I never go to disaster movies: they're all special effects and stock characters. That said, I've been watching one from my window for the last several days and I'm absolutely riveted.
It started when I heard rumbling across the street at the Lake and Forest garage. Turns out the teardown was starting. I watched as this huge piece of equipment with giant claws - I think we called them steamrollers when I was a kid - sidled up to the Lake Street entrance to the garage. It raised the claw, and just BIT OFF the elevator, the highest appendage. I was smitten.
I grabbed my coffee, pulled my chair up to the window and called my across-the-hall neighbor to watch the spectacle.
Next the claw monster approached the building and tore off the front wall, which crumbled like drywall, laying bare the concrete floors and beams. Aha, I thought, these will stop this monster. But no, it approached each floor, took a bite out of the center, placed it on the pile behind it, and then went back. The jaw closed, tapped on each floor several times and each floor collapsed. By now the jaw machine was making quite a mess, but it just rumbled to the top of the mess to attack the next floor. Wow.
I love to cast movies in my head. Let's pretend that the parking lot is full of cars and people, drenched with gasoline, and the exits have been sealed off by the malevolent John Malkovich, who has been fired by the heroic foreman - Matthew McConaghy - for not registering to vote. He has managed to sneak into the rig after killing the regular driver, one of the blue collar types who appear regularly on Chicago Fire and Chicago P. D.
The emergency crews arrive, sirens blaring. Barking orders, Police Chief Helen Mirren and Fire Chief Denzel Washington exchange sarcastic barbs, even though they're having a secret affair. Bruce Willis stands around smirking.
Behind the barriers, John Mahoney weeps, knowing that his daughter is inside in her car because he refused to let her use the half of his garage that was filled with organic garden equipment.
Come on, this is Oak Park, folks.
Finally, a black limousine pulls up and real estate mogul Christopher Walken gets out. He climbs the rubble, gets in the claw cab, and tells Malkovich that he can have the penthouse in the new high-rise if he surrenders. Malkovich eschews the apartment, but asks that Walken promise an organic grocery store. Walken shoots him. As Walken is being led away, he says "I would have said yes to Tiffany's"
Answer Book 2019
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