Carless in Los Angeles, The Wong Sans Wheels Chronicles #20: Quad S Female

October 7th, 2009 → Leave a comment

I got into NYC yesterday and will be here for the week writing APACUNT with my team and then premiering it one week from now! The carless thing has me trying to figure out how to get out of LA more often to seek refuge in cities that don’t require such planning to make it around town.

I realized at the airport yesterday that I forgot my drivers license…. Imagine the hysteria when I open my wallet and see my TAP card where my ID should have been. I started to backtrack how I’d get home sans transportation on an LA morning to grab the ID and get back in time for the flight.

I say to the woman behind the counter, my face tight with shock: “I don’t know where my ID is.”

I imagine hailing a cab home, grabbing my ID, then hailing one to take back to LAX. Easily it would be a back and forth trip of $100. At which point I’d miss my flight and have to pay to rebook. Or I could call a friend. Oh god, who would help me with such short notice?

PANIC! PANIC! PANIC! For I would have to live the rest of my life at LAX! Why must transportation always deny me?!

“Ma’am, it’s ok. You can still fly. You just need to go through extra security.”

She draws four S’s on my ticket and points me towards the gate.

When I see security I say, “Listen, I don’t care if you need to do an anal cavity check, I just need to get to NYC.”

No anal cavity check, but I pulled out everything I owned with my name on it, they did a super thorough wipe down of my computer and the lady cop felt me up through my clothes…. and I was off and flying.

That’s right, I flew without identification!

Yes, TSA, the same folks that make you take your shoes off, throw out your water and toothpaste, and walk through million dollar machines that blow air on your shirt, let me fly without any photo identification. I thought they might google me as per my suggestion to prove I was “real,” but thought that might make the red flags go up higher. It didn’t go that way. In fact, I think I got through security faster than other folks because I had a security escort the whole way.

I was kind of surprised when they asked if in lieu of a Drivers License, if I had a Costco card… those photos are notoriously obscure…

I did remember in all my panic that I once saw an episode of Pageant Place on MTV where Miss Universe forgets to bring her passport and is able to get on a flight with no ID by showing her sash and crown to the guy at the Southwest Counter.

And I guess I carry the same privileges as a beauty queen, for mine is the face of innocence.

(An unfinished proof from my carless photo shoot with Simeon!)

My love-it/hate-it relationship with car owning continues…

Last weekend, I thought I’d go to a baby shower on Mt. Washington without any transpo help. What would have been a 15 minute car ride, was actually a 1.5 hour walk/bus trek according to Metro directions. I was up for the adventure and exercise…. Two and a half hours later, after some wrong turns by foot at the top of Mt. Washington (uphill mind you), I made it to the party heaving and sweaty and a little humiliated.

I knew that the cars passing me by on Mt. Washington were headed to the party, and I kept looking at them through their windshields as they zoomed past me trudging on that dark sidewalk-less road, baby shower present in one hand, metro directions in the other. I looked at my fellow baby-shower attendees as they drove by, focusing on them with doe eyes, hoping they’d elect to pick up the girl on the street who was obviously headed their way and take her to the party. No dice. For automobile drivers are not mindreaders who know when to take pity on the carless.

November will be quite the test for this carless lass. If you check my schedule you will see I have an obscene number of events going on back to back to back. I have two shows going up at the LA Comedy Festival and I have no idea how I’m to transport all the crap for those shows across town. I am also writing new work for the LA Storytellers Festival and doing a show in SF. How the F I’m to do all this… and get there with no car? No freaking idea kids…. but can I tell you this Carless in LA show is writing itself?

Category: The Wong Sans Wheels Chronicles

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