Monday, September 12, 2005

LA Department of Water & Power puts the LA in blackout

It was one thing (and a horrible one at that) when I was two days late in hearing about the devastation caused by the hurricane in New Orleans--What kind of an ignoramus doesn't know that a major U.S. metropolis has been flooded. I mean Noah lived in an age before wireless servers and still he knew to swing by in his luxury cruise ship (little known fact that his Arc was really a Carnival cruise ship on route to the Dominican) to pick up the animals two by two. Yes, that was one thing not to hear of the disaster many states away until days later. But when one's friend in NY calls to ask about the terrorist threats on your city--well that seems bordering on the absurd. It seems bordering, one might say, on the time to purchase a cable package, one with HBO and the Soap network and ESPN and...oh, I don't know...maybe news?!?

The city of Los Angeles experienced a major power shortage this afternoon, which I was alerted of by a concerned roommate calling. I happened to know nothing of it as my work is in Beverly Hills, a Los Angeles neighborhood with, apparently, great powers of resistance against misfortune. While out and about for lunch I overheard a radio declaring that there was "no foul play" involved in the day's inconvenience. Well, the only foul play I could tell of was the unequal distribution of black out upon the city. It seems all rather unfair that I was not awarded the hour off that I'm sure other businesses were forced to grant employees, who like myself, work all day at computers in offices with no windows, making electricity doubly pertinent to getting on.

Well, that was the end I supposed. That is, until said friend in NY called me to inform of terrorist threats on Los Angeles. Checking online I learned that P was right. The New York Times (no, I will not yield to the LA Times for even local news if it is to be deemed credible), sited that "The blackout, which occurred just after 12:30 p.m. Pacific time and lasted for less than an hour in most areas, came a day after Sept. 11 and amid reports of threats by Al Qaeda against the city, setting off jitters citywide." A disturbing concept on many levels. ONE. Terrorist threats are just generally disturbing, especially if followed by actual terrorist acts. TWO. How had I not been privy to this news of threats, oh...let's say yesterday when the knowledge might have served as a catalyst for precaution. THREE. The Los Angeles militia that might band together in the case of such an event--a frontline of plastic surgeons with Botox needles and scalpels as weapons, too worried about damage to their manicured hands for hand to hand combat, a team of starlets high on cocaine and armed with Black Amexes, and the cast and crew of Laguna Beach bringing up the rear fighting evil with high ratings and a lot of boring dialogue.

So, my first California scare came today, not in the form of an earthquake which I've been trying to mentally prepare for for some days now, but as a city-wide blackout, which a) I was not aware of til it was almost resolved and b) did not realize should have been a scary incident until the evening's discovery of terror threats. Having survived this [not-even-nearly] catatstrophic event, it can only get better in L.A. from here. I am one with the Los Angelians now, having shared these moments of city-wide panic I didn't know about.

I am off to bed now, feeling very Californian. And also very sure that I have just moved to the likely mark of the next Al Qaeda terrorist attack. To those of you on either coast who've got cable, do me a favor please and let me know when to duck and cover.

* Jessie

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