So there's this flaming truck in my driveway...

It’s Monday at 2 A.M. I’m sound asleep. I sleep hard, and as noted in a previous thread, become very disoriented when woken from a deep slumber, as some of you probably do.

Ding dong. Bang bang bang. Ding dong. Bang bang bang bang. Dingdongdingdongdingdong.

I calmly get up, see red lights flashing throught the front bedroom windows. I get dressed, brush my teeth, put some sandals on. Red flashing lights should be triggering something, but they’re not. I get a drink of water. The knocking has stopped, so it must not have been important.

Red flashing lights? I feel like Arthur Dent when he saw the bulldozer in his front yard on that (for him) fateful day. Something should be triggered by the lights, but nothing happens.

I go to the living room and hear the sound of high pressure water hitting metal. I open the side door and quickly shut it. When I saw the flames shooting up 10 feet from the truck, I woke up.

“Ahhh… now I understand the red flashing lights.”

I quickly go the front door and out into the front yard. I walk around to the side yard and there in the driveway, firemen are extinguishing the truck. And my van. And the yard. But thank Og, not my house. It did not require extinguishing.

I simply looked at the truck, looked at one of the firemen, then without a word, walked back in the house and picked up the phone.

I called my father, because as, you may have noticed, I have called it the truck, because it is not my truck, it is my father’s that I had borrowed for the weekend.

“What’s wrong?”
“The truck’s on fire.”
“The truck’s on fire.”
“Did it burn to the ground?”
“Don’t know, it’s still burning.”
“I’ll be right there.”

Walked back outside and the firemen had doused the flames and were spraying foam. I talked to the Chief, gave him my name and address for the report. One of the firemen told me that if the house hadn’t been made of brick, or if someone hadn’t driven by and called it in when they did, the house would have caught, too. I live in a rural area with no neighbors that can see the house. No regular night-time traffic, either, so it was pure luck that someone drove by. There was no evidence of foul play and all of the firemen agreed that it started under the dash or in the engine near the firewall and was probably electrical. They pack up their gear while I’m following them around verbalizing my appreciation for putting out the fire and keeping it from getting the house. They leave, lights flashing no more. I stand there in the dark, report in hand, looking at a smoldering heap of metal.

My father gets to my place shortly after, Mom in tow. He looks at me and asks, “So, you still want to buy the truck?” That broke the ice. We talked about the options, they went home around 3:30, I tried but failed to sleep, and called into work. Spent the day looking at the NADA values for the truck and vans and phone correspondence with the parents and helping get the insurance particulars in order.

Full light of the next morning (Monday) revealed nothing but a shell, badly warped. My VW van parked in front of it was gutted, and the other VW van parked beside it suffered severe paint damage along with melting the turn signal indicators and reflectors on the side closest to the truck, and a cracked windshield.

The fire came within a foot and a half of the house.

Currently, I’m counting my blessings. It could have caught the house on fire with me inside. It could have happened at Lady Baggins’ house the night before, where it would have burned the house down with us inside. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I narrowly escaped death and I am lucky to be alive, but it could have been much worse.

Just thought I’d share.

I wonder what the Vogons had against your dad’s truck? Probably it was some mixup with paperwork.

There’s an insurance book that lists values of cars and trucks, and it’s called NADA? That strikes me as funny.

National Auto Dealers Association. Known for their “Blue Book” (which is actually an unattractive shade of yellow)

Lesser known publication is the National Auto Dealers Association - Zip Into Local Car Hang Outs. Otherwise known as Nada Zilcho.

Baggins, glad things weren’t any worse! Very scary!

Best wishes for a happy outcome with the insurance folk.

NADA values. I missed that. That’s funny. I think Kelly actually has the blue “Blue Book,” but they didn’t go back far enough online for the buses.

Nangleator - I’m sure whatever the Vogons wanted was on file for my review in a nearby sector, it’s probably my fault that I didn’t bother to look at it.

I hate when that happens.

