DEAR DIARY, week 2.5 of our NATIONAL EMERGENCY

2/27/19    9:05am    DEAR DIARY, It’s day 13 of our NATIONAL EMERGENCY and I just turned on the big screen in my special big screen viewing tent in the backyard, only to see the real news under Cohen in the crawl that Congress may vote to end the NATIONAL EMERGENCY.  WHAT?  Just like that? Without any closing ceremonies or signing of treaties on an old ship?  This is why it doesn’t pay to invest in a NATIONAL EMERGENCY these days! Nobody’s in it for the long haul. Sure let’s just vote to end it. Let’s all take the plastic off our windows and pretend there’s no emergency. At ease, everyone. Everything’s just fine!

2/28/19    9:15am   DEAR DIARY, It appears on the 14th day of this NATIONAL EMERGENCY that congress has not officially ended the emergency yet. It seems they move slowly. So until they pull the plug, there’s still plenty to do for concerned citizens. I decide to check the beaches since that is one of LA’s main vulnerabilities. I dress like a regular beachgoer, but with plastic Depends® under my khaki shorts, just in case I have to do a water rescue. Fortunately I bought a case of Depends® at the beginning of the Emergency for when the toilets stop working, never even dreaming that they’d double as a wet suit. Yet another positive benefit of preparedness. The water is calm and my earthquake app doesn’t show any recent temblors in the area, so I rule out the possibility of a Tsunami. The only invading armies I see are the tourists buying surfboard key chains on the pier. Fishermen fish, kids build castles in the sand, the Ferris wheel ferrises, and the lifeguards, however ancient, are still blonder and sexier than anywhere else on TV. Everything is normal here. Check. No sign of emergency in Santa Monica. Check.  Beaches safe (except for the unsafe levels of sewage in the bay, but that’s obviously no emergency). Check. I’m returning to the valley where I am needed.

3/1/19    11:41am     DEAR DIARY, Today is the 2-week anniversary of the NATIONAL EMERGENCY and I’ve concluded that Los Angelenos are just not taking this very seriously.  At all.  They don’t seem to understand the gravity of the situation. When a president declares it to be a NATIONAL EMERGENCY, that means there is an emergency… somewhere.  So, I’m taking the initiative to organize my neighbors by volunteering to be our Emergency Block Captain. I make a flyer, introducing myself and point out that I live in the only house on the block with plastic over the windows. Hopefully they will get the hint and follow suit. Some people want to be prepared but just don’t know how. They need help.  So I’ve taken it upon myself to help my neighbors. I’m forgiving whoever came and stole Bonnie and Clyde, my very expensive plastic ebay alligators, which I had grown very fond of by the way, and I’m offering to help even those thieves.  Even if I knew who put the gnomes in my moat, I would still help them, because in a NATIONAL EMERGENCY, we all have to pull together. So I take my reward signs down from the telephone poles, and replace them with my new EMERGENCY Block Club flyers. #HelpThyNeighborCuzItsANATIONALEMERGENCY! #I’mVolunteering2BEMERGENCYBlockCaptain #IfUStoleMyGatorsIForgiveU

3/2/19     9:17am     DEAR DIARY, While looking for emergencies on the weather channel in my viewing tent in the backyard, I saw a report with a black Labrador retriever helping find bodies in the rubble after a tornado somewhere and I realized that I have a black lab sitting… well, sleeping right there. Labs are great rescue dogs, and I’ve got one! But we’ll need to do some training first. So I ask Lucy if she wants to be a hero. She doesn’t move. I ask her again. She snores. I say the word “cookie” and she immediately snaps awake, starts pawing at me, and begins the slow gradual shifting of her body toward the edge of the sofa cushion (yes I moved the sofa out here too and when that earthquake comes I will feel so smart for being proactive and not having my house fall on me). I get some dog biscuits from the metal food cabinet, which is an old silver cabinet from the garage that I dragged into the yard and padlocked next to the tent (in case of bears). I tell Lucy to sit, and she stares. I show her a cookie and she sits. I say stay and she stands. I show her a cookie and she sits and stays. I see the pattern. So I show her a cookie and say “evacuate the neighbors, Lucy.”  Nothing.  “Illegal aliens are coming to get us, Lucy.  Save us!”  Nothing.  I show her a cookie. “Lucy, there’s a Tsunami!”  Nothing.  “Go find a body, Lucy. Find a body for daddy.”  Nothing.  Okay, it could be that Lucy is not military grade. #GetARealDog

