These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

robbins' got a fast car

monday night the call came in through the scanner of a possible plane down at tulip city. holy crap. it was 11:15 p.m. and too late to do much of anything.

there was no panic, though. i think in the back of my mind i knew it was bullshit. the vibe just wasn't there for a plane crash. still, all the city's fire stations were called out. we called out two photographers (we couldn't reach the first one and called a second one).

jcr and i were discussing a matter by my cubicle when the call came in. after a quick consultation of some maps, we were off.

we jumped in his black car and sped off, down washington and through the tunnel, the famous holland tunnel. no call came in from the office that they'd called off the search. but it's dark and you just never know.

we wound our way to the right place, encountered a police car, lights flashing, flying by. we followed it. we ran into some fire trucks at the airport. we could see them running around, but we couldnt' get in.

so off we sped, made our way back into town and down lincoln. i got on the cell with a photographer and he pointed out where we needed to go.

as we raced along, jcr suddenly swerved, saving the life of a poor oppossum on the road. his quick reflexes prevented what could have been a messy situation. i have visions of "the rime of the ancient mariner" running through my head, where we'd be punished by god for hurting one of his creatures.

we went on, still racing, coming upon a train, matchingit speed for was on our left. we went around a curve and the train sped off in another direction. we came across the photographer. both, in fact, were there.

as we pulled up, i had thoughts of high school flashing in my head. i thought, the gang's here. it's a rural-ish area. all we need is a cooler full of beer and we're in good shape. when i aproached one of the photographers (dennis), he asked me, "where's the beer?" he had similar thoughts, too.

as fire trucks raced in and out of the airport runway area, it became apparent nothing waas up, no plane down. we packed up and headed back to the office, wind pouring in through the open windows and us talking about plane crashes, me saying i'd never covered a plane crash and jcr saying he'd been at two of them.

we zipped through an seemingly empty town and cruised on over to the office just in time to head back out the door at midnight.


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