In case of emergency


There are two doors in our house: one in front and one in back. That should be sufficient, but you never know.

There are two windows in the kitchen, but only one is big enough to crawl through. There’s a trap door that leads to the crawl space under the house, but no way to crawl out once you’re down there, just solid walls of concrete foundation. So if you go down there, you’re screwed.

In my oldest daughter’s room there’s a door that opens to the back yard, but she doesn’t want me in her room, so that’s no good. My youngest daughter has only one tiny window: She might fit through it, but not me. There’s a window in the living room but it sticks. It opens, but I can’t depend on it opening, I have to rattle and coax, so it’s no use.

In the bedroom I share with my husband, there’s a door that leads out onto the roof. The roof is steep but if I could make it to the edge, I could shimmy down the fig tree.

All the rest of the windows are either too small or sealed shut. If I had something big and heavy, I could use it to smash the glass. A hammer or maybe the cast iron frying pan. I wonder if I wrapped my hand in in a towel, could I punch my way through? Just smash my fist right in and crawl out through the shards.  In case of emergency.

About Anna Fonté

Girl in the Hat, aka Anna Fonté, is an author who writes about invisibility, outsider status, everyday monsters, and her attempts to befriend the neighborhood crows. The things she writes want you to look at them.


  1. gailytr

    love this. i end up dying to get out. for god’s sake, keep a frying pan in the bedroom.

  2. Todd

    I always have to read you twice at least… cuz I aint that… umm. Now I’m feeling it, the rumbling, but its not an earthquake. Maybe a hatch in the roof and an ejector seat, with rockets.

  3. I was wondering what to say and then there were big bright balloons across the street and I think I should send you one because you could be outside with it, floating together. With the kiss I blew you. Armed with a brick or a towel.

  4. I heard about the rumbling over there. Be safe!

  5. What good is a trap door leading to a trap? Maybe hire some prison escapees as consultants/contractors to fix that.

  6. Karin

    You know I work with emergency preparedness, right? So 1) rope ladder stored by your window, 2) hire a carpenter to fix the windows, 3) make a bigger window, 4) your daughter will want you in her room in case of emergency. None of those matter in regard to your lovely words, but this piece is too short, I want to know more…

  7. Hi Anna – nothing that will help you to get out of your house in an emergency, but I thought of you when I heard a radio programme that featured a Norwegian song about a giant crow (it’s a traditional song and not the kind of lullaby that a mother crow would use to soothe her babies in their nest at night). Maybe it’s on your playlist, but just in case not: There’s a translation a bit below the video. I like the Hardanger Fiddle playing on it. I don’t know if you can get BBC radio programmes where you are, but here’s the programme where I heard it – it’s Marina Warner talking about fairy stories and the crow song comes about 35 minutes in:

    All best wishes

  8. I know! Keep the Chicago Manual of Style on on your nightstand. In case of emergency, hurl it at the window. Surely that would secure your safety!

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