Last summer, author/police officer Will Beall wrote an LA Times editorial arguing that as far fetched as some of his debut novel, “L.A. Rex” may be, its no less plausible than what happens normally in Los Angeles. Looking at events over the past week in the Southland, he’s more right than ever.
Last Friday night, an LAPD chopper made an emergency landing on the football field of Hollywood High. A man was shot in a likely gang hit at Forest Lawn Cemetery in broad daylight on New Years Day. And on Monday, down in San Diego, a suspect took hold of a police dog sicced on him and jumped over the side of the Coronado Bridge (the dog was killed, the man survived with injuries).
If anything, after reading the 350 plus pages of modern pulp noir majesty known as “L.A. Rex,” I thought the book might actually be required reading for anyone wanting to learn Los Angeles 101. Here’s five short lessons I learned from the novel:
1. It’s possible to beat the LAPD’s entry polygraph exam “with two Valiums and a little concentration.”
2. LAPD officers are required to ride in the ambulance with unconcious victims of violent crime, “standard procuedure in case the victim makes any dying declarations about who did it.”
3. All LAPD officers sleep with female probationers (rookies) assigned to them.
4. Veteran LAPD officers know to make a restroom visit before their shift so in case they get shot all the bacteria in their stool won’t infect their insides.
5. In the 80s, after LAPD officers killed a dozen black guys using the choke hold, Chief Daryl Gates said “they died because blacks have different arteries than normal people.”
Oh, and if you’re looking for more practical advice, alligator snapping turtles make for great theft deterrents, especially for anyone wiley enough to get past your pet jaguar.