La Brea, Los Angeles, 6 a.m. December 12, 2012
Fat juicy rats!
Tar has leaked into the Los Angeles River channel from the La Brea tar pits for many years. Large black streams have traveled downstream between Marvin and La Cienega. There are a tangle of drains, with overflows built into them … A few of these drains have an outlet at Fairfax and La Cienega, bringing in flows from as far north as West Hollywood. There are still active oil wells in this zone, so it is fair to speculate that there…
“It seems like thousands of them lie in wait in the tunnels until Friday morning arrives,” said Al.
“You may think that I have granola for brains, sir, but the reason I mentioned the tunnels was, one morning, when I couldn’t sleep…”
“I had you pegged for snotty muesli,” replied Al.
Ken continued: “Ha ha…So I went out for an early breakfast and as I drove by the river bed near La Brea, I saw cars pouring out of the portal near Slauson. This was at 4 a.m. I thought that I was still hallucin…dreaming.”
Ken worked from 5:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., six days a week as a security guard for Worldwide Awake Security. He drove from Santa Monica to Downtown and back nearly every day.
“You live over on Cowan, right?” asked Al.
“Yeah. The green house,” said Ken.
“I’ll tell you a little story. You’ll probably think that my head is full of shrapnel. Its possible. I was a pilot in Iraq, and now I pilot a traffic helicopter. They want to replace me with a drone.”
Al was employed as a pilot for KHLA Traffic Helicopter Watch, though was now on administrative leave because of his alcoholism and violent tendencies. Last month Al had been filmed by police below dropping beer bottles on cars near Pasadena at sunup.
“It wasn’t like I was dropping bottles on real people. I felt as though I was dropping them on the silly rodents that I’ve seen scurrying out of the tunnels in the river bed. These Friday commuters are like rats.”
Ken slid over one barstool next to Al so that his old ears could hear the pilot better.
Al still had some gumption unlike Ken whose only exercise these days was pressing his right foot into the gas pedal. Ken relaxed at the Duck n’ Fishes every afternoon. He would sit for hours looking and dreaming over the blue-eyed owner, Shannon, behind the bar.
“I used to fly over this mess nearly every day,” said Al.
A sharp jolt shook the bar. They all felt it though no one flinched. Just a typical day in LA.
The two old men never really spoke about their mutual experience with the extra ‘PITA’ (Pains-In-The-Ass) people before today. Though at politically opposite poles, they both had a similar gut feeling about Fridays, that others would seem irrational. The scope of the problem would go far beyond their political disagreements. Al Nichol felt it was time to befriend Ken Rodby because he felt that their great city and all their lives were in grave danger. Ken’s blood pressure was sky high. He was the kind of personality that held it in. Always held it in.
The PITAs came from beneath the Freeways and waited for the clueless humans to reach their ‘bursting point’ while stuck in traffic. The Pitas wanted them to have coronaries. Afterward, shielded from view within the immobile parking lot called the 405, they would gnaw on the human corpses as Friday night descended.
“You won’t believe this, Big Daddy! They’re on to us!”
The Generalissimo, sitting opposite President Big Daddy Roth asked, “Who is onto us? What are you talking about, sir?”
“They’ve seen the portal. The two-legged vermin are catching on to us, Sir. Two of them saw the emergence at Slauson last Friday morning.”