It was almost like a Simpson’s Halloween special. In fact it happened a few days before Halloween…
October 29, 1 PM:
A U-Haul truck towing a flat bed trailer drove past my house. Perched on top of the trailer was a shiny white Co-op Taxi. I assumed someone was moving in down the street, and that they happened to own a taxi.
October 29, 2 PM:
The U-Haul truck towing the Co-op taxi drives past my house again. They circle the block and park at the south end of the street.
October 29, 2:55 PM:
I drive my daughter to work. We slow down as we pass the U-Haul truck and its unusual cargo. Two people are walking across the street, apparently having exited the U-Haul. One is wearing a large, furry cap and a heavy coat. Very odd, since the weather is only a few degrees below zero. My daughter comments, “Gee, what’s with the weird-looking people?”
October 29, 3:10 PM.
I return home. The U-Haul is still parked, but no visible sign of activity.
October 29, 8:55 PM.
On my way to pick up my daughter from work later that evening, I notice the U-Haul and its cargo turning a corner several blocks away off the main street. Seems odd. Shouldn’t they have moved in by now and parked the taxi?
October 30, 9:00 AM.
The U-Haul with the Co-op taxi on the flatbed has returned and is parked in its spot at the end of the street.
October 30, 10:00 AM.
The U-Haul drives slowly past my house. This time the Co-op Taxi’s windows are all covered with white cloth of some kind. I wonder if someone has vandalized the windows during the night.
October 30, 10:20 AM.
The U-Haul is apparently circling the block, since I’ve noticed it drive by several times. I come to the conclusion that this is not an ordinary person moving into the neighbourhood.
October 30, 12:30 PM.
The U-Haul passes my house again, windows now uncovered and intact. By now we are rushing to the window every time, peeking out the curtains, speculating on what could be going on. I wonder if I should call the local media to report these mysterious activities.
October 30, 12:32 PM.
The U-Haul passes my house, but stops at the corner. My daughter and I paste our noses to the window, trying to see past the reflection of the sun in the window to peer inside the taxi. “There’s someone inside!” she gasps! I squint and tilt my head…. and finally agree that there is definitely movement inside the taxi. We notice two shiny round orbs in the rear windows of the taxi. The U-Haul back door is raised, and it seems like there is movement somewhere deep in the interior as well. A few moments later the U-Haul drives on. Maybe some kind of surveillance is going on? Maybe we have spies living down the street? Maybe it has something to do with the Adult Video Store that recently opened up at the end of the street and the neighbourhood protest?
October 30, 12:35 PM.
Another daughter phones to chat, asks what I’m up to. A bit sheepishly I admit to her that I’m glued to the window watching a strange U-Haul/flatbed/Co-op Taxi thing circle my street. She says, “oh yeah, I saw that yesterday!” She went on to explain that the previous afternoon after leaving my house, as she drove past, a bunch of people were standing on the street next to the U-Haul, dressed in clothing that looked like turn-of-the-century immigrant garb. They all smiled and waved vigorously at her as she passed by. Hmmm. Maybe they were smuggling aliens?
October 30, 12:55 PM.
The U-Haul has once again parked at the end of the street. I keep peering out the window, but nothing is happening. My computer is on, and I have an assignment due, with a deadline looming, but I can’t tear myself away from the window.
October 30, 1:30 PM.
After extensive discussion, my daughter and I discard the surveillance theory, and the alien smuggling theory, and conclude that this must be some kind of a film crew. Although what they could be filming is beyond our best guess.
October 30, 2:55 PM.
I drive my daughter to work. The U-Haul is parked at the end of the street. As we slowly cruise by, we notice two people sitting in the back of the taxi, and someone in the front facing back. A few people are standing around outside the U-Haul.
October 30, 3:05 PM.
I return home. I drive past the U-Haul VERY slowly, paying very little attention to the road in front of me in my eagerness to devour every detail of the U-Haul, the flatbed and its contents. I was rewarded by the sight of an assortment of equipment, including a small camera sitting on the floor of the U-Haul. As I neared the driver’s door, a man who looked very much like the “director type” walked past me. Yes! It was obviously a film crew. But what were they filming? I had watched a “?reality’ TV show a few nights back that featured conversations with taxi drivers…maybe they were doing an episode?
October 30, 3:15 PM.
The U-Haul drives past again. I decide to take a picture the next time, and perch myself in my front entrance with my camera.
October 30, 3:17 PM.
October 30, 3:20 PM
October 30, 3:25 PM
October 30, 3:31 PM
I’m getting desperate for a picture. I open my front door and tiptoe out onto my step, barefoot in the snow…to peer down the street. The U-Haul is parked and not moving. I see people walking around.
October 30, 3:38 PM.
At last! My patience is rewarded and I get a single picture of the U-Haul as it rounds the corner. But it doesn’t turn out exactly as I hoped, so I decide to stand at the door for a while to get more pictures.
October 30, 3:55 PM.
I’ve been waiting for almost 20 minutes, jumping out on the step every few minutes to look down the street, hoping to catch the U-Haul. My course assignment has been forgotten for hours now, but I keep telling myself that soon the U-Haul will pass by again (after all its been doing that for days now!).
October 30, 4:05 PM.
The phone rings. My daughter asks me what I’m up to. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m still looking out the window, this time with camera in hand. I tell her that I have positive proof that it’s a film crew of some type, and we speculate on what kind of production they are filming.
October 30, 4:15 PM.
I’ve been jumping out onto my snow-covered step for almost an hour, camera in hand, and my feet are getting numb. Suddenly the Co-op taxi whizzes by! I lean out the porch and realize that the flatbed on the back of the U-Haul is now empty!
October 30, 4:30 PM.
No sign of activity, no U-Haul driving by, and the taxi is long gone.
October 30, 5:00 PM.
I give up, put the camera away and finally return to my computer and my assignment. The U-Haul is still parked at the end of the street, bereft of its cargo.
October 31, 9:00 AM.
The U-Haul, flatbed and taxi have left the neighbourhood for good. What they were filming may forever remain a mystery.
After this article was written, I sat down to watch the new episode of the Simpsons. Homer gets inebriated and is sent home in a taxi from Mo’s bar, only to show up on TV the following day, caught by the hidden cameras on, “Conversations in a Taxicab.” Perhaps my neighbourhood really has turned into a Simpson’s Halloween special! Hopefully I won’t soon be seeing myself on some reality TV show about nosy neighbours – peeking out my window and jumping out on my snow-covered step in my bare feet with my camera!
Debbie is a native Edmontonian, and a single parent with four daughters. She has worked as a professional musician for most of her life, and has enjoyed a rich variety of life experiences – with many more to come! Debbie is working towards an eventual doctorate in psychology, and currently serves as the president of the Athabasca University