Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Swimming Dead

So it was an interesting commute home last night.

Record rainfall in Toronto (yes, beating the previous rainfall record set in 1954 by Hurricane Hazel) -- no, not Mississauga's mayor, who is sometimes referred to by this name, but an actual hurricane - I remember hearing about it a lot when I was a child; my Mom would come into a room I was playing in -- and, of course, making a mess in -- and would say: "It looks like Hurricane Hazel came through here!"

In any case, at about 7 PM on the QEW in Mississauga, traffic came to a complete stop in both directions.

A transport slowly makes it way through the flooding that has stopped traffic in both directions

The QEW was completely flooded near Hurontario.

A police officer with a shovel walks through the flood waters looking to unclog storm drains

A few cars that had tried to make it through were either stuck or had just made it through before their engines had died. A few transports actually slowly chugged their way through. Some of us cheered them on each time they made it through, and they'd blast their horns proudly.

It was like an ad-hoc meetup (as one of my friends on Facebook posted)

The QEW stopped in both directions from flooding near Hurontario Street

And, when I was walking down the middle lane of the 403 on the opposite side of the highway (taking advantage of the simple joyful fact that I could walk down this completely barren stretch of highway), another one of my friends said my posted self-portrait reminded them of Rick Grimes -- another than the pictures I was posting looked like a scene out of the first episode of The Walking Dead.

Look Ma, I'm Rick Grimes, walking down a barren stretch of highway during rush hour

"The Swimming Dead, more like," I thought.

People in the crowd enjoyed talking pictures of my skeleton Barnaby, who was sitting in my passenger seat.  I quipped about the poor guy being frightened to death by all the flooding, or that he was alive when I first got on the highway.  (Yes, great ice-breaker when people say:  "No, really - why do you have a skeleton in your car?" It gives me a potential chance to let them know I'm a horror writer - always be promoting......)

I couldn't resist taking a picture of Barnaby in traffic -- if he had just a bit of flesh on his bones he might look a bit more like a scene from early episodes of The Walking Dead.

Barnaby doesn't seem all that phased by the fact that the QEW has become a parking lot

Despite the frustration, most of the folks stuck in this traffic were in good humour. We had to admit that we were lucky not to have our cars flooded over the way we noticed had happened on some other routes, and on a couple of the GO train lines.

It was interesting to see, though, how easy it was for our little part of civilization to come to a complete stop and just how fragile our day to day routines really are.

And, of course, more fuel for a post-apocalyptic storyline I've been kicking around in my head for a while.....

Yes, everything is fruit for a story. I'm a writer. What else do you expect?

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