Monday, April 9, 2012

Pair of Mice Lost in Jet Crash

Friday's jet crash in Virginia Beach has been called "The Miracle on 24th Street".  You know - the huge explosion, fire everywhere, toxic fumes, hundreds of kids traumatized, a whole bunch of elderly folks now homeless.... "miracle" is the only word that comes to mind.  Unfortunately, the crash did cause some fatalities.  Pet fatalities.  Fatalities just as important as any others that would have gone unreported if it wasn't for me hanging around the site and talking to people.  I spoke to lots of residents of Mayfair Mews on Saturday and lots of friends and family of residents.  Nearly 100.  I learned a few things from my experience.  First, when microscopic carbon fibers get into your lungs - it hurts.  A lot.  I've been coughing nonstop.  And people love animals.  A whole, whole lot.  Here are some that are no longer with us.

Pip and Squeak 
(Squeak is on the left in the
photo - Pip is on the right)

Owner Frida D. called them "the nicest little creatures on the planet".  She'll miss making them special holiday cookie treats and watching "Deal or No Deal" with them.  "We all hated that banker guy that's up in that darkened room.  Squeak would make a loud hissing noise whenever he called Howie."  Tears came to her eyes when she recalled the first time she saw them shivering and huddled together in the pet shop.  "They were so small and helpless.  I felt like I could give them a happy life and I did...a horrible, agonizing death - but a happy life."

And that's it.  Yep.  Just two mice.  Amazing, huh?  All of the pets have been accounted for and most are doing fine.  Here's an update on some that survived.


Hans the parrot let out a big squawk a few seconds before the crash.  Owner Wesley L. jumped up from his easy chair, grabbed his wife Julia, and immediately hid in the closet because, according to Wesley, "Hans never speaks.  He's a nice quiet bird.  I knew he was alerting us to something dangerous."

Lord Dunbar

Pearl V. was eating a carrot when she thought she heard her television fall over.  "I thought it would happen one day", she explains "My television stand is real flimsy.  I got it at Super Kmart up at Hilltop and it just leans to the side.  My grandson put it together and he said there could be a piece missing, so I called the Super Kmart and told them about it and they said that they would need to see the box it came in.  I said that I threw the box out and they said maybe I threw away a screw or a nail with the box, but I said I didn't think so, but I called my grandson to check the trash and see if it was in there, but he said they empty the trash on Monday and I think it was past Monday by that point."  

Lord Dunbar dragged Pearl out of her burning apartment.  Neither was injured.  Fortunately, the television stand was incinerated beyond all recognition so she can stop worrying about it.


"Dopey is just dandy", owner Julius Q. beams.  "When I told him we lost all our stuff and had to go live in a hotel he yawned!  That's such a typical Dopey thing to do.  He had so many lovely gowns and coats and sweaters, but they're all gone.  I told a man with the military that they were valued at over $30,000 and he said that he would tell his commanding officer immediately and everything would be taken care of.  That was Friday night and I haven't heard anything...yet.  At least he still has his favorite hat!" 


Neighbors were less than thrilled when they learned that Kiefer the dog was alive and well after the crash.  Don B. lives a few apartments away from him but hoped the dog had perished in the fire.  "All that damn dog does is yap.  All the time.  It's worse than the jet noise.  After the initial terror of fleeing and not knowing if the world was ending, I thought 'Wow - now at least maybe Kiefer is dead'.  I know it's horrible to think, but it's true."  Don's wife and several neighbors nodded in unison.  Kiefer's owner Nadine E. says she's glad he's alive.  When I asked if she's ever thought about trying to stop him from yapping so much like maybe taking him to the dog place on Birdneck for some obedience training, she replied that she was deaf and didn't care.


Owner Sylvia W. says that all Bosco does now is stare at local news on television.  When the news isn't on he stares at the phone.  "Just back and forth.  All day and night.  Hardly eats anymore.  It's sad.  He used to be so fun".