Sunday, November 09, 2008

Well, that Woke Me Up: Fire on Ridge, Somewhere

We run a seven day work shift in our household. My wife, who is in extreme demand, works the weekends. I work Monday through Friday. My kids try to figure out whether their parents will really make sure that they actually do their homework. Our dog tries to figure out if she will be walked at the brink of dawn; on Sunday. My wife strategizes how she will get me out of bed and momentarily fails. However, an opportunity emerges this Sunday at 6:30pm on the drive to work.

The phone spews out it's pleasant computer music tone that we have grown tired of. I look at the half functional caller id, courtesy of the cable phone service. It is my wife's cell phone. I pick it up. The voice; "You might want to walk the dog now." Next comes the half awake yawning "Why?"

Wife: "Well, there are four ambulances, two ABC7 News Trucks, and a lot of police cars."

Husband: "Thanks." [in an uncertain tone unsure whether to appreciate and levitate or return to slumber][Phone's push button is pressed and phone placed in charger with right hand].

My half conscious slumber is suppressed. The body has levitated and feet have hit the ground. What has happened? This concerned or nosy (depending upon your perspective) Rogers Park Neighbors want to know.

Within two minutes, the dog is leashed and I hit the pavement heading north on the east side walk on Ridge. As I walk, I realize that this event must be closer to Howard. Where? I have no clue. As I reach the subtle turn at Jarvis and Ridge I can see the large tower of an ABC News Truck. It is parked at St. Scholastica. A little further and it becomes obvious that there are two ABC Media Trucks. However, I see no ambulances.

At Birchwood, I notice that one of the cameramen is putting his equipment away. I walk with the dog across Ridge and reach St. Scholastica's driveway.

Me: So what happened? [or words to that effect]

Cameraman: There was a fire in an apartment building. A few people were hurt, no one was seriously injured.

Me: Thanks.

At this point, the dog gets the urge, and with baggies in hand, the indiscretion is promptly cleaned off St. Scholastica's grass. The conversation continues.

Me: You know, someone should do a public interest story about owners who don't pick up after their dogs. If you have to walk your dog, you are more likely to step in it than someone who is not an owner. I read that we have a . . . who alledgedly . . .Yada, yada, yada.

The cameraman acknowledged. Discussed his own dog experiences and again, wished me a good morning or words to that effect.

I continued to walk down Ridge, disposed of the baggy at Shell, purchased a cup of hot chocolate and continued back on the east side of Ridge. On the way, I stopped to say hi to a familiar dog owner with his chocolate lab, then stopped to talk to a second cameraman perched at Birchwood and Ridge.

Me: You know, I can smell the fire, but I can't see it. Where is it.

Cameraman2: Its over there. [pointing down Birchwood east of Ridge]

Me: Thank you.

Of course, I head down Ridge with eyes wide open. I see nothing. I also saw nothing down Ridge. However, you could smell something. I don't had no idea where the fire was, but at least the dog got her walk. Footage courtesy of ABC7 News.

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