Stab From the Past: Run Over, Struck by Lightning

by pjmcbride

Police car emergency lighting fixtures switche...

Police car emergency lighting fixtures switched on. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This story is brought to you by request. (Yes, I take requests, although I reserve the right to refuse them, invoking the what-did-you-pay-to-get-in clause.) This means, if you don’t like it, blame someone else.

Back in the 80’s, when Dispatch and I were both located downtown, it required an extensive bus ride to get much shopping done, since the Internet had not yet been invented. I had taken the bus to the North Side. Since this adventure was located at First and Diamond Avenues, I assume I was either going to Hill’s/Venture (whichever it was then) or perhaps Fashion Bug (and what would a fashion bug look like, exactly)? (My requestor specified that she wanted “great graphic detail”–refer back to blame statement above.)

It was a dark and stormy day, and when I emerged from wherever it was I’d gone and discovered I’d just missed the bus back, I was very crabby (but not clammy). So crabby that, rather than waiting another hour for the next bus, I decided I’d walk back downtown. I’m guessing I was thinking, That’ll show ’em!, although who it would show, other than myself, I’m not sure. Of course, since I had no one to blame but myself, I guess it made some degree of sense. (I’m used to walking everywhere, so this would not have been a death march for me, but I would have been very tired and even crabbier when I got home.)

So I waited for the light, then stepped across the ever-busy Diamond Ave., clutching my parcel, and hoping I didn’t get rained on, or blown away by a tornado. (As the weather service likes to say, the possibility of a tornado cannot be ruled out–ever.) And tripped over something sticking up in the road.

I lay sprawled out in the street, evaluating the extent of my injuries. They seemed to be mostly in the knee and elbow areas, although the possibility of a broken leg could not be ruled out. It then occurred to me, in a stupefied sort of way, that my first priority should be to GET OUT OF THE ROAD, by whatever means possible, before somebody killed me. And then I heard a car coming toward me.

{If WordPress is smart, they’ll insert an ad at this point. And now for a word from our sponsors…}

But…but! It was a police car. And, seeing me in time, the officer jumped out to help the citizen, before he realized it was a dispatcher.

It should be mentioned here that this was the notorious Officer J.E. (now Sgt. J. E., thank you very much), a man with the height and the temperament of Napoleon, who was probably the dispatchers’ least favorite person at that time. (Many others have competed for the position over the years.) So he was the last officer I’d have wanted to rescue me.

But, to his credit, J.E. refrained from running over me, and blocked traffic while I got up (though he did decide I could get up without a helping hand), and even said, “I’ll drive you back to Dispatch. {Did he think I was on my lunch break?} Get in the car. I have an alarm run I have to go to first.”

So I got in the car, ripped jeans and all, concerned not to get blood on the upholstery (and probably the first passenger in that car who’d cared). As always when I ride in a squad car, I did a lot of playing with my hair, so people in the other vehicles could see I wasn’t in handcuffs. We investigated the alarm at a business on Diamond (storm-related, fancy that). Then we got downtown, and found out that the radio tower at Dispatch had been struck by lightning. Coincidence? Yes. Then I limped home to 325 Chandler. The End.

Satisfied, Lisa? Your request was pre-empted by Halle Berry yesterday.