I’m on La Brea. I’ve just crossed Hollywood Boulevard, approaching that intersection where Groove Fitness used to be (you know, that gym that supposedly had a live DJ spinning electro/house/trance while you worked out?) Ahead, coming from the other direction, is an ambulance. I dutifully pull over. There are a few other cars pulled over as well. And there’s another car parked on the sidewalk. A few more drivers pull over next to me. We wait. The ambulance draws closer. Slows down. What’s it doing…?
Wait, why is there a car parked on the sidewalk?
That’s when I realize that half the cars at the intersection were just involved in the very accident the ambulance is here to deal with. Nothing horrible. It is, as I suspect are common in L.A., just a monumental fender-bender. Since no one needs CPR and since the ambulance is here anyway, I drive on. And I think of my friend Alan, who wants nothing more to be in a situation where he gets to save someone’s life by giving them a tracheotomy. Every accident he passes becomes an opportunity to realize this odd dream, but so far, his pocket knife remains unused.
Next block. Just past Sunset now.
An SUV is pulled over on the right. Three men jump out of the vehicle and dart into traffic. It’s as if they don’t even see the oncoming cars. Then they’re jumping back to safety. One of them has forgotten to close the door of the truck. The traffic slows. They take advantage of this and charge into it again. They’re holding cameras.
I look left. Photographers cluster at the gates of the former Chaplin Studio, which is now the Jim Henson Company. These guys are paparazzi. I can’t see who they’re after, though I’m willing to bet Miss Piggy is taking a cigarette break on the lot. I fight a mad impulse to yank the car over and dart into traffic myself, though it looks like fun.