Friday, December 12, 2003

Well, I had MY adventure for the day while I was driving to work this morning.

I saw the "Ramp Work Ahead" signs on the WW bridge, and presumed they referred to the exit ramp that leads to the Black Horse Pike. Sure enough, from my vantage point on the bridge, prior to reaching the ramp, I saw what I presumed to be road-resurfacing going on. After all, there's one part of road-resurfacing that involves applying I-know-not-what, but whatever it is causes big clouds of white steam to rise from the road surface. And I certainly could see plenty of white clouds rising from the ramp. I mumbled to myself about stupid road work schedules that involve creating steam during rush hour, and made my way onto the ramp.

Shortly after I exited the bridge, I realized that the only other vehicle on the ramp was NOT performing any sort of road work. It was a car that was pulled over onto the shoulder and was ON FIRE. Two people were standing outside the car, and one was trying to aim the tiniest fire extinguisher I've ever seen into the engine block, by way of the driver's side wheel well.

It's fortunate that there was NO other traffic on the ramp at that time, because the immense white clouds emanating from the car were absolutely opaque (and, of course, the wind was directing them across the traffic lanes). But once I passed through the zero-visibility area, I caught sight of the actual construction workers, a few hundred feet away at the very end of the ramp. They were leaning over the concrete divider and watching with interest as the smoke rose from the car. I'm sure they'd have been even more interested if they could see the guy on the other side of the smoke cloud, who was trying to put the fire out with the dollhouse-prop-sized extinguisher. None of them appeared to be making a move toward either assisting the people at the scene or contacting help.

In fact, there was no evidence that assistance was on its way from ANY direction. So as soon as I reached the Black Horse Pike, I pulled into a parking lot and dialled 911. (What did we do before cell phones became widely available?) When I described the location of the car fire, they told me that help was en route to the scene. Good. I'm glad to know that someone had already called 911. It's better that 911 get a bunch of calls for the same emergency than for everyone to think "Well, SOMEONE will call, so I don't have to".

In any event, I believe I've satisfied my Minimum Daily Requirement for adventure for today, and I'm quite ready to have a nice peaceful rest-of-the-day.

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