No electricity for 26 minutes. 'This is our Tsunami.'
By Joshua Gates, Actor, Photographer. Victim.
LOS ANGELES, CA, September 12, 2005 - Horror and disbelief swept through the
greater Hollywood area this afternoon as a minor power-outage turned the
city into a virtual war zone and local residents struggled to deal with the
The outage struck at 1:35 PM, during L.A.'s busy afternoon coffee and
Pilates rush hour. Traffic lights fell dark, local gyms and sushi
restaurants were without power for nearly 30 minutes and many businesses
were illuminated only by the light of the sun and its blistering 78 degree
heat. "It was horrible," said out of work actor and voice-over artist Rick
Shea. "I was in a Jamba Juice on Melrose when it hit and the blenders simply
shut down. A woman lunged for my Berry Lime Sublime an after that, well, it
got pretty ugly."
In the ensuing panic, local radio stations broadcasted conflicting reports
as to exactly which local businesses would be offering relief supplies.
Almost 100 people flocked to the Starbucks at Santa Monica and La Brea only
to find helpless baristas, no hot coffee and a totally meager selection of
"My mother is 83 years old and we heard on the radio that this Starbucks was
going to be up and running. If she doesn't get a venti Arabian Mocha Sanani,
I don't know what's going to happen to her, I really don't." said Lucinda
Merino of Los Feliz. To make matters worse, those few people who did manage
to get coffee were further thwarted by a total lack of artificial sweeteners
on site. "Sugar in the Raw? Are you frigging kidding me?," sobbed avid salsa
dancer, Enrique Santoro. "I'm on the South Beach Diet and my insulin levels
are going to go crazy if I use this. Why isn't the rest of the country doing
something?" Deteriorating conditions will force authorities to evacuate the
thousands of people at local Quiznos, movie theaters and upscale shopping
centers, including the The Beverly Center, where a policeman told CNN unrest
was escalating. The officer expressed concern that the situation could
worsen overnight after patrons defaced multiple "So You Think you Can Dance"
posters, looted a Baby Gap and demanded free makeovers en masse at a MAC
cosmetics store during the afternoon.
At least 2,000 refugees, a majority of them beautiful, will travel in a bus
convoy to Beverly Hills starting this evening and will be sheltered at the
8-year-old Spago on North Canon where soft omelettes with confit bacon and
Hudson Valley foie gras was being airlifted in by The National Guard.
Honorary Mayor of Hollywood Johnny Grant told a group of embedded reporters
at a Koo Koo Roo Chicken restaurant on Larchmont that, "The scope and scale
of this disaster is almost too much to comprehend. Local carwashes are at a
stand-still, the tram tour at Universal Studios has been on hold for almost
an hour now and I've been waiting for a rotisserie leg and thigh with a side
of green beans for upwards of 15 minutes. This truly is our Tsunami."
"We want to accommodate those people suffering in the Beverly Center as
quickly as possible for the simple reason they have been through a horrible
ordeal," Grant said. "We need water. We need edamame. We need low-carb
bread," said Martha Owens, 49 who was one of the thousands trapped in the
Beverly Center when the escalators stopped moving. "They need to start
sending somebody through here." Along miles of coastline, the power simply
surged, causing writers to lose upwards of a page of original screenplay
material, causing Direct TV service to work only intermittently and forcing
local residents to walk outside and look helplessly at the Pacific from
their ocean view decks. "I can hardly begin to put this experience into
words," said longtime Two and a Half Men writer John Edlestein. "I was just
getting into my rhythm and making some real headway on a scene where Charlie
Sheen parties with a busload of female volleyball players when my PowerBook
crapped out. I have nothing. Simply, nothing." Delivering his weekly radio
address live from the White House, President Bush announced he was deploying
more than 7,000 additional active-duty troops to the region. He comforted
victims and praised relief workers.
"But despite their best efforts, the magnitude of responding to a crisis
over a disaster area this sunny and trendy has created tremendous problems,"
he said. "The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the
help they need, especially in the Hollywood Hills, and that is unacceptable.