story I found in the newspaper and took off on in my usual manner. When I read it on the air I gave the URL for the story but the picture is worth…well, you know.

When I was learning how to write this sort of thing back in the age when Dinosaurs walked the earth and phones had rotary dials on them there no such thing as a laptop…more

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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