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austin lockdown

Monday, January 08, 2007

Well, if the mysterious (possible gas leak) death of 63 birds downtown doesn't get me blogging, I don't know what will.

The drive to work this morning was rather uneventful, that is, until I encountered the barricade while heading east on 5th Street at Colorado, one block away from Congress Avenue, where I work. Whacky bicycle parade? Gay pride march? So I cut way over and took a right down Colorado all the way to Cesar Chavez where I hung a left. I crossed Congress Avenue, catching only a glimpse of the quiet, blockaded road leading up to the capitol building. By then, I had turned on the radio and was searching in vain for any news on what was happening.

I continued east on Cesar Chavez and took a left at Trinity and made my way north to my regular surface lot at 7th. I didn't encounter any heavy traffic and I still hadn't heard anything on the radio, so I figured it must be a parade, but I called home anyway.

"There's something going on downtown. They've shut down Congress. Have you heard anything?"

"Really? No."

"Yeah. It must be a parade or something. You might want to check the TV to see what's up."


"I'm walking towards work and I'll let you know what I find out. I'll come home if it's anything life-threatening."

"Haha. Okay."

I huffed it west on 8th Street as I normally do, but this time I was greeted by another barricade at Brazos. There was a motorcycle cop keeping an eye on a police line. This was the first time I realized that all pedestrian as well as vehicle access to Congress had been restricted.

I called one of my colleagues, Bryan, who told me of the dead birds and of speculation that there might be a gas leak. He said that e-mails were circulating about company employees working from home. I said thanks, turned around, and headed back to the car.

That's when I noticed the zombies...

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