Monday, August 01, 2005

What's that song about Miami?

So, I go to the ladies' room and when I get back everyone is standing at the window looking down. Never a good sign. I've seen the result of a high rise jumper up close and personal before and it's really not an experience I wish to repeat.

Turns out it wasn't a jumper, it was a hanger. No, not that, thank goodness.

Some guy had rented a hotel room across the street, hooked his climbing gear to the balcony and hung himself by a harness off the balcony alongside a banner and then threw a bunch of fliers out onto the street. We couldn't read the banner and rescue services blocked off the street pretty quick so we never did find out for sure what his plan was.

I did the color commentary:

"See that guy, the one on the balcony above? He's a firefighter. See how he has a helmet on? He's going to get his harness on and repel down to the guy's balcony. It's safe, he's trained for this, he probably had to beat out 6 other guy's for the privilege."

And he did. Then he opened the door to the room so more firefighters could come out to the balcony. There was plenty of personnel from the city's fire and police departments to get one guy off a balcony. Many of them stood around and pointed and discussed the best course of action but it does actually take probably a dozen guys to effect such a retrieval. The guy had made his harness short enough that you couldn't just haul him onto the balcony below and unhook him and he was too belligerent to pull him back up over the top so some guys held his legs (and probably applied some handcuffs) and other guys took down the banner and figured out how to give him enough rope to get him lowered onto the balcony below and into the loving arms of the Peace Officers who later frog marched him to a waiting cruiser. It was fascinating in a grim/stupid way.

Later on the receptionist got a little more info. I was headed out for an errand and there were a lot of firefighters hanging around but they were so beautiful and I got shy and then I saw one guy that I thought I could approach but when I really looked at him I realized that I could be old enough to be his mom so I ran away. Hence the calling of the much younger than me receptionist to do a little detective work.

She was told that it had something to do with Miami tourism (we're not sure if he's pro or con) and that he claimed to have explosives on him (and yet they didn't evacuate the hotel from which he dangled, not sure how that works) but it turned out he didn't.

Nothing like a little excitement to liven up a dull Monday afternoon. If my live depended on guessing correctly what he was protesting I never in a million guesses would have thought "Well, of course, Miami Tourism."

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