How I Spent My Tuesday Night

The view from our driveway.

So we decided to take an impromptu camping trip after a large explosion in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin took down several buildings. And by “we decided” I mean “suddenly evacuated.” If you haven't experienced this yet, having two cats and a dog in the backseat of a Toyota Corolla is a blast... er... uh... not great. But let's start at the beginning...

I was home playing No Man’s Sky (yeah, I really was—hey, those bazillion planets aren't going to explore themselves) when the Barr House exploded. The house shook so badly I thought a cement truck jumped the curb and ran into our residence. I jumped up in my Family Guy™ pajama shorts and checked every room to make sure there wasn’t a vehicle sticking out of a wall before calming down our pets. After all that, I went outside—still in my Family Guy™ pajama shorts and bare feet—to witness all of my neighbors on the sidewalk gazing into the sky at the giant plume of brown smoke (pictured at right the black smoke that soon followed).

Emergency vehicles quickly swarmed our area and by 9pm we were told to evacuate and had minutes to collect our stuff and leave. I guess there was still a danger of the gas lines igniting and blowing up more buildings around us or something, I wasn't really paying attention. So with whatever things we could grab, we headed out with our very confused pets in the back seat to… Culver’s—the place to go when you don't know where to go... and eat fries™. It was odd leaving the house and wondering if all of your belongings were now in your car. After a stop at an evacuation zone, we headed off to a pet-friendly hotel—quite fun with cats who hate change of any kind. Fortunately, we had dog pee pads to retrofit the hotel bathtub into a giant litter box. And a Playstation 4 with no cables, only because I didn’t have time to unhook them. Yes, I grabbed the PS4 and left all my meds in the kitchen cabinet. Priorities.

The next day, we read online that people were being let back in at certain distances, so we got to go home. But for 16 long hours, we got to experience sudden homelessness. It sucked and it really made me empathize with people who lose everything in natural disasters (which is happening all too frequently lately it seems). I’ve always had compassion for them, but now I understand it that much better and… yeah. No jokes here. A firefighter—and owner of the Barr House—lost his life and many others lost their homes, vehicles and everything. It's sad and my way of dealing with literally everything in my life is to make jokes. But it's no joke when my favorite pizza place is shut down indefinitely. See? Not funny in this paragraph. I'm a monster.

So yeah, life is fun.


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