We were sitting on the curb, The Wise Cellist and I, about 2 a.m., when I turned to her and said, "That’ll Blog."
We stayed up late watching hurricane coverage, while I wove in the ends of the Cloths for Katrina I’ve been knitting for the past few weeks, which may well become Cloths for Rita instead. About 12:30 we turned out the light and went to sleep.
Suddenly I was jolted awake by an earsplitting screech, opened my eyes to see flashing lights. TWC awoke, too, and we quickly (thought not as quickly as one might like, looking back on it) realized we needed to get outside. I grabbed my purse and cellphone and threw on my fleece vest, slid into wool clogs and we were off. The alarm continued for 25 minutes or so.
TWC opened the back gate of her Honda, where we sat next to a box full of teddy bears made by her church school kids for Katrina evacuees. We joked around with some of our conference mates, talked about how much fun we were having, eventually moved to the front seat. The alarm stopped. We were about to return to our room when a young man wearing a badge came out the door and instructed us to move to the front lobby, as there was "a small fire at the other end of the building."
"If there is a fire at the other end of the building, why are you asking us to come back inside?" I’m one of those people who likes to point it out when the Emperor has no clothes on, don’t you know. As I type this, a woman on the highway leaving Houston says the trouble is that people followed instructions. We walked around the outside of the building and gathered with others in front of the building. Some people were in the lobby, but we could see what looked like the smoke from an electrical fire down the corridor and decided to wait outside.
Cute Acadian Pastor broughts us chocolate and buttercrunch-covered almonds. I told TWC the story about the one time I smoked something that left an aroma behind. She laughed.
Sometime later many firetrucks arrived. They mostly came to the wrong place, turned around and sought the other road.
That’s when I turned to her and said, "That’ll blog."
Eventually we learned there was an electrical fire in the elevator shaft at the end of our corridor. We got back into our room about 2:45 a.m.
It gets better.
This morning we went to breakfast. Everyone looked so cheery! They were all smiling. I was feeling tired and grumpy. So was TWC. I asked if anyone had been staying in the hotel? (Some are in condos or commuting from home.)
"Yes!" said a smiling old lady. Turns out she was in a room a few doors down the hall from us.
"Did you hear the alarm last night?"
"Oh, yes! We just covered our ears and went back to sleep!" This story was repeated throughout breakfast. "We called the operator and told her there was an alarm in our room. She said it was throughout the hotel! So we went back to sleep!!"
TWC to Songbird, sotto voce: "You have to wonder who did the stupid thing."