The movie about 2:30 a.m. in the dark Tuesday morning was something called "Trailer Park Boys." Around the living room coffee table sat Winthrop University senior roommates with a month to go until graduation, Jarrett Nagel and Chance Smoot. The other roommate, Tyler Chapman, snored in his bedroom.
The movie was, by all accounts, terrible - but bad cinema and the late hours of college seniors sure saved Nagel from the ceiling over his bed. Because that ceiling fell right on the bed as a huge oak tree outside Nagel's bedroom fell onto the roof.
"That movie was bad - but at least I wasn't in the bed when the roof fell in," said Nagel later Tuesday as the guys tried to clean up a house that was just about destroyed.
That tree on the west side of the house fell east onto that roof, smashing windows and caving in a wall. Another tree fell on the west side of the house, where Smoot would have been sleeping if he was a "normal" person - no 21-year-old college kid with a month left until he graduates and starts hunting for a job keeps "normal" hours, thankfully.
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In that living room, there were more than a few yells and screams because these guys are college kids and they had not watched the weather reports and had no clue that a storm was approaching.
"All I knew is there was this crashing, and it was dark and it was raining, and we just didn't know what was going on," said Smoot, who is studying art history and expects to work in a museum. Hopefully, one with a good roof.
The next-door neighbor came running over through the deluge to see if the guys were all right - they were. Smoot and Nagel then ran around to make sure nothing else was going to fall down. They called the landlord in Virginia, who certainly had heard every damage excuse in the book from college renters until Tuesday's "trees fell on the house" spiel.
Then the power went out.
Not only were there trees all over the place, but then it was dark and "Trailer Park Boys" could not be finished. Nagel and Smoot turned off all the circuit breakers to make sure there was no fire, then did what guys of any age do: They called their mommas.
"The first thing I heard was, 'We have a problem,'" said Kim Smoot, Chance's mother, who lives in Columbia. "Never a good start with a 21-year-old son."
By Tuesday afternoon, Kim Smoot was in Rock Hill, cleaning with broom in hand.
"I am just thankful they are all right," she said. "It could have been worse."
Darice Nagel and her husband were in Rock Hill from Cheraw helping to clean up the mess.
"Jarrett's bed was right underneath it all," Darice Nagel said.
And Chapman, whose room somehow escaped unscathed? He said he did wake up briefly after all the commotion.
A contractor sent by the landlord, Chris Hustek of HRS Contracting, a specialist in insurance restoration, was there taking pictures of the damage.
"The landlord told me he had just fixed some of this drywall, and I told him, 'Well, you sure have to fix that and a lot more," Hustek said.
Of the 20-plus houses Hustek looked at Tuesday after the storm swept through the Carolinas, the house the college guys live in was the second-worst.
"This one is bad with two trees on it, but one up in Concord (N.C.) had three trees inside the place," he said.
But even with no injuries, and a legitimate, good excuse to miss class Tuesday that any professor would buy, Jarrett Nagel had one other problem. One of those tree limbs outside was sent flying, a spear, through the windshield of his little old car.
By late afternoon, a repairman was fixing the windshield, and the three roommates were carrying ruined mattresses to the curb - and figuring out how they would finish the last month of college without a bed and something worse than a tree falling on them.