After an afternoon of rushing for a deadline, taking Sprocket out for a quick walk, I walked over to a video shoot (Tracey’s thirtieth class party) at Ottawa University.
As usual, I was listening to a podcast while I walked (Astronomy Cast #279, The Hubble Constant) as I walked along, as snow fell around (and on) me.
I was walking down Cumberland Street, just south of York, when I saw headlights of a car coming up the street quickly behind me, then I heard the sound of tires spinning on ice, as those headlights swept past me, onto the building beside me.
The car was obviously out of control, and I was inconsiderately in the car’s way to the wall. I stop-jumped backwards and moment later the car fish-tailed the other way, with the rear of the car bouncing over the curb less than a metre (Americans: less than a yard) from where I landed. The landing was not without theatrics as I landed on snow and ice, but with some clever windmilling motions of my arms and flailing of my legs, I remained upright.
Perhaps I should consider joining the Canadian Ice Gymnastics team.
Had I turned to look or jumped forwards instead of backwards, the rear of the car would have slammed me into the building.
With that realization my body finished dumping it’s supply of adrenaline into my bloodstream – after I actually needed it.
In retrospect, there wasn’t *actually* time to experience fear for my life – it was after the fact as I dissected the event in my head when I realized just how close I came to being paste.
The rest walk to to the shoot walk as quiet as any walk in the OttawaU area can be, as I imagined various things to do to the driver of the car that would inevitably lead me to the dark side of the force, and then set my mind to the task of returning to an even-keel state.
I arrived, chatted with a few folk, and went about setting up my gear. When it came time to power the camera up, it was completely unresponsive.
Triple-checked the connections. Nada. Swapped batteries. Nothing. Changed to wall power. Niet. The camera had worked when I tested it earlier. What had happened? Damaged in the trip over?
This time, the fear came up readily. There probably wasn’t time to source another video camera – except my iPhone, and it’s battery wouldn’t last the evening. Actually, I don’t know that for sure. I should try and see how long it takes to kill the iPhone’s battery recording video.
What would I do? How could I let these people down?
My logical brain smacked down the irrational side of my noggin and resumed command. I took the camera off the tripod, and began to check every button setting… When I came across the Lock button, which was engaged, and preventing the camera from “accidentally” powering up.
I think I can blame this on adrenaline-brain, or at least that’s what I’m telling you. ;-)
What I found fascinating was that both of these events evoked a specific emotion, but very distinct versions of it.
On the plus side, one of the ladies brought me a dragonfly (as seen in the photo here), the conspiracy to surprise Tracey to celebrate her thirtieth class party worked, a second conspiracy to celebrate some birthdays succeeded, and I got to catch up with some folks I hadn’t seen in some time.
Lesson: Appreciate the backwards jump. It’s the little things.