Friday, February 03, 2006

Come on Baby Light My Fire...Seriously…Light It!

At 4:00 this morning I thought I heard someone breaking into my car. I couldn’t be sure of course, after all, it was early and I was slicing mushrooms and there was this fat kid who had run away leaving the skinny woman to writhe her hands and debate whether she should go after him.

I told the skinny woman she should do what she feels is right, but I knew the fat kid was lost. So I woke up to check if my ford escort pony was still in tact. The weird dream aside, I could tell I was delusional, fat kids and skinny women, sure, but I should have known that no one in their right mind would break into my escort. I haven’t driven it in about 5 months; it’s so covered in dirt that any potential vandal would probably just mistake it for a giant dirt clod anyway.

Careful not wake Tanya, I went to the front window and looked out. Nothing there. But someone was in the construction site next door. For a better vantage point, I went into the bathroom and climbed up on the counter (risky behavior for someone half asleep in their underwear).

There was a blonde girl rooting around the cinderblock foundation next door. The only thing that’s built so far is the parking garage, and that’s not even finished. They have scaffolding set up to create a form in which they’re going to pour concrete and create the sub-floor for the living areas. All I could see of the woman was that she was youngish, blonde, dressed like a beatnik (beret and tight black clothes) and talking to a guy who was obviously hiding out under the scaffolding. I used my powerful deductive skills once again to figure out that her partner in crime was a man.

It helped that as she was walking around she blurted out “dude, I feel kinda’ bad…and not in an ‘in my body’ way.” So unless she calls everyone dude (I had a girlfriend like this actually, she called everyone “dude,” guys, girls, appliances, it didn’t matter) the person she was with can only be assumed to be a dude. And I couldn’t rule out the beatnik thing.

So I did what any other LA resident does when they see someone break into something, I shook my head…and went back to bed.

But then it started to smell like an oil refinery in the bedroom. The beatniks were burning things next door.

This time Tanya got up with me to investigate. Sure enough, as I watched from the bathroom window, I could see an orange glow emanating from the cinderblock window of the parking garage. It was probably time to call the cops.

What constitutes an emergency? Do pyromaniac beatniks warrant a call to 911? Tanya and I thought so.

The 911 operator had different priorities.

But eventually Tanya was conferenced into the police and the fire department. When you’re conferenced into two public safety organizations after calling 911, there’s a lot of pressure. Those beatniks had better be members of Al Qaeda attempting to enrich Uranium in that half built parking garage.

I could tell that Tanya was worried that our threat wouldn’t measure up. She was doing a good job of talking it up on the phone, but she had her doubts. After all, the orange glow had disappeared.

And then I saw it.

Another orange glow! Sweet vindication! The fire department was on the way! The cops were on the way!

And then the second orange glow went away too.

And the fire department was on the way.

The cops were on the way.

We didn’t have a fire.

At least they would catch the beatniks and throw them in prison for trespassing. That’s something. If you’re forced to wake up at 4 in the morning, the least you can ask for is to see two beatniks get incarcerated. So we waited for the cops to come.

In a remarkably quick time, the fire department showed up – sirens blaring. There’s no one on the street at 4am. I’m not sure what the logic behind the sirens was. But it did have a couple of effects. It woke up the entire neighborhood...

And scared the beatniks away.

The fire department stood around the chain-link fence, shining their ridiculously huge flashlights into the construction site. They saw nothing. I knew that’s what would happen. They scared the perps away with their totally uncool siren-blaring. And they never entered the site, and I know that their flashlights have the power of 20 suns, but unless they can shine through walls, a more thorough investigation would have been needed to turn up evidence of the fire.

I was doing just as good a job investigating as they did. And I was standing in my kitchen!

Then we get a phone call. It’s the fire department. They found nothing. Duh. Would I come down and tell them what I saw? Sure. I’ll tell them all about the beatniks and their bad grammar and orange glows.

So I get dressed and head down to the fire truck, trying not to be seen by the criminals so as to avoid any retaliation at a later date. And I tell them what I saw. They guy looks at me, his eyes red and tired and says “well, we didn’t see anything.”

And they drove away.

Why did I have to get dressed and go downstairs in the cold just to be told the exact same thing they told us on the phone?!


That’s the only thing I can think of.

And then the cops showed up. And they saw nothing, but we never got the chance to explain to them how the fire department scared off the perpetrators. Morning was coming, and frankly none of us gave a crap anymore.

And that’s why I skipped the gym today.

Fun Fact: We never found the fat kid.

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