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 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.