BURLINGTON – In a freak twist of nature, a tornado swept across the country this week, carrying debris from as far away as New Mexico all the way to Vermont where it finally petered out and deposited what it had picked up on its cross-country path. Incredibly, a house with a woman inside of it was carried all the way from Kansas and set down near Burlington’s waterfront. The woman, Dorothy Gale, was completely unharmed, and told reporters that she hid under her bed during the terrifying ordeal.
“I was outside fixing my Trump signs. I live in Wellsville you know, but sometimes those kids from Douglas County come around and vandalize lawn signs, and I was out there putting them back up when I see the twister coming. I know there’s no time to get to the storm cellar around back, so I just grab my dog, run inside, and get under the bed on account of I know the mattress might give me some protection. And the whole place starts shaking, and I’m sliding around, holding on for dear life, and I don’t know how long I was up there. They say it was a few days, but it felt like years, and eventually I passed out. And when I woke up, I found myself here.”
Gale was seen exiting the house, which has been found structurally unsound by state officials and will be condemned, and stepping out onto the bike path where she was met by one of the Echo Center’s summer camp programs. The children had seen the house come down and run over to investigate.
“We were working on an experiment with bubbles,” said camp counselor Conrad Lyon, “and it was just the most surreal thing you’ve ever seen. This house is just, you know, there all of a sudden, and the kids are blowing bubbles and then, through the bubbles, steps this woman, pretty banged up, and she has no idea where she is. But the kids were great. They really wanted to help her. A few other people stopped by to help, and we walked her up to Main Street Landing to try to get help.”
Lyon and the children were joined in aiding Gale by stand-up paddleboard instructor Sam Crowe and Sarah Tinniman, who had been passing by with a load of metal scraps intended for use in creating various Art Hop sculptures around town for the upcoming festival. Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger has called Crowe, Tinniman, and Lyon local heroes, and has invited them, along with the camp children, to a special dinner in their honor next month.
“It was just so surreal,” Gale said to reporters. “All of these strange people and customs. Half of the folks that were trying to help me had Bernie tattoos, and so of course I was scared, but I just wanted to get home. I asked where the nearest city was, and they told me I was already in it, which made no sense. Perhaps there is no green mountain city after all. But I am grateful for their help, those strange little people.”
Gale says that her most embarrassing moment was when she turned and ran off screaming after seeing the flying monkey sculptures atop One Main Street, but doctors agree that her concussion may have had something to do with that. Staff at University of Vermont Medical Center gave Gale a clean bill of health after observing her for a few days, and are still trying to figure out how her head injury cured her color blindness. Doctors asked Gale to stay a few more days to further study this phenomenon, but she declined.
“I will miss everyone here,” Gale said, “and probably that shirtless paddle-boarding gentleman most of all, but there’s really no place like home. Vermont is a strange and magical place where so little makes sense, but I have learned a lot from my time here. Their customs and ways are odd, but I think they are nice enough people. And I want to thank the governor for paying for my plane ticket back to Kansas. This has been such a crazy adventure, I half expect to wake up tomorrow and have it all be a dream.”