"HAIL MARY" IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON HTTPS://WWW.AMZN.COM/1684334888
I had been warned by my daughter that finding the Uber pick-up point at the Los Angeles airport could be a little tricky. In fact, it didn't seem at all tricky. I stepped outside of the terminal and saw that the many lanes of traffic were divided by a pedestrian island where there were several bus stops as well as a tall grey pillar a few hundred feet down the island upon which was written "Uber." Well, that wasn't hard, I thought.
I crossed to the island and walked to the Uber pillar. I found it strange that no one was waiting there. However, I did see a few passengers waiting around a nearby pillar indicating Terminal 4B, which made me wonder if that was where one should wait for one's Uber. Just to be safe I decided to wait between the Uber pillar and the Terminal 4B pillar.
Now, I really should have figured out by then that something was amiss between myself and the Uberverse. Especially since the other folks waiting by the 4B pillar had already been picked up, though by whom or what entity I did not know. I also should have recalled my daughter's warning that finding the Uber stop might require some sleuthing.
No, after twenty-some minutes of waiting between the pillars, for the most part by myself, I still wasn't getting it.
Finally I received a message that a driver named Leon was six minutes away. Then four. Then three. I felt an inner surge of satisfaction. That is, at least until a member of the Los Angeles airport police approached me and asked me if I was waiting for someone. I told him I was waiting for an Uber.
"This isn't the Uber pick-up," he said.
"But what about that?" I asked, pointing to the Uber pillar behind me.
"There's no Uber pick-up allowed here anymore," he said. "You have to take a shuttle to the ride lot. Back that way." He pointed towards the terminal. "Take a left and keep walking until you get to the shuttle stop."
Miffed that I'd waited around so long for nada, I wanted to shout, But then why is the Uber pillar still here! However I thought better of dumping on this armed and up-until-now patient police officer. Besides, I had a more immediate problem: according to my Uber app my driver Leon was now two minutes away! I sent Leon an apologetic message explaining what happened and admitting that I had no idea how long it would take to get from the airport to the ride pick-up lot.
No problem, Leon graciously texted back.
I began walking in the direction towards which the police officer had pointed me. A couple of terminals later I came across the bona fide ride lot shuttle stop. The stop was crowded, and it appeared that the shuttle bus loading passengers was on the verge of reaching capacity.
"Open the door, you f***ing b**ch, I have a support animal!" one of the men yelled at the driver, to the obvious dismay of his companion. "Didn't you hear me, f****ing b**ch?" he yelled after the bus as it drove off, "I have a support animal, b**ch! "
Now, I figured another shuttle would be along soon enough. But I sure as shootin' didn't want to share it with this anger management challengee.
However, upon closer look at the info-pillar I saw that it was possible to walk to the ride lot.
As it turned out, fifteen minutes was a bit of an optimistic stretch. It took me a good fifteen minutes to walk to the five-minute pillar,
The LA airport ride lot was a vast expanse crowded with vehicles and people.
How sweet was the gift of those few extra hours back at my daughter's house. One of my grand daughters was at home for the day, but I surprised my other grand daughter at her school.
We walked the hilly walk home from school together one more time.
I chatted with Pinky.
I guess sometimes plane reservations are mis-booked for a reason.