For the last several weeks it has been virtually impossible to
possess ears and simultaneously be unaware of the apocalyptic closing of the
405 freeway. Even then, earless Southern Californians knew about Carmageddon,
maybe even sooner than the rest of us because they can sense the impending
terror through vibrations in the ground, probably.

As a woman that takes pride in being a level-headed, strong
and independent USC student, I knew that in the face of this horrifying event,
it would be important to set an example for my fellow Southern Californians and
hang onto the local News station’s every
word and believe and do exactly what they told me because they reliably predict
the future.

As a result, for the last three days I literally buried myself
20 feet beneath the ground. I could only imagine the measures my fellow
students were taking just to survive this god awful vehicular plague. The news
said to stay off the roads, and as a responsible citizen, I took it up a notch
and got the hell off of Mother Earth’s Road by burrowing underground as far as
my shovel would take me. I brought one bottle of water (trying to be green
here) and a box of Nature Valley bars, and only
ate the box.
I didn’t know what kind of world I would be returning to, so I
figured I’d save the bars for any orphaned refugee children that I would
undoubtedly be caring for once this whole thing ended. IF it ended.

The days passed slowly. I tried to keep track of time by
counting out loud, but I have a hard time saying “one billion one hundred and ninety
nine” for exactly one second long. It quickly became impossible to tell how
much time had passed, so I thought about the chaos that was undoubtedly taking
place on the surface: families torn apart, whole buildings brought down just
from the palpable distress in the air”¦and probably famine. I could only hope
that my friends and professors had somewhere safe to be and that I might see them
once again.

Then, I sensed a stirring up above, which I credit to the
earless-vibration-sensing-skill I developed in preparation for this whole
nightmare. It took me hours just to dig myself out, and I was ready for the
worst, but what I discovered was even more terrifyingly haunting: everything
looked exactly the same.

Hair disheveled, covered in dirt and carrying armfuls of nature valley bars, I
ran to the first student I saw, Gerald Yates, a junior and asked him to tell me
his story.

“Well, uh, I was just on my way to buy some toilet paper”¦,” he
stammered. He seemed relaxed and was noticeably cleaner than I. This had to
mean that the stores were reopened, and that water use had been restored. There
was some hope! I threw my arms around Gerald then, overcome with emotion before
taking off at a sprint for the heart of campus. He was speechless, undoubtedly just
happy to be alive, though I admit his overjoyed-face looked a little bit confused
and angry. I chalked this up to the fact that Carmageddon had plunged us into a
world where nothing made sense anymore, especially facial expressions!

I finally made it to campus and was further shocked that everything continued as normal. Students
still walked around the same way, girls rode bikes in spite of their short
skirts, guys loved it, and squirrels kept trying to steal ipods. All was as it
had always been. It was as if everyone was completely unaffected by
Carmageddon. Impossible.

That’s when I realized, it’s much MUCH worse than I thought.
Clearly, Carmageddon was so traumatizing that everyone has collectively blocked
out the memories that are too painful to bear, namely all of them. If that’s how USC campus has to heal from this
catastrophe, then so be it, but know that THIS writer will never forget what really happened here when the 405

Never forget.

Picture Courtesy of Drew Sampson

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