Sunday, January 17, 2010

One Day


2:30 AM - The high pitched, insanely loud apartment fire alarm system wakes me and sends the cats into a tizzy.

2:33 AM - After a couple minutes determining whether this is a real fire (which you do in apartment buildings because there's no sense getting dressed and standing outside if someone just pulled the damn alarm and ran) I smell smoke and decide to find my shoes.

2:34 AM - With one shoe in hand, the neighbor begins beating on my door furiously. When I open it I hear the first words of the day, "Your truck is on fire." The only appropriate response, "My truck!?"

2:35 AM - Standing with my neighbors outside the parking garage, it looks like my neighbor was right. Through the smoke and flames, its hard to tell which car is one fire, but if its not mine, then mine is sure to have some melty bits when this thing is over. This will be the topic of conversation for the next few minutes.

~2:40 AM - The fire department has arrived. The LA Sheriff's Department has arrived.

~3:00 AM - The fire is out and the smoke thinned enough that my neighbors are reporting my truck looks fine (how so many people knew it was my truck has started to interest me). The truck does appear fine. The apartment fire sprinklers seem to have saved my bacon.

~3:20 AM - The fire department lets me in to examine my truck and other than a layer of black soot, it appears unscathed. Now I'm getting annoyed because I just spent $20 getting a very nice car wash and this is how the fates repay me.

5:00 AM - Bathed, fed and less annoyed about being up so early I head downstairs to go to work. The truck won't start. Could it be soot in the air cleaner? Did some computer chip get overheated?

5:01 AM - I call the boss to see if he has left for work and whether he can pick me up. After hearing my story he actually returns from work to get me.

5:02 AM - I open the door of my truck and step into a large puddle of gasoline. For the next several minutes I try to determine its source. This involves the discovery that my usually reliable flashlight is losing power and that all my other flashlights are dead. It may be time to develop a better emergency response system. I also discover that the fuel line has been ripped from my gas tank. Car fire next to me...broken fuel line on my car...coincidence? I think not.

5:10 AM - I call the Sheriff's Department with my tale. There's some conversation about non-criminal events and what they should do about it. "Send someone out here, maybe," I say. Brilliant.

5:30 AM - The boss and the deputy show up at the same time (the boss drove 15 miles, the deputy 1 block...just an observation). The deputy takes some notes and I got to work.

4:00 PM - The people from AEG (owners of LA Live, the Staples Center, Nokia Theater, etc.) have invited us on a tour and to LA Kings hockey game. My company makes the official hot dogs and sausage of the Kings. The boss and I head downtown.

4:45 PM - Drinks at ESPN Zone.

5:30 PM - Meet with AEG reps and begin tour.

~5:40 PM - Standing in the front row seats of an empty Nokia Theatre.

~6:00 PM - Standing in the VIP area of Club Nokia watching the tech people rehearse the PeeWee Herman's Playhouse stage show. The set, just like from the television show, is occasionally moving.

6:30 PM - Open the door to the suite at Staples. The bartender welcomes us in. There's free hats and bobbleheads and food. We eat. I marvel at what it must be like to be rich.

7:30 PM - The hockey game begins.

7:45 PM - One of the unbelievably attractive ice girls takes away Ed.

~8:00 PM - Bailey, the Lion mascot for the Kings, stops by the suite to dish out grief, kisses, hugs and high fives in equal measure. The Kings score a goal and Bailey throws all our napkins over the ledge.

~8:15 PM - Ed appears on the Zamboni.

~8:30 PM - The dessert car arrives. My day has reached its zenith.

~8:45 PM - The full contingent of ice girls return. Eric pops up from his seat like his pants are on fire. Pictures are taken. Many married men have disappeared as the cameras start emerging.

A little after 9:00 PM - The boss is tired and wants to go. In so doing we miss meeting a hockey celebrity and having our bobblehead autographed. Fortunately, hockey is not a sport I have a vested interest in and missing Luc Robitaille will not haunt me.

10:00 PM - I go to bed. This may not have been the most interesting day of my life, but it's in the top 5.

Other notes: It turns out that someone had pulled the fuel lines on several vehicles in the parking garage. For what purpose, we do not know but it did melt one Ford Explorer Hybrid into a charred remnant. Meanwhile, I have $580 worth of fuel lines, vacuum hoses and return lines being shipped from Detroit and get to keep riding with the boss for a few more days.

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