My First Shooting - 6/27/05
Wow, a week ago I experienced my first Earthquake, and now this. I've lived in LA almost 2 years now and tonight I witnessed my first shooting.

Now before you get all worried for my safety (Mom), nobody got was shot, least of all me, watching the whole thing from 50 yards away from the safe confines of my security building. Yes, I did watch a guy run after a car firing a gun at it from about 50 yards away. But no, he didn't hit anything. And no, the car didn't fire back - it was too busy laying rubber to get the hell out of there. And no, nobody shot at me, or even noticed me, as far as I could tell. If there's one thing I'm good at as a security guard, it's being invisible and staying as far away from anything dangerous as possible.

Here's how it all went down: I was at security on my weekly Sunday get-paid-for-sleeping-and-writing session, minding my own business. About 1am, I looked up from writing tomorrow's post (it's a good one, about lions and cambodian midgets - stay tuned) and noticed a group of 20 or so teens/twenty-somethings congregating boisterously around their cars in the gas station parking lot across the street. Things were a bit rowdy, but nobody seemed to be fighting or doing anything worth watching, so I went back to writing. That's when a white Escolade rolled up and three dudes jumped out (why do white Escolades seem to be the official vehicle of urban violence?). I don't know what words were exchange, but almost immediately the three dudes jumped back in their escolade and peeled out, as another dude grabbed a gun from his car, ran after them, and managed to get a couple shots off before the car squealed away. Fortunately, the guy had terrible aim - I don't think he managed to hit anything except Sepulveda Blvd, which now has a couple of new bullet-sized potholes. The other people around promptly did what any reasonable person would do in such a situation - they jumped in their cars and got the fuck out. Presently the police arrived, but found nothing but a somewhat frightened store clerk who was probably thankful for the three inches of bullet-proof glass he watched the whole thing through.

Being a good security guard, I immediately jotted down anything I could remember about car- or people-descriptions, then called my friend Sam to tell him all about the exciting shooting I had just scene. Of course, as you can now attest, it wasn't that exciting of a shooting. In fact, since nobody was actually hit, it was only a shooting in the sense that a bullet was shot from a gun and flew somewhere. But still it was my first shooting, and therefore very exciting, at least to me. I'm sure the dudes in the white Escolade and the guy firing at them have been in way more exciting shootings than this one.

After my initial exhilaration had died down, a curious question occured to me. Why does this stuff always happen when I'm at security? This marks the third memorable event since I discovered the joys of night watchman-ship, the other two being the drunk driver I watched get pulled over onto our property when I drove a Ford Escape around a copy machine factory parking lot, and the fight I broke up between three Asian ladies and a white dude a couple months ago. But only one of these had anything to do with me being a security guard - I could have just been buying donuts or driving down the street to see the other two. Don't these people know I have writing to do, and don't have time for silly things like calling the police and radioing base to report license plate numbers? At least the fight was on our property - these other two things were just instances of wrong place, wrong time.

I guess I get good stories out of it. I suppose since I've been getting paid to sleep and write for this long, I don't really mind pausing once or twice a year to watch something crazy go down. I just wish people would time their shootings and fights and DUIs so that they don't do it right when I'm really on a roll writing about lions and Cambodian midgets.

So... it was a day spent drinking on the beach followed by a night spent watching people shoot at each other. Yup, just another typical Sunday in LA.

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