Local news is my favorite TV to begin with. The tans, the hairspray, the fact that I know all of the locations, all this makes for exciting kitsch viewing. Last Friday, when Carmageddon – a term I hate but one which took on mythic proportion in weeks past – was about to hit as a 10 mile stretch of the 405 freeway was closing for repairs, my house was stocked with food and I had enough work to keep me locked inside for months.
Saluting the madness with an array of transportation related cheesy LP covers that I posted on Facebook, one for every hour the freeway remained closed, was my way of having my own little Carmageddon celebration all weekend long. As it happened, the work was completed way ahead of schedule so I only got to serve 35 slices of LP cheese as opposed to the full wheel of 52.
The following is the full platter, posted in real time as events occurred. Captions following each LP were submitted by Facebook followers and appear in italics.
LP#1 – The first ramp closes.
Mark Blackwell: “”Willie go ’round in circles…””
Mike Itsbatmansilly: “This brother is so smooth he gets tweets from Jesus”
Laurie Smith: If Willie was serious about the rapture then he’d have a sun roof.
Mark Blackwell: “With Jesus as his co-pilot, Willie always takes the carpool lane…
Mark Christian Miller: Driving Mass Crazy
Amy Ronis: One toke over the line, sweet Jesus….
LP#2 – More ramps closing.
Vinca Price: Look at those headlights! Oh, the car isn’t bad, either.
Mark Blackwell: ”It’s what’s under the hooker…er, i mean ‘hood’…that counts…”
Laurie Smith: Central Parking lot.
Amy Ronis: ”Broadsided on the freeway.”
LP#3 – Only a couple ramps left open.
Mark Blackwell: ”Like a Jeannie in a bottleneck…”
LP#4 – All ramps closed.
Howie Pyro: i WSHHHHHHHHHHH they would shut up with this Carmageddon crap!
Mark Blackwell: SHHHHHHHHHHHHH…it.
Amy Ronis: c’mon and “VOGUE!”
LP# 5 – Freeway completely closes. I’m going to bed.
Ted Nimmo: “I was sure I left my trailer here.”
David Gene Echt: “Is this the Smoking Car?”
Steve Stubbleyou: “Man, I sure could use a ride to Sugartown from Nancy right about now.”
LP#6 – Carpooling on city streets.
David George: Thinking of changing their name to the 4-0-Five and leading a parade on the newly completed carpool lane…
Mark Blackwell: Crystal mess…
Amy Ronis: Carpoolin’ chain gang
Steven Collings Russell: “Drop my hand and PUSH, bitch!”
By this point, Demolition is in full gear.
LP#7 – So far none of the freeways are backed up.
Mark Blackwell: Al B. Not-So-Sure…
LP#8 – $4 Jet Blue flights from Burbank to Long Beach sold out in less than an hour.
Bob Ricketts: Is that co-pilot in drag ????
Cheryl Bianchi: Fly the friendly cielos…
Mark Blackwell: ”Odd is my co-pilot…”
Steve Stubbleyou: Founders of the Mile High Club.
Danetta Cox Cordova: Sorry to say, they never let women fly back then. She’s just keeping the co-pilot’s seat warm.
LP#9 – Bicyclists start crosstown race against Jet Blue flight to long Beach.
Mark Blackwell: Ass transit…
Steve Stubbleyou: Watch for speed rumps, er, bumps.
Mark Milligan: Booty biker
Mark Blackwell: Stay clear of the center divider…
LP#10 – People are discouraged from standing on ramps to chart the freeway progress.
(Sorry, none of the captions made me laugh.)
LP#11 – Passengers on the $4 sold-out, 150-seat Jet Blue flights were greeted at the airport with balloons and a Carmageddon cake.
Mark Blackwell: Two moon junction…
LP#12 – Car alternatives abound.
Cheryl Bianchi: Put another Shrimp on the …vespa?
Steve Stubbleyou: Joni Mitchell in her blue phase: Help me, I think I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.
LP#13 – Nice day to stay at home and wash the car.
Mark Blackwell: Got lost on his way to the california grapes audition…
Amy Ronis: Fasten your seatbelts, It’s going to be a schlumpy ride!
Steve Stubbleyou: Unsafe in any Speedo.
LP#14 – All dressed up but no 405 to roll down…
Mark Blackwell: The Pillage People.
LP#15 – Many folks have come up with imaginative alternatives to driving a car….
Kimberly King-Burns – ”I thought you said banana split?”
Betsy McGowan: Day O Day O….daylight come and I wanna go home!
Mark Blackwell: Millie’s recovery in the institution has been slow, but as she herself always said, ‘time will tell’….
Timothy W. Ladd: Time will tell if Millie is a man.
LP#16 – Demolition is going smoothly, though news reports say there may be some damage to the road below from falling concrete.
Mark Blackwell: “Okay guys, take it to the bridge…”
Jerrod Cardwell: Work stoppages due to intermittent bouts of “funkiness.”
LP#17 – I can’t believe I missed the last Jet Blue flight from Burbank to Long Beach.
Kimberly King-Burns: ”So I’m sitting here at El Toro and not a single Blue Angel blew me a kiss!”
Amy Ronis: Decca-dent!
LP#18 – 110 freeway downtown getting crowded as people head to the Coliseum for the LA Galaxy vs. Real Madrid soccer game.
