Guy Adams: Another kind of seismic event...

LA Notebook

Share
Related Topics

It's been chaos this week. Everyone's cancelling meetings and staying inside, glued to TVs. Outside, roads are gridlocked, beaches are eerily deserted, and there's a pervading whiff of change in the air.

It has nothing to do with the election. The inhabitants of Los Angeles have been coming to terms with a seismic annual event that strikes at the very fabric of their lives: the start of the "rainy" season.

This being Southern California, it's important to get "rainy" into proportion. We're not talking monsoon. Instead, November has brought what Brits might call scattered showers and a few hours of persistent drizzle last weekend. A thunderstorm is forecast to hit the city today.

Still, it's the first precipitation LA's seen since May, and rolling news channels are in full-on panic mode. Surfers have been told to stay out of the water to avoid toxic pollution that's being washed into the sea; muddy landslides are allegedly threatening houses. Some drains are blocked. One TV station even went live to shocking pictures of... people using umbrellas.

The biggest problem with rain is that it clogs up the very lifeblood of this city: traffic. Angelenos make terrible drivers at the best of times, but the smallest downpour turns their freeways into a scene from Wacky Races, as tailgating commuters skid into each other, exchange insurance details, and prepare to sue for personal injury.

I wonder, though, if the people of LA should really hate the rain. It is, after all, the fuel that drives their precious car washes, power showers, lawn sprinklers, and swimming pools. It helps stop forest fires and prevents smog. In short, for the inhabitants of this fragile metropolis, a bit more seasonal drizzle might actually be one of the Changes We Need.

Ladies be good

Rain didn't prevent 100 of the University of Southern California's former cheerleaders turning out for a reunion at half time of their alma mater's football game against Washington on Saturday.

A crowd of about 80,000 people watched the plucky ladies (who were mostly aged between 40 and 60) demonstrate their enduring ability to perform high kicks and squeeze into the Lolita-esque outfits that they first wore during their student days. In Britain, by contrast, we have Morris Dancing. I know which one I prefer.

Branded with fame

Here's how Russell Brand explained his status to the inhabitants of a small fringe theatre in Hollywood on Sunday: "English people in the audience will be able to verify that I am indeed famous," he said. "I wouldn't work without fame. Without fame, my haircut would just look like mental illness."

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Savvy Media Ltd: Media Sales executive - Crawley

£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Muslim men pray at the East London Mosque  

Sadly, it needs to be said again: being a Muslim is not a crime

Yasmin Alibhai Brown
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible