Sunday, August 10, 2008

In My Own Backyard

The other morning I had an experience that with a few changes could have easily been in HOOKED ON MURDER. Somehow the action always seems to show up where ever Molly is - even in her own backyard.

There I was in my night gown, drinking my morning coffee when I heard this loud noise. At first I thought it was the replacement instant hot water thing we recently had put in. When it goes through whatever it goes through it sounds kind of like a plane overhead. But this noise sounded different and definitely like it was coming from outside. When I went out into the yard and looked up, a helicopter was hovering directly above me. I mean if they had dropped something out of it, it would have hit me on the head. I think the helicopter situation in Southern California is different than other places. They are all over the place here. The police use them, all the news stations have them. Big Army ones fly over occasionally. When there’s a forest fire, large red ones ferry huge containers of water.

The one above me wasn’t a police helicopter. They always seem to circle and make a thwacking sound. This one was staying in one place and making a loud constant drone. The way it was hovering made me pretty sure it was a TV news one. I’ve seen them before, hanging like dragon flies when there was the end of a police car chase or a bank robbery in the area.

So there was obviously some news story happening nearby. I rushed inside and looked out the front window, expecting to see maybe a SWAT team moving down the street or at least a bunch of police cruisers. The street was quiet. Even the landscape workers across the street weren’t there.

I tried going back to my coffee, but the noise made it impossible to ignore the helicopter and I went back outside and stared up at it again. It was in the exact same spot. With a thought that whatever was going on might be live on TV, I turned on the small kitchen set and started flipping through the stations. That TV isn’t connected to anything and relies on an old rabbit ears antenna for reception so the lower channels were all fuzz, but I could tell by the sound it wasn’t any breaking news. I kept moving up through the channels and then suddenly when I got to the Fox station, there in the corner was a notation saying something like live from Sky Fox.

There was a shot of a backyard and some woman in a red dress talking on the phone. Who knew Jillian Reynolds, the co host of Good Day L.A., apparently is one of my neighbors and that she had just come back from a vacation in Cabo and the show decided to make a surprise visit via the camera on the helicopter.

So there I was listening to the helicopter over my head and watching what it was seeing on my TV. Maybe it’s just me, but it seemed kind of interesting strange. It seemed like the kind of thing that would happen to Molly, only if it had happened to her there would be more to the story.

Molly would put down her crocheting and figured out which house it was and probably showed up there in time to find a body floating in the pool or at least ended up on camera.

Me? I just finished my coffee and thought I have something to put in my blog.


Monica Ferris said...

I remember reading a news story a long time ago about a reporter finding a group of people watching an exciting incident being reported live on television. They were watching it on a tv set in a sales window -- and the incident was actually happening right across the street! Apparently real life can be too exciting for some people. This is very peripheral to the story you told, but your story reminded me of that one.

Allison said...

For a minute there I thought you were going to say when you turned on the tv, you saw a woman in her nightgown looking up at the sky...and then figured out it was you. Talk about a candid camera moment!

Anonymous said...

I expected the same as Allison. LOL I know what you mean about helicopters. We get that a lot here in Maryland too. So close to DC, we get them in all shapes and sizes.

Karen Syed
(A Good is Hard to Find)

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, I can see why my story reminded me of yours.

Allison and Karen, no question that if the experience had been happening to my character Molly Pink, it would have ended as you thought. She has a habit of inadvertently ending up on the news.

Betty Hechtman said...

oops! Monica, I meant to say I understood why my story reminded you of yours.

Camille Minichino said...

Now we're all waiting for Molly to follow a helicopter!

Kathryn Lilley said...

We very rarely get helicopters over our beach town, but we often get single-engine planes pulling beer banners! When I do hear a helicopter flying low, I make sure every window is locked, and the doors--I figure they're looking for someone...

Terri Thayer said...

Love your dragon fly description of the helicopters. That's perfect.

I was visiting Alcatraz yesterday and when we out into the yard, a helicopter flew overhead and lingered over us. I felt as though Nicholas Cage might jump out and start a prison riot.

I'm glad it was not a sinister reason why it was there. Of course, if you used that in a book, no one would believe it.