Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Smell of Pipe Bomb in the Morning

Since I was up till 3am Monday night, I went to bed with the hopes of regaining some lost sleep. Unfortunately I lost track of time learning Comic Life and didn’t go to bed till 2am. When my head did finally hit the pillow, I was out cold. I was out cold till about 4am. That’s when I heard a loud knocking at my door. I assumed it was a neighbor’s drunk friend looking for the corresponding apartment. Sure enough they started knocking a neighbor’s door. How long was this going to take? When they knocked on my door again, I staggered out of bed set on chewing out an obnoxious drunk. Instead of a drunk, I was greeted by two Long Beach Policemen. The first thing I thought was, “They found me.” Since my sentence at the police state of Virginia Beach, I’ve been programmed to think that way. These police though were here to help.

“There’s a pipe bomb out front and you need to evacuate.” Um, ok I thought. I put on my shoes, hat and watch, and grabbed my iPod nano. I didn’t grab my wallet or eyeglasses, but my iPod nano. My brain doesn’t function well the first 8 hours after I wake up. I wandered out to the corner we were told to wait. There waiting for me were my neighbors. I’ve previously met only a few of them, and really didn’t think they knew each other that well. I was wrong. Among them was the one neighbor I’d wanted to meet: The cute little brunette that lived in the front apartment. As I had guessed, she was a flight attendant. With our fellow neighbors we joked and complained till a policeman said the words I’d end up hearing too many times that night, “It’s gonna take awhile.” He told us the Red Cross was setting up a holding area at a nearby park. We could go there or go somewhere else. We just couldn’t stay here. Of course my car was parked inside the cordoned off area. I was stuck going to the park. At least the cute brunette was as well. The cop also gave us the details of the situation. Someone had left a pipe bomb with a keypad attached in front of the pizza place across the street. Some neighbor called it in. They were now waiting for the bomb squad to show up to handle the situation. I’d like to point out that the phrase “someone left a pipe bomb” was used often that evening. Every time somebody said it I pictured someone misplacing the pipe bomb. The bomber gets on the bus, and after checking his pockets realizes he left the bomb on the bench. Not exactly a frightening image.

My neighbors went and met up with the rest of those evacuated. We sat, and sat, and sat. If I had taken my wallet instead of the iPod I could’ve gotten breakfast. The cute brunette stayed as well so I considered it a wash. Having never really spoken to any of my neighbors, I figured that they didn’t know where I worked. That’s how I wanted it, but when everyone started asking me about CSI: Miami, I realized what a hotbed of rumors my apartment complex was. It took till about seven that the Red Cross showed up. Someone always ended up asking the cops how much longer. They always got “It’s gonna take awhile” as a response. That left us to simply wait some more and some more. At around 9am we heard that there were no explosives in the bomb but an unknown chemical. This meant we now had to wait for HAZMAT to show up. It’s at times like this I wish the world worked like CSI: Miami with all-in-one lab trucks and one minute lab results. At this point people started sneaking back into their apartments. Figuring my luck with authorities I waited. Finally, at around 11am we were allowed to return to our apartments. I then had to wait another hour till I could get my car. So, I’ve been up since 4am and it’s now 10pm. If the PA wasn’t sick, I wouldn’t have gone to work, but it was one of those days. Still I got to know my neighbors better, and there’s also the cute brunette, so it’s still a wash.


Keymaster said...

Wow - I can't believe that. Is that really your place in the pic? If it is at least you got to see the super cool robot they use to blow bombs up with - that's CSI worthy.

faith said...

The only questiions remaining:
1. did you talk to her?
2. did you get her phone number?
(I know you know where she lives, but a number is better than knoking on her door)
3. have you called her yet?

Don't wait longer than a week to call or to knock on her door, or you will have waited too long to take advantage of the situation and will have to wait for another bomb or something.

Bradford said...

Keymaster-My apartment is across the street from the robot. I added new pics for reference.

Faith-I did talk to her, but on two hours sleep I can't say I brought my "A" game.
So, I should put away the pipe and hello kitty timer, and just call her?

faith said...

hmmm...well, I think she would understand that you didn't bring your "A" game...she probably didn't either. Any other situation may not excuse it...but this one you had an excuse.

couple questions first:
- did she innitiate any conversation with you, or did you do it all?
- did she seem to make an effort to be close by or did she seem to avoid?

faith said...

ps - you have her number? how did you come by the digits?

Bradford said...

She did make an effort to talk, and we were pretty much evacuation buddies till she snuck back into her apartment.

faith said...

Well, I think it's a good sign...give her a ring (a phone call that is, to clairify) coffee or drinks would be a good start (not dinner or a movie yet)...out, not in. See how it goes.

bobby said...

Brad, all this advice is wrong! You bang on her door, yell "pipe bomb again!" and wait. She'll come flying out of that door right into your arms -- and your heart.

Bradford said...

Thanks Bobby. That was my original plan. I thought the Hello Kitty timer would've been a nice touch. But I'll try Faith's advice first, if that doesn't work then I'll go with your plan.