Then just read this, and that misperception will go away.
Oh, and before you go any farther, no info to impart. This is pure screed. I don’t screed lightly, so this is a good one, but still.
Kinda long, too. And it begins like so:
Oh, hey, nice graphic. Car rental company, plus my suggestion for a new tagline. Catchy + really super accurate. I also considered “Make me” followed by their supremely ugly corporate logo. There’s so much you can do with “Hertz.” Please, suggest your favorite. And never rent from them. I hate them so.
Anyhoo, I had a late flight from Denver (nearest airport to me) to Santa Barbara (nearest for lynda.com). I had to pack for three trips, one to LDC, then to Photoshop World, then to SF to film some more dekePods.
That’s a buttload to pack for. (Remember buttload for later in the story.) LDC is all shorts and t-shirts. Photoshop World is light-side professional garb. dekePod looks good FTU (from tits up — that’s what they say in the biz, I’m just sharing).
So I do my usual packing ritual. Followed by “oh no, no, no, I’m going to miss my flight!” Followed by bye-bye lovely golden boys-o’-mine. (Ug, I miss them). Followed by flight’s delayed, so who cares.
But before I left, major freak out. I used my favorite travel agent to book this morass. But when I went to print the itinerary from my email (yes, day of, not very organized), I couldn’t find it. Spent 20 minutes I did not have looking with no luck.
So now I’m operating totally on memory of a 15-minute conversation that involved three cities, rental car, hotels. Weeks ago.
Once safely in the car (me safe? in a car?), I started making phone calls. Saturday, so no travel agent. Dim memory suggested that the rental is with Hertz or Thrifty. I started with Hertz and sure enough, it was them. My flight was a bit late. Would they be open when I landed? Oh sure. They’re open until midnight.
Airport fairly dead. Everybody was going the opposite direction. Into Denver for the DNC on the same weekend I’m leaving. Nice timing, me.
So flight, no news. Bumpity bump, landity land. Got bags, went to Hertz. Only thing is, it was 11:30 at night, and Hertz was closed. Whole building, lights out, bang bang let me in, closed. I called the national desk, they tried some numbers, no one there. Summary: This is highly unusual, but we can’t help you. You’re stranded.
My favorite part: I kept the national gal on the line. I went to the back of the building. Landing dock, lights on. So I found a door, checked it. It was locked but ajar. I pushed and went right in. Called out, looked around. Not a soul. I wandered around, called out a few more times. An empty building full of car keys. Entertained the idea of grabbing a set of keys — that convertable Mustang — but that would have be stealing. So left and pulled the door all the way shut after me. Damn I’m community minded.
So I called a few numbers. Won’t dwell. Short story: really really really stranded.
It was midnight, and for some crazy reason, I was feeling tired. And a bit helpless. So hey, there was this lone taxi. One guy with his For Hire sign on. Only, see, Santa Barbara and lynda.com are separated by the lower half of California. I asked the cabby how much for a ride to Ventura (where LDC is). He said, dunno, maybe $80. I thought, okay, that’s a lot, but why did I ask? Am I going to sleep at the airport?
By time I arrived at the Holiday Inn off the marina, the fare reads — wait, let me find it — $135.85. I tipped the guy $40. C’mon, he’s a service professional. He saved my ass.
So I walked into the Holiday Inn. At the front desk was Sharona. I love this woman. Black, beautiful, consummate professional. (Yes, obviously, her race has nothing to do with my story. Except that her name is Sharona. I’m well versed in the Cultural Handbook of Inventive Names. And besides, yum.)
honey, I’m home, check me in. Only my reservation starts October 16, not August.
So by now, it’s 100,000 o’clock in the morning. Of course, I was sweet as pie. Sharona does that to you. Plus, she resolved everything. The Holiday Inn was full up, as were all the neighboring hotels. But she got me in elsewhere.
And so elsewhere I went. Which is here. The Hilton Garden Inn. Which, tho a lovely hotel, is on the ass end of Ventura. By which I mean, I am staying on Ventura’s ass. Which is to say, the entire city of Ventura is accidentally sitting on me. They don’t know that, they just are. No car and a long drive from anywhere. Charming.
Okay, so here’s the high comedy. Ready? Perfect storm, right? No itinerary for a four-flight trip. Abandoned at airport b/c Hertz suckz. (I made a new reservation with Avis, you’ll be relieved to know.) Finally, no room at the inn (handled impeccably).
So the fourth boot drops: I open my luggage, two bags, and unpack. Only to discover that this time I forgot — every trip I forget something — I forgot:
(Remember, buttload. See how the story comes together? The beginning becomes the end. Watch and learn, my paduas.)
So tomorrow is shopping day. Lovely. What kind should I purchase, do you suppose? What intimate questions should I ask of the shopkeeper?
Nothing I say after that will lead to anything but “Uh! Aaugh! Stop!” on your part. So best to go our separate but differently underpanted ways.