Monday, April 27, 2009

In Which Melissa Escapes a Burning Bus...

Oh, so you thought I was kidding. I was not.

There I was last Saturday sitting in a little shuttle bus getting ready to cross the George Washington Bridge, just minding my own business, or maybe putting the finishing touches on my makeup (in defiance of Goal 80), when it suddenly started filling up with smoke. People jumped up and demanded that the driver open the door--a couple of guys opened the emergency exit in the back--and we all got out into the heavy bridge traffic and made our way to what little shoulder there is on the bridge. (I decided to jump out the emergency exit in the back, because that was way cooler than going out the regular way.)

So there I was on the side of the road with all kinds of people crawling by and NOT ONE offered to give me a ride over. I was on my way to a dress rehearsal, so I called my contractor and told her what had happened. (It turned out later that someone going to the same rehearsal had just driven past the bus and had seen the smoke and people getting out.) As I was talking to her, the fire escalated and flames started bursting out, so I decided to get away from it in case it exploded. Oddly enough, I was the ONLY one who left. I don't know what the rest of them did, maybe they walked across to the other side.

Owing to my quick thinking--I walked through the (now-not-moving-at-all) traffic back through the toll gates and up to the taxi stand and had a taxi take me over the bridge on the lower level, which was somewhat backed up by people diverting, but not too bad, and then deciding to take another taxi downtown because the damn A train wasn't running from the bus station--I got to my rehearsal only four minutes late, and they hadn't even started singing yet.

It turned out that another singer had been in a taxicab accident right before that and she was a lot later. What a day... I still think mine was the more dramatic excuse. People are in cab accidents every day; but burning buses...

I took the picture because I looked back at the smoke and it was getting bigger and blacker...and I thought, hey I have a camera on my iPhone! I hardly ever remember to take pictures. Too bad you can't see the bus and the flames, but really, I'm not such an intrepid photojournalist that I was going to go back in for a more dramatic shot.

The construction guys didn't say boo to me when I walked right through their worksite. You can tell from the photo they don't seem too concerned. No doubt they see buses burst into flames all the time.

13 comments:

solarity said...

That is Too Much Excitement for one day. You can just see the construction guys thinking "Not our fault, so it's ok."

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Melissa said...

Yeah, Mary Anne, it's so true!

Crabby McSlacker said...

What an adventure, and glad you got a picture!

The GWB is evil. We got stuck on there for over 2 hrs when driving back from our cross country trip, and it was a weekend! Some accident from the night before apparently needed investigating and they decided to close it down for hours. (Good thing we were in the van and had a bathroom!)

Smart thinking to get out of there and get a cab.

Melissa said...

Yes, Crabby, I have a love/hate relationship with the GWB. I do love the bridge, it's so super-built and when they light up the towers on holidays it's just spectacular!

But I frequently get stuck there on my way into the city...

Did you know it's the most heavily traveled bridge in the world?

POD said...

Just looks like another day to me.
I'm glad you made it to rehearsal though.
I would have been scared. When you first knew the bus was on fired, did you immediately move out or kind of sit there frozen in place? (THose are usually the folks that roast.) I'm glad you survived.
Now watch out for the swine flu!

Melissa said...

Oh no way, POD, would I sit there frozen in place. Once the bus was filling up with smoke, we all got out of there fast.

Congratulations on winning the book!!!

Sbanfnyc said...

I wish you could have gotten a nice pic of just looking really pretty in front of the fire. It would have looked great on the fridge.

the Bag Lady said...

Holy crap, Melissa! What an adventurous life you lead! But at least you made it to your rehearsal in good time!

Oh, and to answer your question over at Solarity's blog - a shirt-tail relation is someone who is related to someone you are related to, but isn't really any relation to you. In this case, it was my hubbys' brother's wife's sister's birthday. (Far easier to say shirt-tail relation, eh?)

Melissa said...

Or Bag Lady, you could say your brother-in-law's sister-in-law...but still, shirt-tail is easier!

solarity said...

And shirt-tail is much easier than "my uncle's stepson's ex-wife's new husband's mother." Yes, I do consider her a relation. ; )

Mary Anne in Kentucky

the Bag Lady said...

But Melissa - my brother-in-law's sister-in-law is me! *snort*

Melissa said...

Oh duh...

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