I was minding my own business, throwing together a salad for a late lunch when I heard a loud thumping crash.  I rushed to the foot of the staircase and shouted upstairs, “What WAS that?”

I fully expected a dismembered child to come limping out of a bedroom or for someone to explain that they accidentally blew a hole in the roof while combining a super-secret, yet lethal combination of Axe body spray and spoiled milk.

But no child appeared.  And no one shouted back.

And then a second house-shaking boom exploded, causing me to shriek again, “WHAT WAS THAT?!”

My daughter appeared at her bedroom doorway on the verge of tears.

“It’s okay.” I said.  “Sit right there.”  I motioned at the foot of the stairs.  A sleepy-looking teenager appeared from his room.

“Stay here!”  I said.

I went outside to see if a car had crashed into our house.


I accounted for the other teenager and ascertained that everyone was alive and well. (The 7-year old was at a neighbor’s house.)

I went into the back yard to scan the house to see if maybe the chimney fell off.  I walked into the front yard to see if I could see smoke.  Maybe something exploded somewhere, I thought.

A neighborhood kid rode by on his bike.  “Did you feel that?” he said.

“I did.”

I thought maybe a car had crashed a few roads over.  Or there’d been a natural gas explosion.

Google suggested that there had been explosions somewhere.

Twenty minutes, maybe thirty minutes later, the actual report came out.

Apparently, some clueless float-plane pilot didn’t realize that there were temporary flight restrictions in the entire region because President Obama was in the area.  Mr. Float-plane flew through the restricted area and two F-15 military jets were scrambled.  They created sonic booms as they raced from Portland to Seattle (in eight minutes, or so I heard).

That was just about enough excitement for one day.

Thank you, Mr. Float-plane.  I almost died from heart failure.

But at least none of my children were crushed by a falling bookshelf.

3 thoughts on “BOOM! BOOM!

  1. How funny! As I was reading this I was thinking to myself, wouldn’t it be funny if it was just good old-fashioned sonic booms? A regular occurrence when I was growing up. And then you said that yes, they were! I used to love those heart-skipping booms out of nowhere but they were banished from the skies ages and ages ago. Obama was here? Hmph.


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