[With the exception of the USC Emergency Alert emails, the story below is fictional.]

1) Darkness here in Montana, early morning darkness in the winter that is cold enough to breathe in and keep in your lungs as something sharp and cruel but equal parts honest and courageous. Thinking, as I do, on days like this when I can’t sleep, or when sleep comes too easily and my mind is not yet prepared to dream, of warmer climes where life – at least outside, at least at night, at least in the company of friends who care as little about the onrushing sunrise as I do – is easy and beautiful enough to knock on the door of the sublime. Thinking, as I do, about Pasadena in January.

2) LOS ANGELES (USC Emergency Alert System) – Suspicious package found at 35th Place and Budlong, two blocks west of campus. LAPD evacuating immediate area. Stay away. 5:41 p.m., Pacific Standard Time.

3) LOS ANGELES – LAPD plans controlled destruction of suspicious package at 35th & Budlong. Expect loud noise. 6:17 p.m. PST.

4) LOS ANGELES – The suspicious device orignally reported on 35th Place at Budlong was actually on 35th Place near Normandy. The package, indentified by LAPD as a pipe bomb, has been removed. The neighborhood has been reopened however police activity may continue in the immediate area of the incident. Any suspicious packages, devices, or objects should be reported immediately to DPS or the LAPD. 8:28 p.m.

5) PASADENA – Rose Bowl and Rose Parade organizers today expressed their complete confidence in the security at this year’s Grandaddy of Them All, promising that no disgruntled University of Southern California fans will disrupt the proceedings. According to unnamed sources within the highest Rose Bowl echelons, organizers initially feared that the pipe bomb found in mid-December at 35th Street and Budlong-turned-Normandie was but a precursor of the havoc yet to come from a “significant contingent” of the USC faithful who have become mentally unbalanced after their team’s nightmarish 8-4 season.

Data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act also suggests that both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency – acting with direct authority of former Vice President Richard Cheney – have tapped the phones and computers of any fans admitted to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum or Rose Bowl in the past seven years.

“These perpetrators, who are doubtless in league with not one but several extremist organizations, will not be allowed to disrupt what I am told is a lovely floral bonanza on New Year’s Day in Pasadena,” Vice President Cheney was quoted as saying to the Rocky Mountain Star. “Just because their team doesn’t get to play in the game doesn’t mean they can go around attaching pipe bombs to things.”

6) DENVER – Former Rocky Mountain Star editor Jim Van der Zorn said that, to the best of his knowledge, the paper has remained defunct since its closing 17 years ago, and no one currently on the nonexistent staff had spoken to the vice president in at least 11 days.

7) THE ROSE BOWL – Groundskeeper Nathan Hurlbutte reported four enormous pipe bombs at field level after his walkthrough Thursday evening, but later rescinded his assertions after being pulled aside by Senior Groundskeeper Juan Marcos-Postlewaithe. “Actually, those were just the field goal posts,” Hurlbutte later told gathered reporters. “I’m sorry for the error, but you can’t be too careful these days, now can you?”

8) Darkness here, early morning darkness. Thinking, as I do, if I’ve capped my pipe bombs tightly enough. Thinking, as I do, if I’ve thought my plan through – pre-Rose Bowl jitters, I suppose, and only natural. But in these dark morning hours, when cars rarely pass on my road outside my cabin, here in these Montana woods, I’m left alone to wonder if the white particles drifting down from the cloudless sky are snowflakes or merely the ash of my shattered Rose Bowl championship dreams drifting in from warm skies over Pasadena.

9) PASADENA (Associated Press and Bugle) – The Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes fought to a scoreless draw today in the Rose Bowl. The teams completed 22 overtime periods before the game was finally called on account of the tremendous snowdrifts that had built up over the course of play on the field and in the stands. No winner will be crowned.

10) WASHINGTON, D.C. – Obama Administration meteorologists are still at a loss to explain the 12 feet of snow dumped on Pasadena, Calif., over the holiday weekend. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior meteorologist said, “I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s like someone flew a whole bunch of little bombs up into the sky and blew up the clouds.