Sprint by South West

Or (Almost) The Most Expensive $1 Bus Ride

Leslie and I arrived in Austin yesterday for our seventh SXSW. We use to take a taxi from the airport until we discovered the $1 Capital Metro bus a few years go. This year I did something unbelievably stupid: I forgot my laptop bag on the bus.

We got off at 4th and Congress and walked about a block before I realized what I had done. I immediately broke into a sprint in the direction I thought the bus was headed (it was already out of sight). Hands on my head, muttering, “Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck”, I clopped along in my flip-flops for about a block before whipping them off for more speed. I dashed down every cross street, trying to desperately to pull up my mental map of downtown Austin (you don’t so much navigate Austin at SXSW as you do flock).

As I reached the borders of that map I almost ran past the bus at a stop light. I manically banged on the bus door, hoping the driver would recognize me from exiting minutes earlier and not mistake me for some deranged, barefoot maniac (though he wouldn’t have been too far off). Fortunately my laptop bag was still aboard, having slid out of sight, under the seat I had occupied.

I am fortunate I was able to intercept the bus before it continued on its way. In the laptop bag was my laptop, my iPad, my DS Lite and a handful of games, our house keys, our sole car key and clicker, and my antibiotics for the obligatory South By Sinus Infection.

There are so many different ways this story could have ended. If we had taken a taxi I might have never seen the bag again. My barefoot sprint could have ended in stitches (there seems to be broken glass everywhere here), or worse, hit by a car or the very bus I was frantically searching for. If Leslie wasn’t with me I would have had to choose between abandoning my luggage or my livelihood (so long luggage!). I feel bad for all the quantum Shaun’s that made it this far only to suffer one of these other, less fortunate fates. Sorry guys.


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Shaun Inman
March 9th, 2012 at 8:44 am