Poetry: ‘The Night the Food Truck Exploded’

Twenty fourteeners of disaster, wherein a humble roach coach magically transforms into a weapon of mass culinary destruction.

Exploded foot truck. (Anonymous image via foodtruckfatty.com)
Exploded foot truck. (Uncredited image via foodtruckfatty.com and other sources.)

(From an article by Mary Lynn Smith & David Joles)

That Sixth of March in Lakeville will not soon become forgotten,
That night the food truck blew up – shredding metal into cotton.
Nothing but the steering wheel remained in place next day;
Every other particle was blown to Mandalay.

The evening had been peaceful, with most folks tucked in bed,
While visions of the Weather Channel or hockey round them sped.
Sidewalks had been shoveled, and a thaw was on its way;
The quiet bourgeois neighborhood in guiltless stupor lay.

But forces beyond man’s control were working late that night,
Preparing to give man and beast a Brobdingnagian fright.
(Of course the ladies are included in this epic tale;
Common gender nouns in English often tend to fail.)

The clock had struck eleven when the detonation brought
The residents of Lakeville underneath a juggernaut
Of sound and fury so severe that many thought a rocket
Had targeted their wardrobes down to each and every pocket.

Condiments in packets fell like sleet, and bread rolls too;
Had there been a sheep about, he’d now be Irish stew!
But miracle of miracles, although the wreck was vast,
Not a living soul was injured in that lusty blast.

The angels, or the dybbuks, or whatever you may please
Protected all those innocents from looking like Swiss cheese.
But sadly not a one of them was ever heard to claim
That fate or divine power had preserved them from the flame.

The crater quickly filled with slush and ketchup, while the smoke
From smoldering, glowing embers still the firemen did choke.
Shards of glass lay scattered round about like gemstones freed
From treasure troves of misers who repented of their greed.

Authorities swarmed over the explosion site with care,
Examining debris under the microscope’s stern glare.
They broke for coffee often (and to have a little smoke)
And with their rods and rulers they did prod and they did poke.

What caused this fulmination is debated with contention;
Was it cooking gas, or worse, a terrorist’s invention?
Was it sabotage by a competitor’s paid lout,
Or had it been a discontented jar of sauerkraut?

No one knows for certain why catastrophe made sport
Of such sober people who but rarely did cavort.
But just remember, food trucks, though they serve a menu broad,
Can suddenly and noisily become the hand of God!

Published March 10, 2015

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