Sunday 20 April 2014

All American Holiday. Part 6: Home

Sunday 6th April

In the morning it is back on the Super Shuttle for the airport. On the way we pass what looks like a fairground ride. Not a fairground, just a ride. A single but, apparently, awesome ride. One of my fellow airport commuters tells me the tale. The ride consists of a chair that you and your friends sit in, which is then lifted high above the ground. The fun part is when you and your ensemble are hurtled towards the ground at high speed. Great. However, shortly after it was built it had to be closed down because of the cussing. 

“The what?” I ask.
“Cussing. Swearing.”
“Yes I know what it means, how did it close down the ride?”

My fellow traveller, on his way to Boston don’t you know and doesn’t envy my flight to Charlotte, points out of the opposite window.

“Over there is an elementary school. They opened the ride, the kids were in the playground playing, and all they could hear was folks screaming “SSSSSSHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTT” as they went round on the ride!”

The idea made me laugh out loud. I said “So it is still closed?”

“No, it’s open but.” -And this could only happen in America- “You have to sign a disclaimer before you get on saying that you promise not to swear and that you forfeit your ride if you do swear.”

“You’re joking right?”

But the bus driver collaborated; “It’s true, look it up! You swear, they stop the ride and make you get off!”

Sacramento Airport is smaller and less interesting than Charlotte. The TSA were friendly and no-one from homeland security came to make sure I was going home. Maybe I'm not that important after all.
I got a pizza and slept all the way to Charlotte.

Monday 7th April

Good old NASCAR! The rain in Texas meant that the Sprint Cup race had been postponed until Monday. I would be able to fulfil a lifelong ambition (well maybe not lifelong, but certainly since I knew the café existed) to watch NASCAR racing from the Stock Car Café. I sat down, ordered a burger, and watch Dale Jnr make a complete monkey’s breakfast of the Duck Commander 500. I don’t even want to talk about the manoeuvre but, if any of you want to look it up and then leave me your comment on it, I would certainly like to hear your opinions.

Tuesday 7th April

Getting my time back during the flight allowed me to arrive back at Heathrow on Tuesday morning. I collect my bags and pull out my Purple Parking ticket. It says “Ring this number and go to bus stop 5”
I find a phone and ring the number. “Hello Mr Hassell, are you at Terminal 1?”
“Yes I am.”
“Then leave through the front door and go to bus stop 5.”

Sounds easy enough, huh?

I leave through the door and look across the road to the bus stops. In front of me is bus stop 1. To its left, bus stop 2. To the left of that, bus stop 3. Seems straight forward.

I cross the road to bus stop 1 and turn left. I walk past bus stop 2. Bus stop 3. Bus stop 4. The road now turns a corner but I can see the next bus stop so I keep walking. When I arrive, it is bus stop 7. 

By the ripe old age of over 30 I am aware that there are dickheads involved in every aspect of life leaving their mark of stupidity to trip up the ones who try to use logic and common sense to get themselves from the cradle to the grave. 
When I have finished asking a lamp post loudly and with much arm waving, what kind of daft idiot puts bus stop 7 after bus stop 4, I begin retracing my steps to make sure I have missed nothing. I look on the other side of the road. It is no good. Bus stops 5 and 6 are not here.  I walk back to the terminal to get some help.

As I am walking up to the door, I see a sign for bus stop 5. It points in the opposite direction of all the other bus stops. Well, of course it does! Why wouldn’t it? I follow a winding path to a “Courtesy phone”. I assume this is so you can ring someone to check that you are still travelling in the right direction. 

If you find yourself at Heathrow and needing bus stop 5, I am drawing a map and attaching it to this blog to help fellow wanderers on the trail. I got there. Eventually. I never did see bus stop 6 though. 

I think I’ll save that adventure for another race.

***All the crap you see written here is Kelvin's opinion and not that of his associates, race team or marketing partners.***

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