The concession stands at Staples Center offer many delicious foods for which cutlery is useful. Pizzas, burritos, a few especially large sandwiches... there's no shame in needing a knife to tackle any of these tasty snacks. But here's a little-known secret: they'll actually give you a knife when you order your grub. It's just plastic, so you'll have to do a little sawing if you're battling a particularly chewy form of meat, but the complimentary utensils will basically do the trick for you.
An enterprising local man had different ideas today, leading to a scene that you'd describe as "odd" only if you're completely unfamiliar with Los Angeles. Before the afternoon tip-off between the Clippers and Cavaliers, a security officer noticed a guy trying to enter doors that were off-limits to him. When confronted, the dude brandished what appeared to be a steak knife and started running around the building, eventually ending up on the court. A 30 minute stand-off ensued, and at some point the LAPD showed up to tackle him and either lead him off to a cell or set him loose outside the building to terrorize the local population.
The LA Times has some quotes from Staples Center Senior VP Lee Zeidman:
From what I understand, he was talking a lot of gibberish, making a lot of veiled threats, and nobody could really understand him.... There was a lot of vulgarity, a lot of statements that didn't make any sense. We quite frankly don't understand why he tried to do this.
Really, Lee? Because it seems kind of obvious why he did this. He was attending a Clippers-Cavaliers game and, like any rational person in such circumstances, needed a handy way to off himself. The perpetrator hasn't been identified, but "a lot of vulgarity" and "statements that didn't make any sense" lead me to think it was almost certainly an SS&R commenter.
There are many aspects to this story that aren't surprising in the least. Los Angeles is teeming with both sharp objects and crazy people who love steak. You can't swing a cat without hitting at least a few knife-wielding maniacs. And even though Staples Center has door security that includes metal detectors, it's not exactly like breaking into Fort Knox. The people who search your bag give only the most cursory of glances. You could sneak in a rocket launcher as long as you had a copy of Sports Illustrated covering it.
No, the only surprising thing about this story is that the LAPD actually showed up. I'm sure they weren't happy to have their normal Saturday routine of handing out parking tickets interrupted by something so trivial as an armed and deranged criminal on the loose.
Anyway, leave the knives at home, people. I know it seems like a great idea when you're leaving the house, but it's just not worth the hassle.
Follow Dex on Twitter @dexterfishmore.