I’m not pointing fingers at anyone. I am as guilty as anyone else for harboring the lofty expectation that somebody loves me enough to want to wish me bon voyage from a traffic jam in Inglewood as much as I want to not take a taxi. The honors have been bestowed upon my mom, my brother, two friends at one time a piece, and my boyfriend on occasion – might it be noted that two weeks into dating he even offered to take me to LAX at 6 in the morning and I graciously declined, not wanting to send this boy who actually showed interest in me running for the hills. And although we are still going strong after one year, the offers have since rapidly decreased. My sheepish requests are often met with a wrinkled forehead and mild groans. I have found that my kind-of-employed, kind-of-in-school brother is the easiest target. I will usually bribe him with twenty bucks and a breakfast sandwich from Jack in the Box. If that doesn’t work I remind him that I gave him my old TV.
I understand their reluctancy. It’s all easy breezy for the person being picked up or dropped off. Yeah, you’ve been traveling. Yeah, you’ve been in a fake leather seat next to a fat guy that smells like Old Spice for six hours. Blah blah blah. I’ve had to drive from Hollywood to LAX at 5 in the afternoon. Try that on, motha fucka. Oh, and how was your trip sweetheart?
Even when there isn’t traffic going there, the second you attempt to leave the actual terminal you’ve so kindly hugged and kissed your loved one goodbye, waved them off with a “Have a safe flight!”, you’re fucked. Traffic bottlenecks for no apparently reason. People double park. Cops hang around just waiting for you to cross a double white.
“Excuse me, ma’am. Are you aware of what you’ve done?”
“Yeah, I said yes to fucking dropping some asshole off here.”
The quickest it’s taken me to get from the innards of LAX to the cusp of Century Blvd is about 12 minutes. I’m not even sure that qualifies as a distance. I couldn’t tell you in meters or feet or percentages of a mile. It’s two seconds away. And it takes BLOODY FOREVER.
But I digress. The point of this article is not to wax angry about why I want to stop having friends in this godforsaken city. The point is, that if you are stuck in this situation, here are some pointers on how to make a fun day of it. The following are my recommendations that might just keep your family together, your friendships light and airy, and your relationships heading in a positive direction.
1. The Morning Ride
If you’re feeling some light rumblies in your tumbly head on over to Pann’s Diner. Admittedly I’ve never actually dined here but I’m pretty sure they used it in Little Miss Sunshine, and what’s good enough for Hollywood is good enough for this girl.
If a full breakfast spread isn’t what you’re going for, there’s always Randy’s Donuts. This place is a surefire way to keep you happy and a foot-in for adult diabetes. Getting a baker’s dozen to go? This is a perfect opportunity to make a sloppy mess all over your shirt and steering wheel. For your two hour trip back to the real world you can kill time by picking sprinkles out of the gap between your seat and your crotch.
2. Afternoon Delight
Let’s say your friend (if you could call them that) asks you to please pick them up from LAX at say…6 PM. This means you have to leave your house by 5 PM, giving yourself about an ulcer inducing hour of traffic to go less than 10 miles. Here’s my alternative: today I discovered the Century City ice skating rink. This enlightening experience was brought to me by the 11 am gridlock on the 405 forcing me to take Sepulveda. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons! God, I’m so positive and uplifting these days. So here’s the idea. If you’re unemployed or in the entertainment business – not to say that the two are mutually exclusive – you’re most likely the only one that’s going to be able to pick up your friend at their beck and call. This is your punishment for having a flexible schedule. So, assuming you have the entire day off, my suggestion to you is to just roll over to the skate rink and get your skate on with a group of kids and their tired moms. You’ll not only beat traffic, but the excercise you put in with help the muscles that have begun to atrophy since the moment you opted to move to LA.
3. The Anytime Scenario
If none of the aforementioned ideas strike your fancy, perhaps this will. There happens to be a firing range nearby – LAX Los Angeles Firing Range. Thank God! Whenever I have a really trying day, nothing feels better than murdering a piece of paper in the shape of another human being. This has the added side effect of not wanting to kill the actual person who you will be seeing shortly. Please be advised that you should leave your personal weapons at home, opting for a rental situation at the range. This way, if you don’t blow off enough steam, you won’t resort to actual violence later.
Pann’s Restaurant and Coffee Shop
6710 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (323) 776-3770
805 West Manchester Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 645-4707
Century City Ice Rink
4545 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230 (310) 398-5718
LAX Firing Range
927 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 568-1515