Today it rained.
Which was fitting, as I almost got blown up this morning! I was the first car stopped in my lane at a Rail Road crossing. A white van was next to me. A quick glance over to my left showed a young man talking on his cell phone. A look in my rear view mirror revealed a man standing outside his large commercial truck, acting a little alarmed, trying to open the hood over his smoking engine. "Holy crap" I thought. He managed to get it unlatched. As soon as the cool outside air hit that engine the smoke began to bellow. The man quickly closed the hood and ran away from the vehicle. Immediately I and the van next to me were engulfed in smelly gray choking smoke! The train was taking its sweet time moving on down the line. I was able to back up...closer to the smoking truck (you Idiot!)....and swing into a tiny parking lot, trapped by the road next to me and the train tracks behind me. I was still in the blast zone, should there be one. Naturally I was facing the truck, I did not want to miss Death coming for me.
I was so calm calling 911. "Please state the nature of your emergency."
"There is a truck on fire in front of the Train Crossing"
I was blank. Totally blank.
"Is it Lincoln Highway and Hartzell?"
"YES!" (how did they know? Oh yes, the fire station is over my shoulder and the kid next to me is on the cellphone!)
Through the smoke and my front row seat I witnessed another truck behind the first one. The driver jumped out and came running with a fire extinguisher. They tossed back the hood again and the fire was raging!! Flames leaped towards the sky.
Just at the moment the train had cleared the crossing and the arms went up. I was able to escape.
But just barely.
I gunned it and left, with the sound of the fire engine siren at my back.