It's about life - not "lifestyle"
JULY 4, 2002
As this is being written, Southern California is enduring one of the longest Independence Day afternoons in recent memory. The skies remain cloudy near the coast, casting a grey gloom over the events which have transpired so far.

We are under attack! Hunter Thompson said, in the wake of 9/11, that "it's World War Three forever", and now, I fear, I have to agree.

Shortly before 12 noon PST one or more gunmen opened fire in an El Al ticketing area at Los Angeles International Airport. Early reports have 2 people killed, one of whom was a shooter. There could be many injuries.

Naturally, I comandeered the television set and began channel surfing for the most up to the minute news. Watching (and reviewing) "Surfing For Life" will have to wait. Even my roomates, normally either uninterested or unable to understand the news, have joined me.

Eventually the national cable outlets joined in, running local L.A. station footage. Within 15 minutes of CNN weighing in the local news people were running with things CNN said - which seemed strange to me, but not the roomates.

"Who can you trust if not CNN in Atlanta," said one. He had a good point. Not about that, of course, but about the need to figure out some kind of crisis drinking game to play. On tv the rumor began to swirl that the officials were looking for a possible second terrorist/criminal, one wearing a blue shirt. A half-hearted suggestion was made to do shots every time we saw a blue shirt in the crowd, but another roomate pointed out that between pilots, airline employees, security guards and screeners, fire department employees, paramedics, and policemen - hell, we'd have to each get our own bottles of tequila and just chug until we either ralphed or passed out.

We had hardly had time to ponder this when the local news people, closely followed by MSNBC and CNN, began reporting on a  suspicious plane crash near San Dimas. They had helicoptEr footage, and there were reports of casualties. All the national cable people were on it, looking for ways to tie the two breaking news events together. This gave us our course of action.

The game, as we are playing it as of 2:21 p.m. PST, goes like this: Everytime we hear a plane passing we all have to take a shot. The rules are to be ammended once the hot tub reaches 100 degrees and we move the soiree outside. Then, a shot must be consumed every time we so much as see a plane, including contrails. This is in addition to hearing them.

They tell me there are going to be fireworks at a park nearby tonight, sometime around 9 p.m. I doubt if this crew will be going. There are real fireworks taking place not 50 miles from where we hunker. Afghanistan is distant- but LAX is just 50 miles and a few hours of bump and go away.
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