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19 Fears Only People From Los Angeles Understand

Los Angeles
by Pamela Chan Dec 29, 2015

1. That Scientology has finally taken over the city

All around town, there are those spectacularly huge Scientology complexes that sometimes seem to take up more green space than an actual hospital. Sure, Tom Cruise and John Travolta are LA-based, but, really, is this necessary?

2. That a Wannabe Star (or their mother) is about to get in our face

Okay, so LA is apparently the place to go if you’re trying to get famous. Each pilot season, flocks and flocks of eager, fresh-faced princesses and princes trek to Tinsel Town to ‘make it big.’ Unfortunately for local residents, they are not always the most courteous, friendly, or dare I say polite. Their parents? Now, that’s a whole other story. Beware of those ‘Oakwood Moms (and Dads).’ Beware.

3. That the apocalypse is finally here

Between California’s impending drought, the deliberate power cuts designed to lessen the state’s electrical load, and often-ridiculous city-by-city over-usage fines (of $1000+), it’s safe to say that the world as we know it is in fact coming to an end.

Living in LA is already turning into a drag. Brown lawns, 3-minute showers, days-old clothing, and power outages that sweep through entire zip codes are seriously no fun at all. Plus, there’s no running through the sprinklers or playing with the hose or taking those looonnngggg hot bubble baths any more — we could get fined for that. It’s a real bummer.

4. That we’ll only have IKEA furniture to hide under when another Northridge hits

I mean, they have been prepping us since our kinder years with nonstop drills, bins chock full of zip-locked SOS packages, and that infamous turtle pose we all seem to automatically crouch into whenever there is any unusually sudden shock of movement — even if it’s just a semi cruising down a crowded city street.

5. That soon, it will all just be smog and clouds

“Marine layer?” As if. Many mornings while sipping on that cup of lukewarm Joe, you might just find that all the mountains, clouds, and scenery have up and disappeared — only to realize a few seconds later that it’s just another layer of hazy Downtown smog. Los Angeles + Air = Bad.

6. That someone’s going to come out of nowhere and quiz us on how to use public transportation

Despite the myth that no one takes advantage of the city’s vast network of trains, buses, and automobiles, public transportation is actually used in LA — a lot. There are literally more than 1 million bus-boardings each weekday — that’s just the bus and just on weekdays. But, the sad thing is, most people still haven’t learned how to really use it. Properly, at least.

7. That the Santa Ana’s winds are coming, always

…Oh, Santa Ana’s, why must you over-activate nasal congestion, bloodshot eyes, sleepless nights, angry skin, bad moods, itchy rashes, and other wicked allergic reactions or flu-like symptoms that come only because your hot, humid, and crazily strong winds whip through our towns, taking every last bit of living moisture with it?

8. That a patrol car will see that we just parked there

The risks of parking in LA are ridiculous. Running in and out of a fully air-conditioned office building just to toss more coins into that fussy little parking meter on Santa Monica Blvd. is more than irritating, especially when the sucker nonchalantly gobbles up the last few bits of that quarter collection you’ve been trying to gather up since grade school. It’s scary, it’s frustrating, and unfortunately, it seems to happen all too much in the L to the A, an incredibly poopy city when it comes to everything parking-related.

Don’t even get me started on the already half-full drawer of unpaid tickets that I have, just because I forgot to move my car on a street-sweeping Tuesday. Plus, those annoying patrol cars that dart out of nowhere at all the wrong times, and, of course, the truly confusing hard-to-read signs plopped up in every corner warning us to ‘park at your own risk.’ It might as well be a riddle.

9. That we’re all just destined to live in permanent student loan debt

Sure, this really is more of a national problem, but here in California, it’s truly become one of our biggest fights (and fears) — at least money-wise. Try being in your late 30s and still trying to figure out how it is that you wound up with those lengthy student loan lists that seem to never ever have any sort of end. Yep, that’s the life my friends, especially nowadays when regular tuition hikes in local community colleges and even in-state universities such as UC and CSU have become a normal annual occurrence.

10. That we’re about to get into a car accident

White and red brake lights, flashing stop lights, hidden red camera lights, helicopter spotlights… Basically any light (or sign) that’s remotely road-related means that things are about to get ugly. Scratch that. How about we just widen the net to say that LA driving in general is utterly insane.

Let’s see: There’s 5pm or should I just say 24/7 traffic, (not) moving on the ever-so-wonderful 405, 5, 605, 101, 110 (need I go on?) freeways, Carmageddon, those oh so sudden Sig Alerts, stop signs that uber crazy drivers choose not to notice but instead think of as yield-when-they-feel-like-it signs, street closures that pop out of nowhere, etc. etc. The mere thought of all of it already brings hellish nightmares.

11. That we’ll somehow get stuck between a Trojan and a Bruin

You really don’t want to mess with any one of these football frenzied friends, families, and fanatics in general. Especially if the two rival schools are playing. Each other.

On days when burgundy-and-yellow face off with yellow-and-blue, it’s pretty much just better to steer clear of Pasadena (i.e. the Rose Bowl), Downtown (i.e. the Coliseum), hyped-up spots like 901 Bar & Grill, Maloney’s, The Lab Gastropub, or Busby’s West, and basically any other room packed with a plasma wide screen and lots of chips, dip, and beer.

12. That we’ll be minutely late to a movie

Only in LA will you be barred from entering a movie if you are more than ten minutes late. Prime example: The Arclight.

13. That we’ll somehow get stuck in West Hollywood on Halloween

It’s the ultimate c-r-a-z-y.

14. That we’ll wake up to Meatball clawing through our dumpster

Lost, wild animals in residential backyards is not at all strange or uncommon in LA.

15. That it’s about to drizzle

Every single time it even starts sprinkling, the entire city seems to panic and shut down. People stay home, cars are abandoned on the sides of roads, and reporters wearing funky galoshes show up on television, warning people hysterically that “It’s raining!!!!” — as if the moisture pouring down from the sky was acid instead of water.

16. That we’ll see another cycling-related accident

With the absence of bike lanes all across this mighty fine SoCal city, drivers of all kinds are in constant danger of potentially pancaking a cyclist. Be. Careful.

17. That we’ll hear the phrase, “It’s just like in the movies!” again

Hoards of tourists on double-decker buses may not seem like a scary thing, but they are. Every little local building is snapshot worthy. Every Ray Ban-touting, Prada- wearing, high-heel-clad blondish brunette bombshell is “that movie star.” Everything that may seem absolutely and completely normal to us may just happen to be the most gloriously amazing eighth world wonder that these awestruck outsiders have ever witnessed. And more often than not, they seem to have permanent O-M-G expressions plastered all across their lovely pale faces. God help us.

18. That we’re forced to depend on Smokey Bear way too much

There’s no stopping those flames from blazing high, especially when those unconcerned citizens toss cigarettes out the window and cause Los Angeles to burn burn burn.

19. That we’ll have to go to a three-letter destination again

DMV. Or, how about LAX?! Enough said.

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