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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Mean Streets of Los Angeles

At approximately 1pm this afternoon, the Wave-inatrix was on page 59 of a lovely epic script set in 10th century Scotland when a sharp rapping came at the front door. Well, more of a pank pank panking since the door is glass. Stay with me here, it gets good. I opened the door and was greeted by a young LAPD officer who succinctly informed me that I had two minutes to take my pet and valuables, exit the house, cross the street and keep walking. He seemed earnest and quite sincere so I decided to follow orders.

I joined the rest of the block, including the guys from Subway, the Bagel Broker (best bagels in LA, trust me) and Paisano's (Italian AND Mexican food - why?) as we gathered across the street, mildly panicked and wondering what in the hell was going on. We could hear the picketers cheering sporadically and assumed they were in no danger themselves, owing to the cheerful sounds. We were informed that there was an "unknown device" in the alley back of our block. Beverly Boulevard between Fairfax and La Brea was closed to traffic. And we knew that because approximately one trillion cars were diverted to a small street upwind of us. But we were taped off, we neighbors. No coming or going on our block. We waited for an hour. We got hot. We got thirsty. Some of us had to go potty.

More police cars came, then an ambulance and a firetruck. It was almost a merry scene. Then we heard it - BOOF - and a flock of birds scattered. The bomb squad detonated what turned out to be an empty red suitcase that had been left in the alley. Now - seriously - if you were going to leave an incendiary device somewhere and truly meant to do harm - wouldn't you choose something a little lower profile? Maybe a half-eaten bag of WonderBread or a rolled up sleeping bag with pee on it - some normal detritus of urban living?

It matters not. Ninety minutes after ordeal began, we were allowed to return to our homes, with the bagel guys cursing under their breaths that they were going to charge the LAPD for the dough that had long since risen and fallen. The pigeons returned to their phone wires, the strikers kept chanting, horns continued honking and we all got back to the business of living in Los Angeles. Like it never happened.

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Anonymous said...

It was probably Nick Counter's lunch bag.

Julie Gray said...

My God - now that you mention it - the bomb squad was covered with deviled ham!! Aaeeiiii!

Anonymous said...

yeah, i was driving on beverly around that time (1 pm) and assumed there was an accident UNTIL I saw the bomb squad van, and then I realized the trap I was in. L.A. sucks. Must move to smaller town, asap.