July 2002
volume 1, issue 1


One of the four walkie-talkies attached to my harness lets out a static-filled blurb:
"Task force to Kiddo, Task force to Kiddo, Do You Read Me, repeat, Do You Read Me? Over."
There's no headset, so I take my hands off the wheel to respond.
"That's an affirmative, Boss. Kiddo reading you loud and clear. Over."
"Have you reached your destination, Kiddo? over."
"I've got about a five-minute ETA on the Van Nuys Airport. Over."
12/31/99: 14:00 hour: I'm heading down the 5 doing about 90 miles per hour, the fastest speed my vehicle will afford. I am not manning the Hummer today, but a low-profile sedan, a rental with no plates.
I run through my checklist.
Walkie-Talkies (60 count). check.
High impact waterproof flashlight. check.
35 mm camera with telephoto lens. check.
$1,000.00 US Dollars cash, taped to abdomen. check.
Radio Shack Sonorous 2000 bullhorn. check.
Night Vision Goggles. check.
1 full bottle herbal tranquilizers: Saint John's Wort/Kava Kava/Valerian Root blend. check.
3 packages testosterone patches, most applied to jugular prior to event. check.

I look good: the Los Angeles Parking Enforcement Officer uniform fits snugly over my bullet proof Kevlar vest, although I did have to tape my breasts down to fit into it correctly. Navy blue pea-coat, brass buttons. Tactical boots highly shined. Hair slicked neatly beneath the imitation LAPD officer's cap.
The walkie-talkie squacks again:
"10-4 kiddo, just checking in. Those threats of terrorist attacks at the festival have been verified. My sources say Y2K complications may leave whole areas of the city without electricity and water. Weather reports predict rain. You've got those organizational charts? Make sure you're wearing your uniform."
"Roger. My cap is on."

Six months of rigorous training have led up to this day, the last of the Millennium: December 31st, 1999. The setting: Los Angeles, aka the "Entertainment Capital of the World", where even in the most peaceful of times, light precipitation instigates chaotic frenzies of mud slides and car accidents; where racial tensions, botched cosmetic surgeries and muscle-building smart-drinks form an intoxicating cocktail creating the most nerve-wracked, lonely, delusional population in America.

But I stand ready. Each and every late night at Celebration Headquarters spent constructing precise organizational charts and power-point presentations, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, a perusal of "The 48 Rules Of Power" and a subscription to "Soldier of Fortune" magazine has no doubt left me fully prepared for any emergency our City's Public Festival could possibly experience today.

Brandishing my official Celebrate L.A. Badge, which identifies me as the Cultural Affairs Liaison Deputy for the City of Los Angeles Official Public Millennium Celebration, I pull up to the reclining guard-figure in a neon-orange jacket positioned at the opening of the chain-link fence. The figure does not respond, so I assume it must be participating in one of those union slow-down strikes popular with civil servants. I enter the grounds and proceed westward, down the dirt road behind the airplane hangar.
In my rearview mirror, I notice I am being tailgated by a 1999 Ford Explorer, Warner Brothers Edition. I am not alarmed. Despite the recent rash of unsolicited attacks on type-B personality drivers by those whom the more forgiving of us would call "victims" of Road Rage, I know there is little risk of violent physical attack, since the statistics state that such attacks most often happen to women in white cars, and my car is not white. Additionally, we are now technically "off-roading", a modern recreation known to be rage -releasing, as opposed to the rage-inducing activity of operating a vehicle on a paved road. I instinctively understand that aggressive confrontation is always to be expected. I park and exit my vehicle.

The final trumpeting notes of Warner Brothers' "That's All Folks" cuts abruptly as the vehicle comes to a halt. The driver of the Warner Brothers SUV exits his vehicle, announcing himself to be Mike Bendavid, the self-proclaimed "Jewish Cowboy". I surreptitiously glance through my organizational chart to confirm identifying characteristics: 6’1", medium-large build, soft paunch, black cowboy hat , oversized face, undersized features, high-heeled yellow cowboy boots (brand new) which he rocks back and forth on. Overall demeanor of an adolescent boy with Attention Deficit Disorder. I shake his small hand, but remain business-like, emphasizing my importance by standing straight and tall, despite the 62 pounds of walkie-talkies strapped to my back.
I bark a list of responsibilities at Mike Ben-David, who is, according to my charts, in charge of Line-Dance 2000 Spectacular and caretaker of its acclaimed Celebrity Dance Host, Jan Michael Vincent, star of the mid-70's movie "Sandcastles" and "AirWolf", a short-lived television series of the eighties.
Orders issued, I make an about-face and march from the lot towards the adjacent Celebration Site. The party of the Millennium will commence at T-minus 1 hour.

"Headquarters to Kiddo, come in Kiddo. Is the site ready?"

