Sunday, August 23, 2009

Something Something, Then You'll See, You'll Avoid Catastophe. DOH!



He had just gotten home from a Boy's Night Out, only minutes before, and we were both exhausted and ready to call it a night, but then, from somewhere outside our window, we heard it.


Eric and I looked at each other with mouths open and minds almost instantly freed from reason.

"Was that...gunshots?"


"Should I...get a number?  For the...sheriff?"


Before I could find any helpful numbers online, and before we could decide for certain that we were making the right choice in calling authorities, we heard three more shots fire.  


These sounded different.  These sounded like they could be coming from our neighbor's house. These sounded like the three shots that could complete a murder-suicide of former lovers.  Or the three shots, mercy shots, that could complete the death of a victim pleading for his life after an already fatal shot to the neck after breaking into the wrong home that night.  Or the three shots that could complete any number of scenarios I probably picked up from a Tarantino film or Law & Order episode.  

Eric bypassed the sheriff's office and called straight to 911, while I stood for a moment, reveling in panic.  

Eric is calling 911.  911 Emergency.  Emergency?  Stop, Drop, and Roll?  No, Duck and Cover.  Duck and Cover??  That can't be right.  Where's Harrison.  Get Harrison.  Windows.  Too many windows in this room.  Duck and cover.  That works.  


It's sad, really, realizing that I was so unprepared to cope with random gunshots outside my home.  My first thought, after getting Harrison out of his crib, was to get into the bathroom.  No windows in a bathroom.  We could sit in the tub.  EVERYONE IN THE TUB.  Eric, in his wisdom, redirected my path by gently leading my shoulder out of the dark bathroom and into the hallway.  

"Not a tornado," he reminded me.

He laid Lennon on the floor, and I sat next to my kids and my niece, and we waited for ...  

What do you wait for in a situation like that?  A reason to have to act?  If you're waiting for it, is it already too late?  We were all safe, sitting on the ground in our hallway, Eric with the phone in one hand and a pipe in the other.  A pipe?  Where did he get that pipe?  It didn't matter.  A pipe was good.  Repels gunshots.  

For nearly 40 minutes we sat in the hall, waiting.  I made a mental note to replace the granola bars in our 72-hour kits.

And then we started to yawn, and the oxygen returned to our brains, and we realized we were sitting in our hallway, at midnight, with a pipe, waiting for further instruction.  A knock on the door from a police officer, or the crash of a back window from a crazed maniac, working house by house, shooting in an oddly repetitive manner.  

"911 Emergency"

"Hi, we called and reported gunfire in our neighborhood about 45 minutes ago, and we just wanted to see if somebody had already come out and investigated?"

Then I hear Eric thank the operator politely, and breathe out slowly, quietly.  

"Party a couple of streets down.  Homemade fireworks.  A bunch of other people reported it, too."  

And I stood up, holding my baby in my arms, looking at the two little girls positioned precariously against the wall, Eric and I unable to laugh just yet, and I wondered how many of our neighbors were quietly, slightly fazed, mostly tired, putting away their pipes.


Katy said...

Damn Fireworks

Mama's Place said...

Renee I don't mean to laugh but that was the funniest thing I have read today! I love the visual of all of you in the hallway and Eric holding a pipe ready to stop the bullets as they whized are one funny girl.

Mama's Place said...

I missed the second Z in whizzed, sorry.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for this to come out in some essay Lennon writes in school this year.

OMG, Vincenzo just gave the baby a kiss. That melts my heart every time!

But what I really wanted to add is that the story is even funnier if you envision Eric smoking a stoagie rather than weilding a metal pipe throughout the ordeal.

diane said...

I TOTALLY thought the same thing as Rachel. Even after you clarified what the pipe was for, I still can't picture him holding anything other than a "special" pipe (or even a bong?) with all of you in the hallway. Kind of a what-the-hell-we're-in-peril-and-we-might-die-anyhow-so-what-does-it-matter kind of way.

vicky said... guys are hilarious! I kept thinking of all the different possibilities and my mind would have done the EXACT same thing! It is a talent that my husband hates!

Carolyn said...

this totally has happened to me! My neighbors were known for their domestic disputes, and one night while my husband was out, i heard shots ring out...I was army crawling on the floor like a freakin' spaz...

but unlike your experience...i had no excuse...for i had forgotten that it was the fourth of july.

Becky said...

Yikes! That sounds scary ... until you could laugh.

Scarlet said...

didn't you grow up in south Phoenix a street or two over from me? I would think you would have been more prepared....but then again I was flashed some gang signs just yesterday at the San Tan Mall and it startled me into a duck and cover mode so maybe not.

The most comical thing about your story for me was that the second I read Pipe my mind immediately took Eric and replaced whatever he was wearing with a smoking jacket and kind of an all over Professor Plum quality.

Monika said...

oh man- this was funny. I am thinking your neighborhood must be super boring to be scared by some bangs. Plus who shoots somebody that many times. Man you guys need to get out and live a little. And dont scare those poor kids like that.

Sheri_Beri said...

I would've been worried Heather finally did it... She killed my brother! lol