I was driving down the road when the glass table fell out of the sky and smashed into my car. Shards of glass exploded all around, blanketing the street.
I’m totally serious, that’s what happened. And the rest of the story is just as weird. It happened on a busy corner in Millcreek. I was driving down 33rd South and was about to pass through a green light when something caught my eye. There was a coffee shop, and right in front of it there was … ahem … a tornado. It was a mini one, like a funnel cloud picking up dirt and debris. It was strange because it hadn’t been a windy day.
Anyway, I happened to notice it, when suddenly the funnel cloud picked up a glass table with iron legs (from the coffee shop) and threw it over a wall and into the street. Just as it had almost landed, I smashed into it with my car.
It was one of those frozen moments, the kind where you know disaster is coming and yet there’s nothing you can do to avoid it. I’d been surrounded by probably 20 cars going in the same direction, and yet the table picked me out of all of them and thought, “That’s the one I’m going to hit.”
Just kidding. Tables don’t think.
I screeched to a halt in a sea of glass. After a few deep breaths, I got out of the car. People in the coffee shop were taking pictures. A few of them offered me their phone numbers in case I had to explain the situation, because no one would believe me.
I got back in my car and pulled to the side. There was glass everywhere, in my hood, in my tire treads, in my hair. (Not sure how that happened.)
We decided I had to call the cops because the glass was causing a traffic jam.
You can probably imagine how the conversation went.
“Salt Lake Police Department non-emergency line, how can I help you?”
Me: “Um … A table hit me.”
Her: “Are you OK? How fast were you going?”
Me: “About 40 miles per hour. I can’t vouch for how fast the table was going, although if I remember physics correctly, it was traveling 9.8 meters per second squared.”
Me: “Listen, bottom line is there is glass covering the street and it’s causing traffic problems.”
She verified that it was a dangerous situation and said she’d send Unified Police.
Now I’ve had a lot of weird things happen to me. But I’ve never been driving along, seen a tornado at a coffee shop and then had a glass table “Dorothyed” over a wall, hitting my car. What a world, what a world.
I told a friend, who asked, “What if you had been one second earlier?”
I answered the obvious. “I’d be not only merely dead, I’d be most sincerely dead.”
But really there was very little damage to my car, considering what had happened. My friend said, maybe it was the universe giving me a shot across the bow. Bough? Now I must look it up. I’m back. It’s “bow.”
A shot across the bow. Meaning a warning. But against what?
I called my mom and told her what happened, and she said, “Well, I was just at the makeup store and saw a grown woman pick her crying baby up out of a stroller and start feeding it. Then I noticed the baby was plastic.”
Touché, I guess?
It’s hard thinking this was anything but a sign, and until I find out what it’s a sign for, I’m going to watch the road and the skies, because you truly never know.
Brodi Ashton is a New York Times best-selling author who lives in the Salt Lake City area. She’s also an occasional columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune.