Saturday, November 15, 2008

TEA FIRE LAUNDROMAT

So, as I was driving home on Thursday night I noticed that the hillside near my part of town was on fire.

As I drove down the freeway, carefully rubbernecking with the other motorists, I began to realize the fire was in the hills directly behind our place.

With flames visibly leaping a hundred feet in the air, the sounds of electrical transformers and eucalyptus trees exploding in the distance, and the air chocking with smoke, my mind rapidly filled with a host of anecdotes about people not evacuating when they should.

So after spending a tense hour or so rifling in my piles of junk for my great grandfather's World War One mementos and some family pictures, we loaded the pets in the car and bugged out for a friend's place and then a Motel 6 a town over.

[FILE PHOTO]

Because our dog was nervous and in a new place he naturally decided to urinate on our hotel room bed... twice.

So that is how, on the second night of the Tea Fire I ended up in the laundromat on the edge of forever.

Except for a few people who wandered in and out, the place was deserted.

The decor could best be described as mid-70s gentrified, one of my favorite decorating styles, I'll admit.




Adding to to the strangeness of the scene was the piped-in local radio station broadcast that interspersed reports about the raging fires in between classic rock tunes.

Of course, the paintings of faceless children...

and psychedelic cityscapes were a bit unsettling too.

Of course, there were some nice recent acquisitions as well. Call them post-rinse cycle surreal.


Some elements were less artistic and more pithy commentary on the decline of American school standards. "My School Suck" indeed.

All in all it was a welcome break, if a little weird, from worrying whether our home had been destroyed by conflagration.

We unlike some, were lucky though, and today were able go back home. Other than the overpowering smell of burnt beef jerky or smoked cheese, everything was fine.

But becuase that smell has permeated all our clothes, I see an ancient laundromat in my near future.

12 comments:

Cheetah Velour said...

Glad to hear you're safe and back home!

What is it about laundromats? is there some laundromat supply company somewhere that sells scratched up chairs and ancient machines? So many of them have that same sketchy post-nuclear war look.

Have you ever heard of Duds and Suds? Best laundromat in the world!
Big screen TV, beer on tap, nachos-it's like Homer Simpson's dream laundromat.
http://www.dsmlocalbiz.com/dudsnsuds/services.htm

Jenny said...

Wow. Glad you all (and your house full of thrifted finds) are OK! Great laundromat pictures, too ...

aimee said...

Must have been scary, to have to leave your place and not knowing what would be there when you got back. Glad to hear everything ended up okay! That laundromat looked surreal.

aimee

eniksleestack said...

Thanks for the well-wishes. I promise to get back to the more cheery world thrift-store scores....

I predict another Thanksgiving thrifty crawl coming up. :>

Susan the Neon Nurse said...

Glad you are okay!

Paper Dolls for Boys said...

I felt guilty for laughing at this post as it was, primarily, about wondering if your house had burned down. But it was funny! "My school suck" too good.

Glad all is well, and glad you documented what surely will be the scene of a bad movie one day!

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