The Hollywood Bowl has a nice offer. You can take buses to the bowl on concert nights. Mrs. L. and I had tickets for the James Taylor/Carole King concert last night. And before you say anything, we were still the youngest couple there. Hopped on a 5:00 bus in Westwood for a 7:30 show. Plenty of time to get there, leisurely buy dinner, enjoy a picnic under the stars.
Things were going fine until our bus broke down on the 405 Freeway during the height of rush hour. The driver managed to get us to the side of the road. Meanwhile, the Bowl buses behind us just roared by and the passengers waved. We wondered why our driver wasn't calling anybody. She forgot her phone. Forty people offered her theirs.
Since it was 100 degrees in the bus we all got out and waited on the freeway. Turns out it's really loud and smoggy on the 405 Freeway at 6:00. I passed the time by Tweeting. One lovely follower, EduHJencareli, said he'd pick us up if he wasn't 9000 miles away.
The irony of course is this was my one night off from Dodger baseball. And as part of the pre-game show on KABC I normally do two traffic reports.
Standing by the road, all I could think was this was LOST on a bus.
First a tow truck arrived and snapped into action. The driver put little plastic caution triangles behind the bus. The California Highway Patrol was Johnny-on-the-spot, pulling up a half hour after we were stranded. This would have made such a great episode of CHiPS.
Finally after an hour a replacement bus arrived and the Oceanic 40 continued its journey in stop-and-go traffic. We didn't get to the Bowl until 7:25 and 100 yards before the entrance the bus driver stopped. Someone was using the bathroom on the bus and apparently that's not allowed. (Why is it there then?) So we had to wait until the person came out. By now the passengers were mutinous. And the driver started screaming back at them.
Ten more minutes to get in the Bowl, negotiating through a crush of people, five minutes to buy dinner and the mandatory bottle of wine ($28 bucks and it comes in a big plastic cup), and five more minutes to find our seats. But we were there at last. And happily the concert didn't start yet. James Taylor must've read my Tweet.
It was a total nightmare but the concert itself turned out to be fabulous, and as you can see, we had front row seats.
When Carole King sang "So Far Away" I thought she was going to dedicate it to us.
The bus ride home was without incident... except our turnoff was closed for construction and we had to go three miles out of our way. But thanks to that second bottle/plastic cup of wine we didn't give a shit... about that or anything.