boulderdash n: a road game played by California drivers during the wet season <Penelope called her friend to tell her about the ~ that was already underway along Pacific Coast Highway.> -more-




Hummingbird Closes LAX Indefinitely

A hummingbird wreaked havoc on LAX, becoming the fourth bird in a month to disrupt critical services at the airport. Officials downplay the incident as SWAT teams are summoned to resolve the situation.

by George Wolfe

A hummingbird attacked several jets and cut a major power feed to the main tower with its beak, causing frustrated Los Angeles International Airport officials to declare the airport to be "closed indefinitely."

"I've worked here twenty-five years and I've never seen anything quite like it," said engineer, Bill McDaniels. "It's like that Hitchcock movie, The Birds. None of us are safe as long as this bird keeps terrorizing us. It's bringing the whole city to its knees!"

"I've worked here twenty-five years and I've never seen anything quite like it... It's bringing the whole city to its knees!"

Bill McDaniels, LAX engineer

The hummingbird's activities forced x-ray, metal-detector and explosives-detection machines to reboot and recalibrate, leading to possible lapses in airport security. Officials tried to downplay the standstill of traffic, but with SWAT teams combing the airport and tarmac in search of the elusive bird, and sandbag walls being built, there was no denying a crisis.

At one point, F-15 and Hawker Harrier fighter jets were spotted chasing the hummingbird and firing various weaponry, but to no avail. In a case of friendly fire, an errant smart bomb destroyed a row of abandoned warehouses in Inglewood.One passenger, two airport employees and four SWAT-team members received lacerations from the hummingbird, though only one was reported to be life-threatening.

Given this hummingbird's uncharacteristic tenaciousness, more than a few people have speculated that the bird is the work of terrorists. "I'll bet they've trained it, you know, like a homing pigeon," said Torrance resident Bernadine Delgado. "Why would they close down the airport if it wasn't a serious threat? This is the fourth time this month that birds have closed the airport — and they try to tell us it's a coincidence?! No way. I'm going straight home and locking my doors and bolting my windows!"

At dusk, power remained out at the airport and their was no apparent success in apprehending the elusive, renegade hummingbird.

Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn urged patience and asked anyone near the airport to refrain from carrying drinks with sugar in them, "cause those damn birds love that stuff!"

AT A STANDSTILL: LAX ground to a halt as a hummingbird took on 747s, ground crews, passengers and SWAT teams.

HUMMING MAD: Something must've irritated this seemingly benign bird that went on a rampage, but experts are baffled.




ISSUE # 16

Hummingbird Closes LAX Indefinitely

Bush Declares California "Disaster Area" — in General