A friend of mine invited me to attend a showing of Wicked at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. She had purchased the tickets through an employee event at our local – and very successful - utility company and they were taking luxury busses up to LA for the show. I decided to go for two reasons:
1. Shows at the Pantages Theater are unforgettable
2. I thought it prudent to network with the rich and famous in the event I find myself jobless in a few months.
I arrive at my friend’s house and hop in the backseat of the car with her family. Not 30 minutes into the car ride, I find myself… completely and totally car sick.
Hoping for the best, we arrive at the bus stop where I was granted a front seat – much to the dismay of the bus driver. I think he wanted a little more space between him and my little green face.
27 ½ minutes into the bus ride… I can no longer hold my… my…uh… ‘excitement’ and make a run for the bathroom. Just my luck, the bus driver had removed the door handle because he didn’t want anyone to use the bathroom. A kind gentleman, seeing my state, quickly ran to the front of the bus in search of a door handle. Heads peeked around the chairs to look at me – most likely calculating their odds of being in the ‘splash zone’.
Top 3 signs that I was more than merely sick:
1. When the friendly gent went to find the door handle, I sat with my head on my knees on the dirty floor of the bus and didn’t think of germs. I was also wearing a skirt – fortunately with shorts underneath (See! I told you that would come in handy one day!)
2. After finally getting into the bathroom, the only thing that separated my arms from the nasty toilet seat was a solitary sheet of single ply toilet paper… and I didn’t care (I showered in Clorox upon returning home).
3. There was a cockroach in the toilet and on the floor and I said, “Hello” instead of screaming (Screaming took too much energy)
20 minutes after returning to my seat, I realized I could not finish the trip and begged the driver to let me off the bus. In his excitement (or bad judgment) to rid himself of the retching red headed mess, he exited freeway in San Clemente and turned the bus into oncoming traffic.
Terrified, he sat unmoving in the middle of the busy lanes.
This would have been a good time to pull out my trusty camera and photograph the last images I would ever see before dying but… bending to reach for my purse caused such violent heaving I simply said, ‘Oh Geez!’ and braced for impact.
The cars swerved around us like a fast moving river current. Meanwhile, all I could think was, ‘Damn my front window view’.
Three stoplights facing oncoming traffic later, the bus driver snapped out of his funk and drove over the concrete median (scraping the bottom of the bus causing the metal/concrete grinding to scream… wait… I think that may have been the passengers screaming. I was too busy heaving to notice the difference).
I was dropped off in a half deserted Sears Outlet parking lot but I could tell there were a few other passengers tempted to join me based on the bus driver’s recent performance.
In Sears, I volleyed between the chairs in the shoe department and the women’s restroom for the better part of an hour until Mike arrived to pick me up.
Needless to say:
A.) I won’t be riding on a bus in the near future.
B.) I wasn’t very successful in networking.