But I’m glad you had the wherewithall to brush your teeth.

Glad you’re ok.

This is why I have a dog. He certainly would have made me aware of a burning vehicle and/or the fire department out front.

Thankfully, he isn’t named Ford Prefect, and I now promise that I shall never name a pet such.
That really sucks, Baggins. Sorry you lost your vehicles.

Proper hobbit holes aren’t made of brick, they’re dug out of the earth, which would have protected you just as well. But hobbits always park their VW vans around the side in a two-hole hobbit garage.

Hope you had your towel with you. A towel is the most important thing you can have with you in an emergency.

Glad to hear you and your father aren’t too down about the loss of his truck.

Now what would the Guide say about a flaming truck, in Baggins111’s driveway, at 2-3AM, on Planet Earth?

At least the truck doesn’t talk. Or else it would have been very, very depressingly sarcastic.

Dude. Why didn’t you answer your door? Who the hell calmly brushes their teeth at 2am when someone is desperately trying to get your attention?

Did you miss the part about the disorientation? I’ve been there.

My disorientation lasts around 15 seconds. So I guess I can’t relate.

The worst for me is when I am woken out of a dead sleep for some reason, then shortly afterwards I fall back asleep and remember NOTHING. I’ve had whole conversations with people during that time and don’t remember any of them.

I also have the disorientation thing, but usually if I am woken up by something or someone, rather than waking up on my own. It doesn’t last very long though.

Glad you or your house was hurt by this.

I have also had three late night wrecks in my yard in 6 years. I guess I was probably thinking it was another one of those. Let’s see who wrecked this time…

The disorientation was particularly bad that night. I hadn’t slept very well since Thursday night, so I was out like a light. At first I couldn’t tell if it was the phone or the alarm. Then I realized it was the doorbell. I did talk to the firemen while they were packing up and they said that if it had been bad enough, or if I was in danger, they would have busted the door down and come in. They saw the lights come on and figured I was trying to figure out whether to wind my ass or scratch my watch. It’s not uncommon.

The toothbrushing got to me, too. But, congratulations, I guess.

I’ve had cars hit the house I was living in a few times; the flashing lights ALWAYS bring me to instant awareness.

The cars ripping down electrical wires and wrought iron fences, or stoving in kitchen walls never do.

‘Is that a live electrical wire?’
‘Probably just a phone wire.’
‘Sparking like that?’
‘Yeah, probably.’
‘The tree is on fire.’
‘It’s raining.’
‘Are you going to call the fire department with your radio, or should I do it from my house phone?’
‘It’ll go out.’

I called from my house phone.

OK. Am I the only one that finds that odd?

Or, did you just do that because you were really disoriented and maybe thought it was 7AM (or whenever you normally get up?) Or, did you maybe think you could get lucky with whoever rang your doorbell?


Morning disorientation? Hell, it’s a way of life for me. Every morning when I wake up I have to figure out 1) what city/state am I in, 2) am I supposed to go north, south, east or west, and 3) which way is east, west, south or north?

It’s just part of being an over the road driver.

I never knew I would catch so much flak for good oral hygene in a moment of disorientation. It’s not like I stopped to floss.

When I get up, the first thing I do is brush my teeth. Doesn’t matter what time of day it is. If I take a nap, I get up and brush. It’s a habit thing.

And no, I thought it was odd, too. I have kicked myself in the ass many times for not being able to snap out of it and be aware of the problem at hand.

Baggins, I don’t think anyone (meaning ME) was giving you “flak”

I just thought it was kind of odd. I’ve never even considered brushing my teeth at a time like that before!

It’d be kind of like, oh, I dunno… making breakfast at the same time… Not that there’s something wrong with it, just, kind of odd (I guess, unless you’re really hungry).

Baggins11, I’ve got to tell you something very important. I’ve got to tell you now, and I’ve got to tell you at the pub down the street. And bring your toothbrush; you’re going to need a very stiff drink, and wouldn’t want it on your breath now would you?