Los Angeles' Northwest Passage

by Alexander Jacobson

In response to Los Angeles’ traffic problems, the new Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa has backed a number of efforts to uncover a Northwest Passage within his beloved LA. He has not specified what said passage leads to, nor what it is north-west of, but he promises it will alleviate congestion in the city if discovered. Here is a convoluted timeline tracking his progress.

Seven Years Ago: Mayor signs a $40,000 bill to purchase every Star-Map in the souvenir shops of Hollywood. He hoped that, in addition to “accurately” mapping where every star in Hollywood lives, the upstanding cartographers vending the maps had also already accurately mapped the Northwest Passage. He was wrong, and after discovering that all the souvenir shops sold the exact same map he signed another bill firing his secretary for allowing him to sign the first bill without reading it.

Six Years Ago: Harrison Ford is enlisted to the project because his role as Indiana Jones branded him the last “explorer” still residing in Los Angeles. A star-wars obsessor finds him four months later swinging by his whip from a traffic light, tactfully avoiding pairs of perfectly-round-“boulders” bouncing past. Ford referred to the ‘obstacles’ as “silicone double-D’s” and another Han-solo stalker later caught him pursuing and harassing said boulders.

Five Years, Six Months Ago: Frustrated, the Mayor hires an army of mercenary explorers to find the passage. Unlike the original Northwest Passage, which was blocked by ice and snow, Los Angeles’ current explorers would merely have to brave a comfortably sunny and warm climate. When the search began, this seemed to be a god-send, but the warm weather was extremely distracting for many who searched for the passage. Half of Viaragossa’s explorer-army was lost to sea-side frisbee tossing and another quarter to chasing smog-covered butterflies in the park.

Five years, Three Months Ago: A to-be-identified bald pop-singer attacks several explorers with an umbrella while they were sitting in a black SUV. The explorers were puzzled both because carrying an umbrella in Los Angeles is like carrying penguin repellent in Nebraska and because despite the fact that the attacker was bald, she was not a card-carrying member of any Los Angeles race-gang. The assailant’s younger sister just got pregnant, she herself just got out of rehab and her name is not Spritney Bears.

Five Years Ago: Mayor issues memo warning against exploring the Hollywood and Highland area. This memo was the result of an incident in which “Goths” assailed government explorers by safety-pinning candles to their hats. The memo also claims that the Goths zippered themselves to the explorer’s bumpers to save money on gas. This was purportedly so they could pay the medical bills they’d racked up wearing corsets and not cutting themselves for attention. The memo also apologizes for that last blanket statement, but it’s fucking true.

Two Months Ago: Viaragossa’s aids discover that fires destroyed one of the most promising routes. Seven of the Mayor’s aids were lost when they mistook a real 700-acre brush fire for the set of Schwartzeneggar’s next movie “The End of Days II: Flammable Satanic Palm-trees Attack”

One Month, 29 Days Ago: Headline reading, “Renegade palm trees block Northwest Passage” breaks, which is ironically entirely unrelated to the seven deaths just a day before. In a city beautification project, the Mayor decided to have palm trees planted not only on either side of every road in Beverly Hills, but also along the center median of every road. Unfortunately, the landscape architect was imprisoned for door-to-door coke-selling and spitefully planted palm trees at four-foot intervals over immense stretches of the dividing median. This prevented anyone from making a left turn for just over seventeen and a half miles.

Six Months after Katrina: President Bush comically tries to remedy his failure in New Orleans by subsidizing the search for the Northwest Passage in Los Angeles. His efforts, however, fail when he fails to informate Governor Schwarzenegger that by “subsidize” he actually meant ‘invade’. The second his Governatorship was threatened, Schwarzenegger marched against the National Guard backed by an army of two-thousand and twenty-four extra’s he drafted from the set of his latest movie. The extras were not palm trees and the ensuing lawsuit pulled funds from the search for two weeks.

Two Weeks after the Six-Month Anniversary of Katrina: The Mayor’s aids discover an ancient “subway” system that runs “beneath” the city streets from “down-town” to places like “the valley”, “the beach” and “Orange County.” His aids also discover that the train was manufactured by GM. This sparks a heated and extremely shallow debate over which company the city should have hired to construct the ancient subways so that the system bared an appropriate slogan.

Four Hours Ago: Mayor’s Aids settle on Lexus’s “The Passionate Pursuit of Perfection” as the appropriate slogan for the city’s public transport system. This is both because, “The city will always value Luxury, which kind of sounds like Lexus,” and because, “Los Angeles will never have a functional public transport system, let alone a perfect one, but would still like to take credit for being eternally and passionately in pursuit of one.”


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