Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Great Rugby Tornado

Over the years I've had various reoccurring dreams... most of them are horrific in nature, probably due to all the films and violent video games that I play. Some of them are weirder, like one where I'm at a presidential election where the person to win is the one who can sink a basketball shot from a certain distance.

But one that I've had on and off is the one where I witness a hurricane from the safety of my mum's living room. I casually watch out the window as trees and cars are flung about and I marvel in the destructive power of mother nature, all from the comfort of my home.

Well I wasn't at my mum's but I was at home when my dream came to reality. (I'd have preferred the dream where I'm rich to come true, maybe next year I'll have that one?)

I was sitting on my sofa whilst my long suffering lady wife Louise was ironing through a huge pile of wrinkled clothes. My daughter (9 months now!) was sitting on the floor playing with her toys. The TV was on and we were enjoying an episode of Community (check it out on Virgin Media, it's very good) when all of a sudden shit happened.

Something out the corner of my eye made me turn to look into the street from where I sat, it was the bush outside my house reacting to strong winds. I watched as the wind started increasing in ferocity, my wife said something I couldn't quite make out as the noise of the wind was growing. My ears popped, due to the atmospheric pressure I assume and then the fence panel from my garden was pulled up and out, which made me realise what was happening.

I picked up my daughter but was at a loss what to do next. Was I supposed to hide under the table, or was that earthquakes? Was I supposed to hide under the stairs? I had no idea. Both my wife and I stood there like rabbits in the headlights, whilst we waited for the tornado to pass.

It had gone as quick as it had come, just like a nervous client at a brothel. So I went out to assess the damage. The street was littered with roof tiles from houses across the road, my bins were knocked over, recycling trash littered the floor. A plant pot (not mine) sat on the front garden, and two fence panels were where they shouldn't be. Not too bad I thought, the car was intact and I checked my roof for missing tiles, which there weren't any.

It wasn't until I went round the side of my house to the back that I realised my garden was where the real damage had been dealt. First of all the fence panels were either damaged beyond repair or vanished. One was in a tree at the bottom of my garden. The metallic shed that my wife had recently spent a few hours tidying, was lying on my neighbours patio but the contents still stood where they had started. A trampoline from four houses down was outside my kitchen window and my neighbours garden that they looked after so well, was covered in glass from their greenhouse and various other debris

I called my mum up, as you do in these situations, as she's also local, and was upset to hear that she'd been alone when it had hit and was quite shaken up. She also told me that she'd heard a horrendous howl and seen rain going horizontally!

I couldn't quite believe what had happened, but what happened next really touched me. Our next door neighbours, the ones with the greenhouse, are an elderly pair of sisters and really nice ladies. Shortly after the tornado had hit, her family and some neighbours descended on her and cleaned up her garden. There was a real sense of community spirit around the whole area which I felt hadn't been around since world war 2 (I'd imagine)

My faith in humanity was restored... now I just have to pull some money out of my ass to fix my fences and get a new shed. Thanks for that God/Mother Nature/George Lucas.

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