LA Observed: Los Angeles media, politics and sense of place since 2003
Right of Way 32

As Napolitano pushes his Lexus, he notices the bright lights in his rearview speed up to follow. Suddenly he slows for a line of brake lights up ahead: Traffic.

He speed-dials a number into his phone. A gruff, female voice answers.

VANDERGOOT (SPEAKER-PHONE)
Traffic control, Vandergoot.
NAPOLITANO
Ms. Vandergoot, itís Mayor Napolitano, weíve got a little tie-up here on La Brea, and --
VANDERGOOT (SPEAKER-PHONE)
Right. And Iím Lindsay Lohan.

We hear a CLICK and the sound of a DIAL TONE. Napolitano hits redial and eyes the car behind him, now approaching rapidly in his rear-view. Itís some kind of big SUV, with HEADLAMPS mounted on the roof.

VANDERGOOT (SPEAKER-PHONE)
Who is it now, President Obama?
NAPOLITANO
Russell Napolitano, I.D. number B389W027. Authorization code S-1-A like apple.
Silence.
NAPOLITANO
Ms. Vandergoot, I need your help.
VANDERGOOT (SPEAKER-PHONE)
Yes, Mr. Mayor.

A beat. In the rear-view, the HEADLAMPS are closing in.

NAPOLITANO
Iím heading south on La Brea toward Melrose. I need you to clear me with green all the way to the Ten.
VANDERGOOT (SPEAKER-PHONE)
(lightens up)
Got a big crowd over at Pinkís tonight?

 
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Eric Estrin