The Blessed Smell of Survival

CN TowerWith a game scheduled for 18:30 by Pearson International Airport, I was keeping a close eye on the weather. Around 15:00 it started getting awfully dark outside. By 15:30, everyone in the office was at a window enjoying Mother Nature's little show as the lightning shot down from the blackened sky. By 16:00, I was worried my ball game would be cancelled. It was pouring out, it was still very dark with thunder and lightning and the wind was blowing so hard it appeared the trees lining the street below could snap in half.

Just as I was about to hit the road and make my way to Malton Valley Park off of Airport Road, a friend mentioned the plane crash at Pearson. I hit the web, read that Air France Flight 358 from Paris had indeed crashed during landing at 16:03, and hit the road. The radio kept me abreast of the situation, informing me that the 401 was closed and traffic near the airport was a nightmare. As I drove towards the eye of the storm, I could smell the Airbus A340 burning. It was a choking odour, reminiscent of burning rubber. It was around this time that Steve Shaw, a vice president of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, told the media that all 297 passengers and 12 crew members on board the flight had survived. That foul stench in the air was the blessed smell of survival.

I fought my way through horrible traffic only to learn that our game had been cancelled because the field was flooded. I had 309 awesome reasons not to be upset.


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