Monday, February 8, 2010
Rule #32: Enjoy the Little Things
So there I am standing in the cold leaning on a telephone pole waiting for the post office to explode. I knew it wasn't going to explode, but maybe it could, you know maybe somehow but I knew it wouldn't.
I was just getting ready for a cup of coffee at work when somebody said there was trouble at the Tracy post office on 9th Street. I took a quick peek down an alley leading to their parking lot and saw crime scene tape and a squad car. That's a bad sign.
I headed over and was told a suspicious package with no label was on the post office delivery dock at the rear of the post office. Employees had been evacuated and the bomb squad was on its way. Now I knew these things are 99% of the time nothing, but in these days it is err on the side of caution. So I would be in a hurry up and wait mode in the cold. I did shoot off a couple of quick shots of the scene to upload to the web. I guessed at about what time the sheriff department bomb squad would arrive and headed back out.
There is nothing more glamorous than standing behind a police line waiting for action. Something, anything that I can take a picture of. It is just stand there and make chitchat with the police officer guarding the alley entrance to the post office. We were talking about fancy high school gyms when the bomb squad got busy. Two deputies approached the dock entrance in the bomb helmets (I wanted the full suit like in the Hurt Locker dammit!)carrying a spool of wire. Something was going to go boom. The plan I was told was they were going to blow up the suspicious box.
With a call of "Fire in the hole!" those of us who braved the cold were rewarded with a pretty cool explosion. I was thinking it would sound like a firecracker going off but it was louder a lot louder. A nearby resident uttered an "Oh shit" when the bang went off and a crowd gathered at the entrance to the alley.
I looked at the officer and said " I bet right now the newsroom is probably wondering what the f__k just happened." Seconds later my cell rang as I debated not answering and letting them think I had been killed in the blast. Yeah I have a sense of humor.
So after the detonation crews checked the box remains only to discover they had contained a fitness push up handle bars, now somewhat used and slightly scratched. OK now heavily used and you would have to take the "like new" off the E-Bay listing for them.
So what could have been a dangerous scene turned into a kind of funny story. No one hurt except for the push bars and I got to hear a pretty cool explosion. And somewhere in the world some fat guy is screaming into his telephone at the customer service desk because his Flab-O-Matic 3000 never arrived and sure enough they charged his credit card for the purchase. It's the little things in life you have to enjoy no matter where you find them.