Planes, Trains, and B(itch)Mobiles

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles was such a great movie. Goddamn it was. It might be my secret love of Steve Martin – ever since Saturday Night Live and LA Story, I have always had an affinity for him. More likely, it’s the fact that seeing that movie over and over again has made me realize that no matter how awful my travel experiences have been, they could always be worse.

Today we had a major pre-vacation debacle, so I’m settling in for the night to watch the film yet another time in hopes it will make me feel better. For those that didn’t read my post a few days ago about our trip to FedEx, we had to ship the majority of our clothing because the train portion of our trip has no checked bag service. Since we’ll be gone for three weeks, this obviously made shipping our clothing a necessity. Well today, we received a call from FedEx informing us that the one box with all of my clothes was damaged and won’t be returned until well after our trip is over. Add in the fact that I just gave a huge portion of my clothing away to the rescue mission and it’s looking like I’ll be wearing potato sacks and hotel bathrobes for the majority of the trip.

So what else am I doing to make myself feel a little better this evening you ask? I’m scheduling our transportation to downtown Los Angeles where we will embark on this epic adventure of complexity,  cross-country sightseeing, and our own series of planes, trains, and automobiles. This brings up another set of my idiosyncratic biases, though, for I find something wrong with shuttle-type transportation in almost every way possible.

Heather’s Bias #1: Roadrunner-style shuttles are driven by people with issues

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but when I was in college I worked at a pharmacy as a Pharmacy Technician to pay the tuition bills and keep me on some form of health insurance. While there, I can remember helping a great number of people that drove Roadrunner and Roadrunner-type airport transportation shuttles. They all had issues. I don’t mean that they were all getting psych meds or anything (well, some were), but they all just were weird. One woman told me all about her boyfriend problems every single time she came in. On one occasion she asked if we could get coffee after my shift and talk more. Another time there was a couple that both drove those shuttles and there was some problem with their insurance that I handled, so they brought me a “Thank You” card. But after they signed it, they asked if I could ring it up for them on the cash register because they had found it in the store and hadn’t bought it yet. Then, after buying it, they asked if they could have it back with some White Out because they wanted to reuse it.

And I won’t even get into the last airport shuttle I actually rode in, where the driver had a sign displayed by his dashboard that read “accident-free for 8 days.” Just what happened 9 days ago? There will be no vanpool-style airport shuttles in this lady’s future.

Heather’s Bias #2: Taxis are loaded with STDs

Have any of you faithful blog followers ever watched Taxicab Confessions? Holy mother of God that show is awful. I remember one episode, actually many episodes, where people did it right in the back seat. That’s right, they had sexy times right there – with the camera on them and everything! And then at the end, the cab driver always asked if it’d be cool that they sign a form to be on the show and the people could never wait to sign the shit! Who knows what people with such low levels of inhibition have got going on down there!

This is why I don’t drink too much (when I’m out of the house, that is). Having to call a cab makes me feel like spraying Lysol all over my ass and praying to God I don’t catch a venereal disease just from sitting on the seats.

Heather’s Bias #3: People that ask for rides to the airport annoy me

Why would I want to be annoying in return? I used to not mind when people asked me for a ride to or from the airport. We used to live about three miles away from LAX and it was very convenient – until someone asked me to drive 45 miles to pick him up to drive him to that airport that was just three miles away from my apartment. Yeah sure, I have a never-ending gas budget to waste on driving you around. Shall I wear my chauffeur hat as well?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind doing favors for my friends. But as with all things, there is a line where things go too far. I know that if I asked someone for a ride I would have to ask someone to go out of their way for me in such a way that some (often me) might consider annoying. I don’t want to be that person.

So what’s left? Airport-type parking for three weeks would be absurd in cost. After hemming and hawing for some time, now, I have come to the one conclusion that seems both affordable and the logical consequence to my terribly narrow-minded biases: a B(itch)mobile. That’s right, we’re taking a limousine. The most high maintenance, pretentious thing a person could ride in on their way to a lavish three week vacation. But a three week vacation can be considered by some to be a pretty pretentious thing too.

And let’s be realistic here: I’m the most high maintenance thing next to that expensive Jaguar parked down the street. I’m a diva too. A misanthropic diva with a foul mouth. It almost seems wrong not to ride in a limo. So it’ll be all champagne and rims in the back of a stretch b(itch)mobile for the automobile portion of our trip. Just a few days to go and I can already taste the champagne bubbling in the back of my high maintenance throat.

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  1. gkorula

    “Accident free for 8 days” cracked me up! If land at Rome airport and take a taxi like I did, you’ll find dozens of beat up old Merc Limousines masquerading as ordinary taxis, driven by really really old guys and not for any extra charge. That’s Italy for you…

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I just really want to know what happened 9 days prior. Was it like a “no on the jobs” accident, or did the guy total a car? HAHA! Thanks for reading!

  2. brains

    steve martin is a genius. he’s on twitter, and he’s hilarious. it’s something like @stevemartintogo something like that. are you a howard stern fan? howard was once invited to have lunch with steve and he turned it down. his explanation was, “steve martin is such a genius. if he invited me to lunch, he must think i’m talented. i don’t want to meet him and then he finds out i’m just an idiot. i’d rather say no and let him think i’m talented.”

    i can’t believe that taxicab show is real. it seems about a “real” as the show “cheaters.” all staged. maybe i’m wrong about the taxi show, but not about “cheaters.’

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I surely hope Taxicab Confessions is fake. I don’t want to believe that people are as horrific as they appear on that show. Thanks for reading!

      1. brains

        i can’t read unless someone writes. so thank you too.

  3. Jen and Tonic

    The scariest ride of my life occurred between LAX and the hotel I was staying at. There were five of us on the shuttle, and a couple was sitting next to me with their kid who was about four years old. At some point he started acting like a little terrorist, and the driver asked the parents to make him sit down. The parents did, but a few minutes later the kid got up and started running up and down the isle. The driver swerved over two lanes, and came to a screeching halt on the side of the road. He stood up, got on the intercom, and had what I consider to be a nervous breakdown. He got off the shuttle and never came back.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      WOW! See, I’m right about the shuttle-buses! Thanks so much for reading my post!

  4. stephanie fitzpatrick

    I really like Steve in Roxanne- too sweet for words. Adore! It seems we also share the same ‘biases’ oh dear, number 2 is screaming at me…

  5. free penny press

    Be sure to wear your shades as you exit the limo and say loudly so others hear, “Please, no autographs or flash photography at this time”..LOL
    Have a great trip!!!

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      OH, I plan on it!! I have already pulled out the biggest sunglasses I own! Thanks for reading!

  6. jimcolv

    I’m still trying to figure out why that couple didn’t just buy two cards. Understandable that they may be on a fixed income, but if that’s the case I’m sure a verbal thank you would have sufficed. That just gave me an idea for a future blog. Thanks a bunch…. Oh and very entertaining as always…

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Yeah, I thought the same thing. They could have gotten two cards out of the 99 cent bin, rather than buy one for $5 and ask for it back. People are strange. Thanks for reading!

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