Friday, November 12, 2010

Scary Tuesday.

I wrote this on Tuesday.... and then kept checking the news in case I'd seen something of note....

I just collected my eldest from school.  He just turned 8 at the weekend and we all went to Legoland to celebrate, so the whole family is a bit tired - we don't travel too well and our 3 year old makes certain no one sleeps properly.

Yesterday, we received an email from the USCIS saying that they're sending us a letter requesting more evidence with regard to our Green Card application.  We don't know what they're missing and until the letter arrives we can only guess.

Today, we went to Van Nuys for  biometrical testing which turned out to be just finger printing and photographing.  I was half expecting DNA swabs and iris scans, so it was quite a relief to be so minimally measured.  Sometimes I think in the future there'll be computerized spittoons for everyone entering a country's borders.

As I drove the kids back to school, I noticed a young man being arrested at gunpoint.  It may be surprising considering where we live, but this is the first time I've seen this, since that guy outside my work on July 21, 2005 during the failed bombing attempt in London.  It made me a little nervous to be driving past such a scene with my family in the car, but life goes on and I shrugged it off - all British and stiff-upper-lip style.

When I went to collect my eldest after school, I had intended that we go to a store to buy some more Lego base plates.  The plan being, that if we can make a table dedicated to Lego, hopefully we can clear the rest of the house of those plastic foot-stabbing torture pieces.  However on the way, the traffic seemed a little slow and just after we passed a motorcycle store called 'Ultra Violence', I couldn't fail to notice the five police cars that were helping ruin at least one young man's day.  The way he was being treated, suggested to me that perhaps he was known to the officers as very naughty, or that he was known more intimately to the officers and I'd just witnessed some quite rough heavy petting. ;-)

Anyway, I figured that with the slow traffic and all the guns I'd seen today, we should just go home and leave the Lego till tomorrow.  So I turn right and then stop at the next set of traffic lights, waiting to turn right again and head home.  In the parking lot directly across from me, I see four young men with burgundy baseball caps have handguns drawn and are directing two men to lie face down on the ground.  There was no visible Police presence anywhere.  It was such an odd vision, both unusual and somehow familiar - this is North Hollywood after all.  I've probably even seen actors in pretty much those same poses, probably at that very same location... but there were no camera trucks anywhere - I checked.

The rest of the world seemed to be getting on with things, either oblivious or not caring that such a dangerous situation was unfolding only yards away.  I decided that it's lucky you can turn right on a red light here, cos even if you weren't allowed, there was no way I was waiting for some bizarre manmade lighting contraption to decide that it was time for me to remove my son from this place.  As I drove off I heard sirens and, in the DMV defined way, pulled over to the right, while a cop car sped towards where I had just left.

I didn't want to unnecessarily scare my son, but I had to tell him why we weren't going to get the Lego.  So I told him the truth, Dad was scared and we all know it's Dad's job to keep the family safe.

[Image from ]