On Wednesday, I was sitting at my desk wondering what I should do now that I'd finished up all of my work. And then I noticed that the police were barricading off our street. I looked down the block, and I saw that they had barricaded the next block down as well. They also seemed to have blocked off the cross street south of us. I pointed this out to the secretary, and we saw that there were several police cars around the Carl's Jr. across the street. Oddly enough, however, the police weren't stopping all of the gawking pedestrians who were sauntering along the street.
A couple of unmarked police cars were waved through the barricades and went to the Carl's Jr. A news chopper circled overhead. But there was nothing on the radio or online to tell us what was going on.
We saw the cute security guard from our building go over to talk to the policeman who was blocking State Street. But then we saw someone ask him what was going on, and he shrugged his shoulders like he didn't know.
Then the UPS guy called to say that he wasn't going to make it to the building, since the area was all closed off. He said that he was in the Marriott, and that they were debating evacuating the building. He also informed us that the reason for all the fuss was a suspicious package that had been seen somewhere, although he didn't know where. The secretary said, "I can tell you where. It's at the Carl's Jr." The UPS guy also told us that he had been told that our building was in lockdown. The secretary and I looked at each other and said, "I sure hope that's not true." People had been coming and going from the building the whole time, and they hadn't announced anything over the loudspeakers.
Finally, about two hours after everything started, we heard a soft exploding sound, and we figured they'd detonated the package. Sure enough, about fifteen minutes later they started removing the barricades.
That night I saw a brief story about this on the news. Turns out the package contained . . . a trumpet. They'd sent a bomb robot over to inspect it and then detonate it. So some poor guy lost his trumpet. But at least we all got some entertainment.
The news story said, "Police say this underscores an important lesson. If you leave something somewhere please tell the police." That's some good advice. "Someone call the police! I think I left my book on the bus! And I left my trash in the trash can! And I left my car in the parking lot!"