What a crazy, fucked up day. One for the record books to be sure.
Those of you who know me know that I have been playing in a yearly tournament with a select group of gamers for decades. We try to get together 1 day per month to play our game, today was that day.
During a break after a rather long game, we heard a large vehicle hit the driveway hard and fast, getting all of our attention. Standing at the counter at the time I look out the kitchen window to see a white truck zoom past much too fast for the amount of driveway that it had left. Fortunately for the driver our parking lot was full and those parked cars stopped the truck from driving into a ravine.
Not knowing what the hell was going on or who these people were who came barrelling into our yard at such breakneck speeds, we collectively went out to investigate. A large, white Ford truck is running in the driveway with both doors wide open, no one in it. I look to my right and see nothing past the white truck or the parked cars. I look to my left and there is a 20 something woman hitching a backpack up and making a beeline up the driveway and back to the road.
I pick up my pace and call out to her to which she looks back at me and quickens her stride. This is not the response of someone who wants help. I’m thinking she looked pretty scared, definitely trying to escape something. She starts half running and easily outdistanced me to the end of the driveway. It is then that I see a man on the street. Knowing that both doors on the truck were open and there is a scared woman running out of my driveway, I naturally change my attention from the woman and move to confront the man.
I ask him what’s with the truck? Who he is and what the hell do they want? He tells me that he has no idea and that he was a neighbor who was coming to complain about the extremely dangerous driving, especially with all the kids out riding their bikes in the cul-de-sac on this fine sunny afternoon. My focus goes back to the woman who continues her hurried pace down the road, moving even faster and still ignoring my calls.
By now a small crowd of neighbors has gathered out front of the house and we compare notes, sparse as they might be.
The other gamers had spent their time checking out the back yard when I went to the front, and added their description of events in the back 40. Turns out that the driver, another woman they thought, had bolted out the door and ran down our very steep back lawn leading to a swampy, overgrown ravine complete with a winding river in the middle. You could even follow her tracks as the driver jumped a fence and broke through a mass of swamp grass. Whoever it was would have gotten pretty messed up in their escape, I wonder if they got away.
The consensus out front with the neighbors was that someone had to call the cops to report this. Seeing as the truck came into my yard I took it upon myself to call it in. Come to think of it this was the first time I had ever dialed 911, I hope it is also the last.
The 911 operator gets on the phone and asks “Police, Fire or Ambulance?” I respond with “Police I guess because I didn’t know who to ask for about a truck being abandoned, running in my driveway.” She asks me the color of the truck to which I respond, white and she tells me that they are actively looking for a white truck. I told her that they could stop looking because it is parked in my driveway.
Upon license plate verification she orders everybody to move away from the truck so as to not confuse the scent because they were dispatching dogs. I was told to go out to the street to look for a cruiser to arrive. While I waited she gathered all of the information over the phone. The neighbors, knowing that the cops were coming, all kind of drift back into their homes. I can hear, and see a bunch of cops racing around on the hunt all over the neighborhood.
Eventually a cop shows up and starts taking the particulars and surprisingly, shares a little information. It turns out they were looking for a pair of women for some reason, he never said, and it was likely these two as they matched the description. Personally, I only saw one of them but the other guys at the house said they thought the driver was a woman and turns out that they were right.
As we were talking to the cop the K9 unit rolls up and it is a black, unmarked, militaristic looking SUV. The cop tells us that we needed to step back and give the “fury chainsaw” some room as he drops his own hands in defence of his crotch as a warning to the wary. The K9 handler gets out of the truck and he is all in black, looking more like a swat team member than a regular beat cop. He brings the dog out and it is an amazing looking German Shepherd, a finer specimen of a working dog I have never seen.
With the K9 unit working the grounds we felt it was a good time to head back in and start another game. With the white truck blocking the driveway until the cops were finished with it and could tow it away, we were all stuck at the house anyway.
Over the past couple of decades of tournament play we have had some pretty amazing times, a lot of good laughs and gamesmanship. Sure, occasionally there has been drama when the competition gets tight or plays are made through spite. It is just part of gaming, no one takes it seriously for too long. But never before have our tournaments ever been so severely disrupted. I mean come on…seriously, WTF?
To make things even worse I had to miss one of our gamer’s 50th birthday bash while we waited for the white truck to be towed. Happy Birthday Rob.