3/4/19    9:13am    DEAR DIARY, Yesterday was the first Sunday morning in my new role as Emergency Block Captain of my neighborhood, so I decided to hold my first preparedness workshop in the driveway for the neighbors.  I thought it’d be more engaging if at the first meeting they were actually doing something rather than just sitting there and listening to me tell them everything they need to know about NATIONAL EMERGENCIES. And it makes me look like a smarter leader if they have fun at our first meeting.  I moved the razor wire out of the driveway and set up some folding tables so we could all build something together like they do in the parking lot on Sunday mornings outside Home Depot. But what to build that will be useful in a NATIONAL EMERGENCY?  Flashlight, perhaps.  Explosive diversion grenade, absolutely, but too dangerous for the kids to build.  I do know how to build a harmonica out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and plastic wrap.  It’s more like whistle really, but it could be used to signal each other.  If all the neighbors built these special whistles, then we could whistle back and forth from house to house and relay messages if anything bad happens. We could whistle in Morse Code. This is a great idea and will really help keep people be safe! Thank God Michaels is still open in this NATIONAL EMERGENCY.  What heroes they are. I bought the rubber bands and popsicle sticks and even some aprons like they give you at the Home Depot workshops, except these are red and say Hobbylicious in fingerpaint right above the Michael’s logo.  I set up for my emergency whistle-building class. And, I waited… I waited… for the neighbors…and I waited… #Ingrates!

3/5/19     9:03am      DEAR DIARY, I spent Monday returning the unused aprons to Michael’s as they cost me $11 each. This emergency is adding up quick. After thinking on it, I realized that the reason no neighbors showed up for my Sunday morning workshop was that they didn’t see the invitation signs on the telephone poles. Only Lucy-walkers and overachiever fitness nuts ever dare to be on foot in this neighborhood, so nobody saw the signs. Drivers don’t even slow down for the stop signs on my street, so that must’ve been the reason.

I think everyone would be more excited about this emergency if they had an emergency uniform of some sort. A full uniform would be the best, especially if they had boots. Boots always make a uniform. But that’s way too expensive. Maybe just a hat (no, the surplus stores are gone!)? Maybe just a lapel pin, like the president wore when he declared this NATIONAL EMERGENCY a couple of weeks ago? I search the internet for pin-making sites. It’ll only cost about $5 per lapel pin, after the $250 set-up fee, and that’s if I buy at least 500 of them. So for less than $3k, I can give almost every household in the neighborhood a pin, which will make them feel more official about being an Emergency Responder. But the pin-maker site requires camera-ready artwork. I’ll need a logo for the National Emergency. Hmmm? If immigrants are the emergency then what should the logo be? The Statue of Liberty? A passport? A coyote? An ICE agent? Or should we go more “generic emergency” with flames, a huge wave, a tornado, and a missile? We could put each emergency icon in a quadrant of the logo, like a city seal. It needs to look official. I’m gonna need a graphic designer. Maybe an old one, to give us that old official feel. Not a young person with those modern swirly tech company logos, but old fashioned and out of date heavy imagery like a government would have. I put a listing for pro-bono graphic designers on a patriot website with a flag and a gun on their homepage. Now that’s the kind of emergency imagery that gets people excited.

3/6/19   7:13am     DEAR DIARY, Last night it started raining in my emergency backyard viewing tent, so my big screen stopped working and everything got wet. Cold and wet. And with all the lightning, I decided it was worth the risk to sleep in the house last night. Plus Lucy needed to dry out. The whole tent smelled like wet dog. So I went inside and got online and pivoted from buying Emergency Pins to buying Emergency Pens. That one letter saved me $2000. So instead of a uniform, everybody gets a red pen that says on the side in #8font  For EMERGENCY USE ONLY!   NATIONAL EMERGENCY 2019  If I squint I can see that there’s writing on it. I’ll have to use a magnifying glass to actually read it, but I trust that it says what they say it says. It still costs me $600 so it’s not cheap. Man, it takes an entire marketing team and a real budget to get a NATIONAL EMERGENCY up and running properly. And we still don’t have helmets!  I’m gonna create a Kickstarter campaign for my emergency helmets. #WhatsANationalEmergencyWithoutHelmets? #HelmetsMatter #EmergenciesRBetterWithHelmets #WatchYourHead #BringBackArmySurplusStores

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