I brusquely greet the group of reclining figures in neon-orange jackets emblazoned with the word "security" slumped by the side of the airplane hangar at the gate of chain-link fence. These are decoys, and thus no response is to be expected.
"Kiddo to HQ, Entering the Celebration Site; proceeding under the giant television screen. Confirming, 2 large celebratory banners have been secured to the fence. Over."
Banners are imperative to alerting the general public that a celebration should be taking place at this site. I note that they present quite a colorful contrast to the massive sprawl of crumbling concrete and overcast sky!

I announce my presence to the guardians of our City's Festival. 76 Los Angeles Police officers can be found 250 yards due East in a portable command-post/armored vehicle, concealed by a mural of multi-racial clowns surrounded by laughing Angelenos in wheelchairs. The command-post has a welcoming, jovial atmosphere. It is be warm inside, and the fragrance of Old Spice cologne mixed with the smell of baking cinnamon buns is perceptible. The officers do not respond to my announcement. Perhaps they surmise that I am not one of them; that my double-breasted, brass buttoned pea-coat is not a government-issued pea-coat but a cheap knock-off manufactured by a popular discount designer. I consider resorting to donut jokes to attract their attention. I wonder if the apparent snub is due to the undesirability of my visage: the large, painful pimple that throbs in the center of my forehead perhaps diminishes my clout as their fellow civil servant . Perhaps I appear a teenager, an amateur, prone to acne breakouts, even though I am nearing thirty years. I remind myself that seeming setbacks such as these may prove beneficial attributes in future circumstances, and exit the armored vehicle to report to my post.

As the Official Cultural Affairs Liaison Deputy for the City of Los Angeles Official Public Millennium Celebration, priority number one is the selling of Official Millennium T-Shirts to the Public.
My post, a tent located approximately 400 yards southeast of the entrance, is stocked with 40 large cardboard boxes, filled with t-shirts, all white, all XXLarge. All t-shirts have a logo printed on the front, depicting a pink, freckled child with an afro, wearing a kimono. Sex is indeterminable. The depicted child stares, eyes blank, mouth agape, into a computer screen. The screen of the computer reads: Celebrate L.A. 2000. I am aware that no one, not even an infant, needs or wants to wear a shirt in any size but XXL. I will advise potential buyers accordingly, Pointing out that the purchased shirt will be useful throughout the year as a gentle reminder to celebrate their city year-round, as well as to enhance relations among the ever-increasing overweight population of the Los Angeles.

At approximately T-minus 7 hours to Millennium, an army of sorts becomes visible on the Northwest horizon. The motley team advances slowly into my territory. Recognizable by their uniform royal-crimson baseball caps, these are the Volunteers, assigned to point revelers in the direction of the Port-a-Potties. The majority of the group will have trouble focusing on the assignment, channeling their ever-waning energy toward the acquisition of 1.) paraphernalia and 2.)hot food, neither of which they will expect to pay for. Particularly skilled at haggling is the group’s leader, who will be wearing two baseball caps, one on top of the other. I keep feelings of claustrophobia at bay as I am descended upon, diverting the group’s attentions to the trap that I have set for them, seven shacks behind mine: one indoor space-heater and 14 flats of par-tee-pack Frito-Lay snacks, along with a barrel of trial-size containers of antibacterial body-lotion.

The cacophonous moan of 4 shofars blown by well-respected rabbis accompanied by chinese gongs, a bass drum and a phalanx of scottish bagpipes sends the volunteers nervously scurrying towards the Port-a-Potties. I am not sure whether they are running to use the potties or to begin chaperoning revelers towards the potties. With the aid of my Sonorous 2000 Bullhorn, I herd most of them into position.
The Celebration of the Millennium has officially commenced.

The cross-cultural musical composition is interrupted by the hacking-away of choppers overhead; the wind generated by the blades flaps the tent-sides and renders me deaf to the musical accompaniment. I instinctively shield my head and dive for cover, being well-trained for this kind of situation. The choppers converge from all directions. One goes into a backspin, streaming a trail of rusty smoke across the clouds. Another circles backwards, emitting large puffs of exhaust, as well as some sparks and fire. Two more nearly collide as they cut side-strokes perpendicular to each other. The sky darkens, and I spot two unchaperoned youngsters huddling together in fear, quietly crying. I take a picture for the archives. The copters, having thoroughly smeared the palette of sky with their rubicon excrement, retreat one by one, with the exception of the Mother-Chopper, larger than the others and emblazoned with the aforementioned "Celebrate L.A. 2000" logo, as well as an additional slogan reiterated in large text on a distant blimp: "For the Children". The Mother-Chopper lands as the crowd scatters, its entrance made more spectacular by the simultaneous dropping of 2000 balloons by the cruising blimp. I have been informed that each balloon is laden with a small scrap of paper containing a "Millennium Wish", each wish authored by a child with a terminal illness. Ecological conservation restrictions mandate that the balloons must be collected and disposed of properly within the hour, to ensure that native flora and fauna of the airport will not be adversely affected by the jetsam. I wonder briefly what constitutes the native flora and fauna of the airport? rats? pigeons? crabgrass? A die-hard lover of all nature's creatures, I salute a flock of pigeons clustered near the kettle-corn vendor and issue orders to the custodial crew over the bullhorn to begin cleanup immediately, encouraging the scant population of celebrants to assist.

