I was born and raised in Los Angeles. My parents were born and raised in Los Angeles. My maternal grandfather was born and raised in Los Angeles, although technically Zeyde was straight out of Compton, where he broke his nose playing high school football during the leather helmet era. According to family lore, some of my ancestors first set foot in Los Angeles County just before the turn of the last century. Supposedly, one of my relatives sang at the opening of the Hollywood Bowl in 1922, although my own Karaoke skills give me reason to take that story with a grain of salt.
The point is, my family has a history with this place, but it’s not like our roots go back to the Treaty of Cahuenga, or the period of Spanish ranchos and missions, or LA’s Pueblo days, or the Tongva and Chumash times. Historically speaking, we’re relative newcomers to Los Angeles.
But in a city where the word “transplant” describes 99.99% of residents, my family’s history with the city that sprang up at the edge of the continent, between an unforgiving desert and the seemingly endless Pacific Ocean, feels historic and rare. According to Christina, who established her roots here in the 21st century when she came to Los Angeles to attend USC Film School, I am a “unicorn.”
Maybe Christina is right about me. Maybe I am a unicorn. After all, most of my childhood friends have left Los Angeles, and most of their parents weren’t born here. This place churns people like no other city on Earth, but somehow I have roots in a place where most people are tumbleweeds just blowing through town.
Those roots came in handy last week, when a snow storm—an actual fucking snow storm—hit Los Angeles. While my fellow Angelenos shit their pants and took to social media to sound apocalyptic alarms, I took a small measure of comfort from the historical record. In 1983, a winter storm dumped several inches of snow on Los Angeles area mountains that supposedly never see snow.
“Do you remember that?” Christina asked.
Her question made me feel like an old man, so I leaned back in my rocking chair, lit a pipe, and regaled my wife with tales from the days of yore, when Los Angeles children walked ten miles barefoot in the snow to attend their school’s D.A.R.E classes.
“I remember a snowball fight in elementary school,” I said.
“You do? Really!?”
“Well, there wasn’t very much snow. So it wasn’t a classic snowball fight. Actually, there was just enough snow for one snowball, and that’s what we fought over—a snowball fight!”
“That’s funny,” Christina said, but I took note of the fact that she didn’t actually laugh.
Anyway, we weathered the storm. Since we live in the Valley, we were below the snow-level. But we did get some hail, which was wild. And the next day, when the clouds cleared, the mountains just to the north of us—mountains that are usually brown with chaparral and supposedly have never seen snow—were capped with just enough fresh, white powder for the vast majority of Angelenos to say they had “never seen anything like it in LA.”
Thank you, situation normies!
I love writing Situation Normal! When I say I’d do it for free, I’m not kidding. For the first two years of this project, I didn’t take a dime, or a doge coin. But bringing you great stories every week takes time, and as the saying goes, time is money. So, I really appreciate the situation normies who have stepped up to support my work and subsidize the laughter this community enjoys. This week, those awesome situation normies are:
Betsy B., who I don’t know IRL, but who nevertheless was kind enough to spring for annual subscription!
Lauren, who I don’t know IRL either, but who decided to show her support by making a monthly contribution!
Claire R., who according to her Substack bio is an illustrator, designer, and maker. Claire made my day—see what I did there, Claire?—by plunking down some of her hard-earned moolah for an annual subscription!
Mark & Mia! I know Mark & Mia IRL. They’re great people who served our country, then left government service to open Neon Retro Arcade, which is a very happy place in Pasadena. Also, Mark and Mia make really good homemade ice cream. A place to play classic video games and homemade ice cream would’ve been more than enough, but Mark and Mia don’t mess around, so they purchased a founder subscription, which entitles them to free rides to doctors appointments in Los Angeles County. That’s a smart purchase on Mia’s part because she’s also a Los Angeles unicorn.
Wanna see your name in a Situation Normal shout out? Upgrade to a paid subscription👇
I’ve been messing around with ChatGTP, a predictive text AI that makes every human who uses it seem a lot less cool. But who cares about being cool? I’ve got important questions about long-standing pop culture mysteries that only an AI detective can answer.
There you go, situation normies. The killing of the deputy remains open and unsolved, although according to the AI, it’s also possible that the whole story was bullshit. Guess I’ll have to wait for a Bob Marley Bot to get an answer.
I’ve always believed that you should treat everyone equally, regardless of their religious beliefs. But that view, while idealistic, isn’t universal. In fact, there’s a paint store in Florida selling a shade of purple that appears to be reserved exclusively for gentiles.
The photo comes courtesy of my brother-in-law Zach, who happens to be a brother Shamus in the Lebowski sense of the word. Since Zach lives in Florida, and because I dig his work, he’s now the official Situation Normal Florida correspondent. Paying subscribers can read this Halloween story from the Situation Normal archives about the time Zach helped build a haunted house that scared me shitless.
Got something to submit to Situation Normal? Send your funny photos, odd overheards, and other slices of life to email@example.com.
Last Sunday, I published the first profile in Situation Normal history! The piece is about Sophia Locke, a porn star who spoke with me about returning to adult entertainment, building community as a cam model, TikTok, strange fan requests, consent, step mom content, and singing. You can read that piece here.
So far, responses to my profile have been good because situation normies are good people who enjoy laughing while they learn new things.
Meanwhile, my profile of Sophia Locke has gotten a lot of good attention on Twitter, despite the fact that the free speech bros who run that shit show put a content warning on a story that contains zero nudity and fewer curse words than I normally use. Go fucking figure!
Stick around and chat!
You know the drill. I’ve got questions, you’ve got answers.
Do you think the snow storm that hit Los Angeles is a sign of the coming apocalypse, or was this whole thing an elaborate special effect shot for a new Roland Emmerich film?
OK, but for real, snow in Los Angeles is bonkers, and we’ve really messed up this planet, right?
Given my family’s long-ish, but really in the grand scheme of things, not-very-long-at-all history in Los Angeles, is Christina right? Am I a unicorn?
Seriously, who shot the deputy? Leave your tips and unhinged conspiracy theories in the comments.
What else should I ask ChatGTP?
Hi Michael, loved the snow in LA story!
Now I don't mean to be picky. Actually, maybe I do, since swear word grammar is of particular interest to me.
When you said 'While my fellow Angelenos shit their pants and took to social media to sound apocalyptic alarms' ... sure it should not have been 'While my fellow Angelenos SHAT their pants and took to social media to sound apocalyptic alarms'?
1. It’s Los Angeles, pal. I lived there when they were shooting the Alien Nation movie and all the storefronts around Western and Hollywood had signs in a language that looked like EKGs. Who knows?
3. Put your hand on your forehead. Is there a horn? If so, then yes. Or the Jewish husband answer: if your wife says you’re a unicorn, start prancing and farting rainbows.
4. The other two original Wailers.
5. Ask why goyim get their own paint color.