Joseph Bacon: If they only had a Pink Cadillac they could have cruised down the Freeway of Love.
LP#19 – There’s lots of Carmageddon parties going on in LA tonight.
Mark Blackwell: Sweden’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose…
Danetta Cox Cordova: “Vee can move this old vilding and make just enough voom to park vis car, if only vee push harder. Come on voys, harder I say!”
LP#20 – While most Angelinos stayed out of their cars, David Hasselhoff stayed on his.
Richard Pedretti-Allen: He’s holding a C7 chord but that stance says B# and though I would classify Hasselhoff as A-diminished, I hope that car has A flat.
Mark Blackwell: Nicht Rocker….
Steve Stubbleyou: Faster than a speeding mullet…
Danetta Cox Cordova: Thought bubble of girl in car: “I am so tired of the Hoff doing this at every red light.”
LP#21 – Drunk driver on the 101 right now. Police in pursuit.
Mark Blackwell: Better Czech yourself before you wreck yourself.
Danette Cox Cordova: Riding a nose giant nose trimmer in outer space with elf shoes on. Add to bucket list.
LP#22 – People found lots of ways of getting around the 405 today.
Mark Blackwell: neck and neck…
Tamara Ragus: “O.K., now cough.”
Mike Gormley: Together Again.
Amy Ronis: Bjork’s 2012 Grammy awards dress.
Deb Walker Weaver: This is what happens when all the good men are taken.
Julia C.R. Gray: With your legs and my brains, the detours will be cake.
Mark Blackwell: Gee-iraffe your hair smells terrific…
LP#23 – Taxi drivers say the shutdown is bad for business and that they had to wait 2 hours at LAX before anyone needed a cab.
Mark Blackwell: Life in the brass lane…surely makes you lose your mind…
Steve Stubbleyou: Gilligan and MaryAnne pick up a few extra bucks in the off-season. (And by the way, don’t those tires look delicious?)
LP#24 – Even the truckstops were empty today.
Amy Ronis: Truckstop Barbie!
LP#25 – LA roads were deserted today. Which makes the car chase happening as we speak a whole different adventure.
Amy Ronis: Vagabond dreams of Edward Hopper…
Mark Blackwell: Buddy can you spare a dame…?
Once the car chase, which lasted over 3 hours began, there were no more TV reports re Carmageddon. To call it a non-event is an understatement. Which is actually good news as Angelinos heeded the call and it looks like we’ll all be back on the road soon.
LP#26 – Officials remind us “It’s legal to drink beer and fly, whereas the cyclists have to follow all the rules.”
Mark Blackwell: Brigitte Bar-not.
Laurie Smith: Nice motorthighcle!
Steve Stubbleyou: (to the tune of “The Letter”) Gimme a honey on a Harley/ Make her kinda nasty and gnarly/ Oh Brigitte Bardot/ Take it nice and slow/ My baby, she rode me in leather.
LP#27 – Department of Transportation says they’re ahead of schedule and all will be back to normal soon!
Steve Stubbleyou: ¿Donde estan los bumper cars, por favor?
Mark Blackwell: 5 drive 55
LP#28 – Carmageddon ending soon!! I knew I should’ve rented a truck to move the piano.
Laurie Smith: And 3 seconds later Donny’s solo career was over.
Amy Ronis: Donny plays piano…Marie plays conductor!
LP#29 – Carmageddon ending soon!! Hop into the truck, girls!
Kellie Cracker: Mormon truckers have all the fun!!
Mars Parham: Mormon Convoy!!
Sid Limitz: Show me the way to Petticoat Junction.
Amy Ronis: Sisterwives are doin’ it for themselves!
Mark Blackwell: Mormongeddon…
LP#30 – Carmageddon ending soon!! Let’s go to the beach!
Alison Hay: Carpooling down Benedict Canyon was proving to be a challenge.
LP#31 – Carmageddon ending soon!! Now we can get the organ back to the church!
Kellie Cracker: At least he still has his organ.
Mark Blackwell: armandlegageddon…
LP#32 – Carmageddon’s ending soon! Great, now I don’t have to ride the dog!
Mark Blackwell: Sounds better if you’ve got a big woofer.
Steve Stubbleyou: Go Greyhound … and leave the wifey to us.
Mark Blackwell: No barking zone
North side 0f the 405 reopens!
LP#33 – Get me to Mission Hills!
Amy Ronis: Pixar test drives its special effects team for “Up”
Mark Blackwell: Little Red Bore-vette…
Steve Stubbleyou: With balloons in my eye/And my hand on your thigh/ That’s amore…
LP#34 – Carmageddon’s almost over! Time to put the Double Double down and get back on the road.
Mark Blackwell: The truck stops here…
Amy Ronis: This big Bud’s for you!
Mark Blackwell: Bertha control…
LP#35 – It’s over!! Thank you, construction crews, for a speedy, non-Caramageddon weekend!
Amy Ronis: Hot-diggitty!
Carmageddonot actually only lasted 37 hours. Angelinos were model citizens and stayed home or in their neigborhoods. It felt like a holiday weekend, which is healthy for a city once in a while. And that means there are 17 slices of LP cheese leftover for when the other side of the freeway gets done in eleven months and the whole Carmageddonot starts all over again. At least for now, the freeway is back to normal. I really do LOVE LA!