Toilet Tornado

Who created this piece of art? I do not know. The GG has been on the move this week, dredging through old files and paperwork and I’m not sure where he found this artifact but he presented it to me along with a notecard that included a control file from my childhood job at That Darn EPA and a bunch of camping-type receipts and other ephemera from our honeymoon trip through Cananananada to the beautiful maritime provinces. I do not want to keep all of it but I haven’t sorted through it yet. I didn’t even know we still had all of that stuff.

So my first thought was that one of the beach urchins created this after our encounter with the Toilet Tornado. But I dunno. For one thing, this is a watercolor and I’m not sure the beach urchins had mastered this kind of skill, at least not around the time we were hit by the Toilet Tornado. Also, this pic is on water and there are boats. We ran into the Toilet Tornado in our loverly Island Teal minivan, the POC, on the freeway.

I do not know who painted this beautiful pic but I will (again) tell the story of our encounter with a tornado on the northbound I75 SUV Speedway, July 4th weekend of 1997. We were headed north for a long weekend at Houghton Lake and the moominbeach. There were weather warnings. We got just north of Flint (yes, *that* Flint) when things got fugly. The sky was black as all getout and the radio was blaring tornado warnings and faaaar engines were sitting on top of highway bridges, waiting at the ready.

I was driving and there was a rest area and the GG said to pull in. I was freaked out, so I did. I saw a guy walking around with a coffee cup. How can he be so nonchalant? I was ready to go hide underneath a crappy old rest area toilet. The GG told me to drive OUT of the rest area. I was not happy about this but we got onto the freeway entrance ramp and he said, “Stop here.” The tornado rolled through at that point. It rocked the POC a bit but that was about it. A highway sign near us broke off and I will never forget seeing a young woman running, crying, out of her overturned car on the freeway.

Mouse was behind me during all of this and I reached back and grabbed her hand at the beginning of it. I could see Liz back in the 3rd minivan seat and I wanted to reach her but I couldn’t. For miles after that we drove slowly through blinding sheets of heavy rain and eventually my mouse let go of my hand.

When we reached Hoton Lake that night we called home and left a message on the answering musheen (remember those?) to check on all of the stuffed aminals and let them know things were okay.

2 Responses to “Toilet Tornado”

  1. isa Says:

    I don’t know who made that! I was ok at watercolors for a while though, thanks to Ms. Austen in middle school. So I sort of thought me for a minute? But I think that’s better than I could have done. Honestly, are you sure this isn’t an old work by TMOTU?

  2. Margaret Says:

    That’s a terrifying story! The thought of being that close to a tornado makes me shiver. That’s a good watercolor. It’s a tough medium according to my artist. (Ashley)