Bart Mendoza 5 a.m., Dec. 8
Summertime….ahh, lemon-aid stands, Slip-and-Slides across the lawn, family get-togethers and psychotic security guards working at Lake Miramar over the 4th of July.
For years now my wife and I have enjoyed getting our pyrotechnic fix for Independence Day from atop the dam at Lake Miramar. Before 9/11 we were able to walk out on the dam itself. We could see multiple firework displays around town: Mira Mesa, Del Mar, La Jolla, and the Southlands. Since the terrorist attacks the “powers that be” have decided that citizens can no longer walk on the dam after dark and have erected a seven-foot barbed wire fence and gate. This is understandable, since I suppose there’s always a chance that my wife or a neighbor will suddenly convert and pack along a shoeful of C4, but I digress. Even with the new restrictions, the view is good and everyone settles in very peacefully and enjoys the thirty-minutes of spectacular light show in celebration of America’s birth.
This year was no different, everyone was hunkered down and all set for the show with their chairs, their blankets, their radios, and their thermos full “totties.” Just as the show began, however, a car came careening into the parking lot behind us with high beams a’blazin’. This is odd because the rest of us all parked out on the street and hiked up to our spot since the reservoir is closed to vehicles after sunset. The driver’s door flew open and a diminutive, security-guard-uniform-wearing, psychotic, nut-ball jumped out and started running through the crowd shouting, at no one in particularly, “Stay away from dam! Must not go to dam! Just settle down!” I seriously thought it was some kind of prank since, not only was nobody near the dam, nobody was even within fifty feet of the gate that would stop anybody from being on the dam! Well, I figured this little fellow must have had too much coffee and would soon tire of his nonsense and I turned my attention back to the sky show. I was wrong.
This twisted little wannabe superhero was just getting started. He continued with the verbal commands while he stirred up the brush and circled the crowd. He swung his flashlight around as he yelled, “Just a reminder, stay back from dam. Don’t go to dam. Stay back!” The crowd sat calmly and watch the fireworks. “Stay back! Don’t try and go to dam! Just a reminder, Stay back!” What the...? Clearly, the “reality” playing out in his confused mind was nothing like the reality the rest of us were witnessing. He kept it up the entire time, throughout the fireworks. Even when it was over and everyone was packing up to leave, a couple of guys tried to calmly explain to him that no one was doing anything wrong and he didn’t need to be so dramatic. Of course, he responded by waving his arms and shouting, “Good, good, it’s over! Good, now go home! It’s over! Good, good!” There seems to be three possible conclusions here: first, this dude was drunk on cheap red wine and fell asleep and panicked when he woke to see people hiking up for the show; second, that he is completely incompetent and in way-over-his-head trying to guard the city’s water supply; or, finally, that he has something dark and awful festering in his brain that makes him have wildly inappropriate responses to everyday situations. Quite frankly, knowing that he’s probably still out there, I’m pretty nervous about whichever conclusion it is. I mean, think about it…the man had a flashlight!
Daniel J McAuliffe 7-31-10