Sunday, March 16, 2008


This is the 101 - 170 - 134 exchange in North Hollywood. Looks harmless, doesn't it? Well, take a closer look:

Let me illustrate some of its, ahem, eccentricities:

If you're traveling north, you can't go east without getting of the freeway, traveling for about half a mile on surface streets and getting back on.
If you're traveling south, you can't go west.
If you're traveling east, you can't go north.
And if you're traveling west, you can't go south.

If you're traveling north on the 101 and keep going straight north, you'll actually be on the 170.
If you're traveling east on the 101 and continue straight, you'll find yourself on the 134.
If you're traveling north on the 101 and stay on the 101, you'll now be going due west - and will continue going due west (on the 101 North) for the next fifty miles or so.

Don't move to North Hollywood unless you can fly.



Last Sunday I was living my glamorous Hollywood life. That’s right, I was picking up dog poop. Glamorous Hollywood dog poop. My attention was necessarily focused downwards. I was treading carefully, you might say. That’s when I became aware of a familiar but unwelcome sound, a buzzing, a beelike buzzing.

Now, those of you who think you know me will no doubt assume that I instantly ran away screaming and flailing my arms like a little girl. Well, nuts to you. I’ll have you know that I have matured greatly and a bee or two is no longer a bother to me. I have flicked single bees off of my sleeve with a, dare I say it, James Bond-like level of calm and panache. No, wait, that’s stupid. Anyway, a single bee does not a freak-out make, okay?

But, then, I realized I wasn’t hearing just one buzzing. Or even a couple. Actually, the buzzing was rather loud. Maybe it was time to take my eyes off the ground and reassess the situation.

I was SURROUNDED by bees! I, with my world class powers of observation, who single-handedly solved the “Case of the Taj Mahal Ghost Murderer” through my jungle-trained heightened senses, had walked within three feet of an active beehive.

That’s when I ran screaming and flailing my arms like a little girl. Hey, laugh all you want, Mr. Smug Anonymous Internet Reader, but killer bees are now a reality in southern California. And I don’t think anybody wants this on their gravestone, do they?

Of course they don’t. Especially if their name isn’t even Hudson Shock.

I called a bee removal company, and they had a guy show up Monday morning, Which meant I only had to seal the house up in duct tape for a day, so there’s that, at least. After an hour, he knocked on the door and I uncurled from my fetal position. He informed me that the bees had actually built the hive under the shed, which is why I hadn’t seen it. Because of that, he hadn’t been able to take the bees alive and had had to kill them. (There’s a weird honeybee shortage going on in southern California, and so they’re trying to keep as many alive as possible. You lose this round, environment.)

“Yeah,” he said, “you had a couple of thousand bees under there. Good thing we caught it early.”

Two thousand bees. That’s “catching it early.”

Two. Thousand. BEES.

Two thousand is one of those concepts the human mind has a hard time comprehending. Like the square root of a negative number. Or why anyone goes on “The Moment of Truth.” Let me illustrate.

This is a bee.

This is ten bees.


To put it another way, if you took every one of those bees and laid them end to end, they would reach to the moon and back three and a half times! Two thousand bees can strip a cow down to the bone in under thirty seconds. They could form a twinkie thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds. What do you have to say to that, Mr. Ernie Hudson?

That's a big Twinkie.

Damn straight.