The chopper’s blades slow as the craft lands, The last strains of Wagner's "Flight of the Valkaries" becomes tinnily audible over the P.A. system, followed by the announcement of the arrival of Jan-Michael Vincent, Celebrity Dance Host for "Line-Dance 2000 Spectacular":
"Leading San Fernando Valley’s 2000 line dancers today…Superstar of the Seventies, star of the hit television series "Airwolf" in the Eighties…. Jan—Michael Vincent no longer suffers from alcoholic dementia, and has recovered the ability to walk after suffering a broken neck in a drunk-driving accident just last month! Currently disputing charges of spousal abuse by his ex-wife Tina, Jan-Michael has kept a positive Southland attitude, recently resurrecting his acting career, and will appear in the upcoming mini-series, "The Real Mrs. Jefferson", cast as a member of a White Supremacist group in the deep South during the Civil War...Let’s put our hands together for Jan-Michael Vincent!". Jan-Michael emerges from the Chopper, supported on either side by Darren, his agent, and Tanya, his confidante and manager.
His large red face matches his large red hand, which he waves in greeting to the revelers and fastidious custodial crew who pause from their work popping balloons and stuffing them into the large green garbage bags to wave back to him.
Shattering my image of integration for the has-been superstar, naturally that of the phoenix emerging triumphantly from the fire, Jan-Michael suddenly jackknifes forward, then catapults backward, whipping his two supporters back and forth, forcing them to follow his movements in a grotesque swing-your-partner sequence as they attempt to act as counterweights to the convulsing mastodon.

"Kiddo to Headquarters. Kiddo to Headquarters. We’ve got a code 2 incident by the landing pad. Repeat, we’ve got a code 2 incident by the landing pad, nine twenty nine (man down), repeat, we've got a nine twenty nine," I scream into three of the walkie-talkies at once. Response: silence, then feedback.

I scan the area to assess the situation before taking action: Jan-Michael’s body has landed head-first at the bottom of the helicopter’s staircase; Tanya and Darren cluster around the heap, flapping their arms and clapping their hands over their mouths. Prince’s "Party Like It’s 1999" is crackling quietly over the P.A.. The blimp still hovers motionless above, a few wayward balloons drift sluggishly into the Valley. A baker’s dozen police officers are lined up at the complimentary hot-chocolate stand near the Port-A-Potties, apparently oblivious to the critical situation.

With the clarity of purpose that crisis grants only the lucky, I cut across the airfield, making my way towards the accident, past the Ferris Wheel. I do not fail to notice that half of the decorative lighting on the wheel is not operating. I take a picture for the archives. The wheel itself continues to rotate a lone passenger. Past the wheel are a couple shacks housing carnival games and the two loud-mouths whose yells only compete with each others in a last-ditch attempt to advertise their knife-tossing competitions.

"AirWolf is fine, folks, he’s just not used to wearing cowboy boots!" The voice of Mike Ben-David echoes across the airfield, accented with knowing chuckles. I can make out the figure of Jan-Michael, no longer supported by Tanya and Darren, his large red hand waving again, this time to the charter-bus carrying his dancers pulling up to the airfield entrance; He seems to be improvising a variation of the classic line-dance favorite, "The Alley Cat".

"Kiddo to Headquarters, it's a code 12, false alarm. Over" the walkie-talkie issues no response. the talkie comes alive again:
"HQ to Kiddo, Please remain at your post. Remember, the T-Shirts are Your Primary responsibility! Over and out."

A timely alert: From across the airfield a whirlpool of red-caps circle my booth, my cardboard boxes, my t-shirts. A volunteer-infestation–the shirts are pulled from the boxes and passed hand-to-hand, each person aiding a partner in donning 4 OR 5 shirts apiece; arms up, shirts over the head.
"Layers, people, layers insulate the body's warmth!"
The situation is easily alleviated. The high-frequency chirp-alarm I have activated over my "Sonorous Dominator 2000" Bullhorn, followed by a brief yet authoritative announcement that 1.the shirts are not waterproof and 2. All profits from t-shirt sales go to children with reading disabilities, has convinced the aged pilferers to cease their larcenous frenzy and return the t-shirts to me in a peaceful, orderly manner. I pass out garbage bags, of which there is an abundance, for the volunteers to wear as rain ponchos.

