Almost exactly one year ago, the weather here was much like it was today; cold, blustery, gray, with limited visibility and a Snow Advisory. As I dropped my mom off at her house after the movie (yes, sorry; we got sick of sitting inside after 8 hours and went out in it anyway) I passed the fateful corner...
[originally posted December 26th, 2007]
I cautiously maneuvered my car down my mom’s residential street on Christmas Eve. I was very focused (there was a Winter Weather Advisory in place). The roads were slippery, and as I mentioned previously, the wind was whipping up in very impressive gusts, causing poor visibility. So you can imagine my alarm when I observed a small child (clearly no older than four or five) on the corner up ahead. He/she was dressed in a red snowsuit and was playing right on the street corner, alone. What kind of child is so hearty that he wants to play outside by himself in this kind of weather?! I wondered, bewildered to come upon anyone outside, let alone a solitary preschooler on a snow bank, near the street. "Never mind his stamina," I thought,"What kind of parents would send their little one outside, alone in such weather?!" Cursing these malcontents, I cautiously approached the intersection.
It was then that I understood why this “child" was playing alone, for it was not actually a snowsuit he wore, but a red coat of paint! This child was actually a fire hydrant! (I'm not kidding.)
Needless to say, rather than calling Child Protective Services, I silently thanked God I was alone in the car and had not voiced my alarm to anyone else. I can laugh about it now. (I hope you did, too.)
[Update: December 2010. It snowed a lot recently, and on my way to Mom's house, I passed by the now-infamous corner. See if you don't blame me for thinking that was a little kid!