Monday, January 31, 2011

LPCardFan's Excellent Adventure

Friday morning I left the house without my cell phone. Of course I didn't discover that fact until I got into the office. It happens on occasion because I use the phone as an alarm clock and it doesn't sit next to all the other items that leave with me on a daily basis. That day I was going to The Calc Teacher's straight from work on the train. No choice but to go phoneless for a while.

I went to the station a little bit early to buy a new ticket. I use a ten ride pass and only have one punch left. I wasn't thinking though. It was end of the month and the line was quite long as everyone was buying their monthly pass. Instead of waiting in line I grabbed a couple beers to go and checked the departure board. The train was leaving from Track 11. I went down to Track 11, cracked a beer, popped in my headphones and started reading. Ten minutes later the train backed into Track 11 and unloaded. After the exiting crowd dwindled I boarded the train, beer, book, and headphones in hand.

The train pulled out a bit later. The conductor came through and punched my ticket and I kept reading. At some point I felt like we should have made it to the first stop. Eh, maybe I missed it as I was engrossed in the book. Still, I peaked out the window. We were crossing over the top of a highway. Now that's a problem, see, because the train to The Calc Teacher's does not cross over any highways. I don't want to admit it but I pretty much no what's going on. Out come the head phones and I ask the guy in front of me what line we're on. Yep! I'm on the wrong train.

Down the rest of my second beer, gather my things and I set off to find the conductor. I find two of them in a vestibule with about 4 passengers. I tell them of my predicament. They tell me to get off at the next station. The next inbound is 10 minutes out and I can get back into the city.

One of the conductors offered me his phone to call The Calc Teacher. Of course, I don't have a clue what her phone number is. I don't know anyone in this day and age of cell phones that know any one else's phone number. Well, maybe my father. The conductor's phone was a company phone and calling information would raise a lot of questions. Another rider lent me his phone and I was able to leave a message at her house. That was right at the point I was due meet her.

Off the train and I bought the one way ticket back into the city. It was then that I saw some cabs parked near by.

"How much for a ride to Bloomingdale?" I asked one.

"Is that a suburb?"

This was clearly going to go well. "Yeah."

He looked it up on his GPS and found it. Certainly he could take me there. Again I ask how much. He plugged the mileage into a calculator times the rate to give me an estimate. I negotiated a flat rate we were off. The first major intersection we came to was Harlem and Golf. Holy shit! I was in Glenview. That's no where freaking close to Bloomingdale.

Traffic was good though. Thirty minutes later we were coming up on I290 and I355. When I asked the time it was 6:35. A quick calculation in my head and I guessed she'd still be at the bar thinking I was on a later train. I had the cabbie go there instead of her house. Her car was in the lot. I was 35/40 minutes late. All things considered wasn't too bad. The Calc Teacher laughed and her and the waitress took turns poking fun at me. From there on we had a good weekend. Steak dinner on Friday and brunch with friends on Sunday morning.

Of course, I left one of my gloves in the cab.


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