Jan-Michael has officially begun to lead "Parade 2000: Line Dance Spectacular", in the West Airplane Hangar. My camera’s telephoto lens provides me with a good view from my vantage-point, despite the gently falling rain. 30-odd dancers costumed in pointed cowboy boots and fringed jackets are illuminated by distant flourescents hanging from the cavernous ceiling of the hangar, and the high-beams of flashlights pointed at them by well-meaning police officers offer little more than glare. The lighting in the hangar is perhaps too dim for photographs for the archives. I shoot anyway. As the hats bob and the boots tap and swivel, I cannot quite make out through my lens what exactly the Celebrity Dance Host is doing with his body to the tune of "Shameless" sung by Garth Brookes. Luckily, his Professional Dance Partner, Mike Ben-David, demonstrates expertise not only in line-dancing, but also in the sport of corral: he prods, yanks, and firmly spins the man, camouflaging Jan’s errant staggers and trips by blocking any view of it with a phenomenally fast skip-to-my-lou-step-ball-change-heel-pivot-high-kick, followed by a whirling 360 degree spin around the Superstar.

I report to the limousine behind the west hangar to deliver an official Thank you to Jan Michael for his outstanding performance.
The celebrity's limousine idles on the wet dirt road behind the hangar. Summoning the enthusiasm that distinguishes a great hostess from a mere pleasant one, I wedge myself into the leather seat between agent Darren, and Mike Bendavid. The stuffy interior of the limo reeks of Cutty Sark, and I can't refrain from mentioning that Celebrate LA 2000 is intended to be a family-oriented, thus alcohol-free event, after which statement I gaze with equal admiration at those who sit across from me: Jan-Michael Vincent, short of breath no doubt from dancing with a newly healed broken neck, and Tanya, his confidante. I can tell by the way Tanya examines me that she is a woman wrought with jealousy, excruciatingly possessive of her man Jan. In this respect, the pulsating pimple on my forehead has gained me partial immunity to the omnipresent call to competitive man-snatching.

"Jan Michael," I begin, reciting my well-memorized lines, "as the Cultural Affairs Liaison Deputy for the City of Los Angeles Official Public Millennium Celebration I am thrilled that you could grace the City of Los Angeles with your presence here today. Thank you, Jan Michael, for making this a truly memorable Millennium Celebration."
Jan Michael grunts. I can only assume the grunt was not a deliberate slight, but truly the most eloquent gesture he could muster.

As I continue my twelve and a half minute benediction, my mind cannot help but wander to the Jan-Michael Vincent homepage Guestbook, which I had come upon during internet research on our Celebrity host. The "Guestbook" of messages meant for the expression of admiration and support for Jan most closely resembled the cyber-version of the walls of an unkempt public toilet stall, a toilet stall with infinite walls on which to scratch out anonymous messages containing all the pathetic desperation, nonsensical babble and vile aggression the average American citizen finds so difficult to express in any other manner:

Jan I have read about your accident and it saddens me. You have been my inspiration my hero for a very long time. You are right in what you are doing some one has to show these bastards that they cant destroy someones life and just walk away. That is what they did back on June 13 1992 when my two day old son had open heart surgery. They told me he had a 98% chance of surviving. the next day they told me he was braindead. Three days later I put a little bible under his hand and gave him back to god. as I walked away I looked back at him and his eyes began to open. After months of recovery it was time to go home. Thats when one of the nurses left his records in the room. I discovered what they would never tell me, what went wrong? The surgeon had cut blood flow off to his brain for nearly fifteen minutes. The cerebral palsy partial blindness, liver and lung damage was there fault.
That was October 21, 1992. So stand tall Jan micheal and know that you are right. You are my inspiration that sometimes there is justice in the world that we live in. You to are and will allways be the wind beneath my wings.

Tanya Morgan
Lily, Kentucky USA

Dear Jan, I'm really glad I found this site. I found it when searching "PISS DRINKER". The one good thing about FAGS is that they like all kinds of weird shit. I want a HOMO so I can get something really rough, like a CHEESE GRATER or 60 GRIT SANDPAPER, then I want to TEAR THEIR ASS TO SHREDS with it. I mean the ASS CHEEKS, the ASSHOLE, the CRACK - everything. I'd even roll the sandpaper up and fuck them in the ass if that's what they wanted. Then I WANT TO PISS IN THE BLOODY OPEN WOUNDS! Man, that really gets me going. How great would that be?
Sun City, Arizona

jeff boyce <pop182>
columbus, ohio usa

Jan, my friend, I am praying for you. I am praying that you let me suck your frank and lick your beans.
Elton John
London , England