Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire

How’s this for a weird story? (Though I’m guessing you expected something a little odd after that title–though, who knows? I do odd titles often).

Last Friday night. Hold on, it might have been Saturday.

Okay, I just checked my email. It was Saturday. Yikes. Saturday night, I picked up Mindy at her house and we went to Elena’s for dinner.

(P.S. I’m just throwing this out there–if you got a text party invitation from me for March 3–that party is postponed, we ran into some technical troubles, it’s still happening, just not in March)

At any rate, the three of us had a great deal of fun and a great deal of wine and a great dinner. Elena made truffle mac-n-cheese and it was delicious. I had it for lunch the next day as well.

But, the point of the story is this. I drove Mindy home, it was after 2am. I dropped her off at her house and then drove to the end of her street and turned onto Burns. I drove about a block when I started seeing flashing lights. Instinctively, I slowed down, thinking police. In the back of my brain, I knew it didn’t resemble police lights, it was closer to strobe lights, but it stopped before I could think more about it.

I kept driving, maybe a half a block, when suddenly there was a fireball in the sky.

It was so bright I had to close my eyes, it actually lit up the street like it was daytime, and I was over a block away from the source.

I had no idea what was happening. I immediately pulled over onto the side of the road. I figured if something exploded, I do not want to get any closer, and I was headed right toward it. I sat there for maybe five seconds, when, another fireball lit up the sky.

Somehow, this one was even brighter than the first, bigger too, or maybe it just seemed that way, because when it ended, the whole city went dark. Not a light for as far as I could see. It went from “city dark” to “country dark with no stars” in a matter of a blink.

I picked up my phone and text Mindy, “did your whole house just go dark?” She confirmed that it did. She thought I just saw the lights go out in the neighborhood–she had no idea I actually saw what happened.

After the text, I sat for another few seconds. It was so dark, whatever had happened seemed to be over. Or so I thought. I started creeping forward, going very slowly and staying on the shoulder, just in case. There’s a slight hill in the road, once you crest it, you can see Obbs. That is the point I was at. As I crested the hill, I immediately figured out what had happened. Before me, was a large SUV–like a Ford Expedition or something…very big.

It was, I assume trying to turn right onto the street that runs next to Obbs (I think it is Clarence) and either through stupidity, drunkenness, or both, it overshot the turn and careened into the power line pole. I was too far away to see what had happened, but those poles are thick in circumference. In order to take one out, even with a car, you’d have to hit it very hard…or going very fast.

The initial sparks I saw were probably from him hitting it. The fireballs are likely from it falling. I’d guess that was the lines lighting up as they were ripped free from where they were attached. When I was close enough to see, the SUV was still there. His front end was wedged under the fallen pole, his front wheels were up in what passes for a snowbank these days. But, his reverse lights were on and he was trying, madly to free himself. (Or herself, I couldn’t see the driver).

I pulled over, again, just to stay out of the way. I had to pass behind him to get home–no way I was driving anywhere near this guy. He was reversing so hard his tires were smoking on the street. Suddenly, as I watched, his car jerked free and he fishtailed wildly across the street, in reverse. He jerked to a stop, slammed the car in drive and drove down Clarence and out of my sight.

I sat there for a second or two, then pulled out and drove home. I literally live like 6 minutes from Tom and Mindy–it amazes me that my short drive home could have been this eventful.

When I told my parents and my brother this story the next day, they all said, “did you call the police?” I did not. Should I have? I don’t know. I didn’t see anything. I never saw the accident. For all I know, another car could have driven the SUV off the road into the pole and then drove away. I don’t know what happened. I know it was a large, dark, SUV. Gee, that narrows it down. I don’t know what kind. Could have been a Ford Expedition, but that’s just what I thought of. I don’t actually know what kind of SUV it was. It was dark colored. That’s it. Dark brown. Navy Blue. Black. No idea. I didn’t see a license, I was at the wrong angle. I couldn’t even see if it was MN plates.

So, I should have called the police, waited at the scene for them to arrive and given my statement of, “I didn’t see it happen and I saw a large, dark SUV drive off that way”. Maybe I should have, who knows? But I did not. I just drove home and thought…that was pretty cool. We’ve all felt the effects of power lines going down, but how many of us have actually seen it happen? It was incredible. The sheer brightness of all that energy was mind-boggling.

And that, friends, is my 2am story. Strange things happen in the middle of the night.

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