Connecting the Dots

What do you do when The Girl is three states away for a bridesmaid dress-fitting (with the car you both share) and she comes down with food poisoning the flu the same day she’s supposed to drive back to Baltimore?

You get online, purchase a ticket on Amtrak.com for the 3 o’clock train from Penn Station to Newark International Airport. You call your friends to try and arrange a ride to the station but they all seem to be out (it is the Sunday afternoon before Valentine’s Day after all). So you call a cab. First, you try Diamond Cab.

The “first” in the previous sentence suggests that Diamond Cab turns out not to be the best decision. The hour and fifteen minutes between the call to the cab company and the time the train leaves the station (which is only a 5 minute drive from your house) is generous. When a cab hasn’t shown up an hour later, you have the right to be a bit fkustered (that’s definitely not a typo, you’re not merely “flustered” at this point). You call back. They’re still trying to find you a cab. You sincerely doubt that they’re trying too hard. In the hour spent waiting for your Diamond Cab you see no less than five—yes, five—Checker Cabs drive past (who knows how many snuck by when you ran upstairs to check for a message from Diamond Cab) so you tell them not to bother, hang up and call Checker Cab.

After calling The Girl to notify her of the change of plans, you return to the Amtrak site to see about the 4 o’clock because it’s pretty obvious that you’re not going to make the 3. That will put you in Newark for 6:30pm and you still have to make the hour drive to the friend’s apartment plus a 4 hour drive home. But before you can make the change to the reservation a Checker cab is at your door. You hop in and ask in jest if the cabbie thinks he can get you to the station by 3. No problem, he says. According to your iPod, it’s 2:52pm as you slide across the slick, ducktape-patched back seat of the cab. Three minutes later, two run red lights, and some breakneck single lane passing and you’re there with time to drop your credit card while fumbling at the automated reservation center.

You run to the platform, even holding the door for a gentleman with far more bags than just the laptop case you’re carrying. No train! But there are too many other passengers for you to have missed it. You look both ways up and down the track and decide you have time to run back up into the station to use the payphone to unnotify The Girl of the change in plans. Fortunately, you’re right.

Now, if you can just remember not to get off at Newark, Delaware you might be able to get home in time for a good night’s sleep. Too bad about all that work you had planned to get done today.

(As you pass 30th Street Station in Philly you think, don’t Stan and crew live somewhere around here?)

Let’s see Hallmark slap a UPC label on storming New Jersey on an Amtrak train to retrieve your damsel in distress.

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Author
Shaun Inman
Posted
February 13th, 2005 at 11:15 pm
Categories
The Girl
Personal
Event
Comments
015 (Now closed)

015 Comments

001

Well. I, for one, am quite offended that you passed right through Philly and didn’t even schedule any time in your rescue mission to say hello. One more Amtrak ticket wouldn’t have killed you, Shaun. Sheesh.

Author
Rob Weychert
Posted
Feb 13th, 2005 7:07 pm
002

Inman in shining armor. It’s strangely comforting that cabs are consistently imcompetent from state to state.

Author
Dan Mall
Posted
Feb 13th, 2005 7:07 pm
003

nicely done… just be glad you live in a place where: 1) cabs are reasonably abundant 2) they actually have commuter trains (and that joke of a tram we have in SLC doesn’t count as a real commuter train) Granted, three states away out west is a bit different, but still…

The Girl should count her lucky stars.

Author
gb
Posted
Feb 13th, 2005 7:11 pm
004

You see, this is why I don’t have a girlfriend I guess. I would have just said “Try and keep your eyes open while you drive back, honey”.

Author
Mike D.
Posted
Feb 13th, 2005 7:12 pm
005

Well done Shaun, excellent write up to an excellent story.

Author
Matt Wilcox
Posted
Feb 13th, 2005 11:06 pm
006

You both could have ridden in the basket on the front of my bike, and I would have pedaled you to safety.

Author
Jason Santa Maria
Posted
Feb 14th, 2005 2:21 am
007

Wow, sounds like fun, Shaun. You would think, as much as cabs normally cost, that service would be top-notch. I don’t think they could even spend that much on gasoline if they wanted to.

Author
Jonathan Fenocchi
Posted
Feb 14th, 2005 3:26 am
008

Wow.. sounds like an ‘adventure.’ I had no idea the infamous Shaun Inman lived right in my state… only 20 minutes away in good ole’ balmer! What a small world.

I’m curious to find out how you managed to get out of going along with her. Aren’t you going to be dragged along to the wedding?

Author
Ian Pitts
Posted
Feb 14th, 2005 3:58 am
009

Ahhh… Jersey for Valentines Day. Does it get better than that? Nicely done.

Author
steve
Posted
Feb 14th, 2005 4:00 am
010

Trains? That’d be nice. I’d have to use Greyhound or fly. No passenger trains here.

Author
Kim Siever
Posted
Feb 14th, 2005 6:21 am
011

Dependable forms of tranportation in decending order.

  1. Your feet.
  2. Your car. (not Downtown)
  3. Friend (girlfrined) giving you a ride.
  4. Urine soaked cab.
  5. Bus Transportation.
  6. Your car. (Downtown)
  7. Vegtable truck driven by illegal aliens
  8. Train Service. (Winter)
  9. Airline. (anytime)

Should have hopped in that vegtable truck.

Author
Web
Posted
Feb 14th, 2005 8:03 am
012

I love how I got a call. For God’s sake, no one, not even your precious Aries cab driver, can get to the train station faster than me and my Honda. I’m talkin’ 180 seconds, bro. It’d be like The Fast and the Furiously Trying to Get to Newark, Delaware.

Author
Ian Corey
Posted
Feb 14th, 2005 10:37 am
013

mmm love.

Author
Patrick Kelley
Posted
Feb 14th, 2005 11:15 am
014

i had almost exactly the same thing happen this weekend, trying to get to see my lady in London. Shaun i think we may have stumbled on something new, a world-wide corralation of travel problems revolving around love?

Global Warming?

Author
shooka
Posted
Feb 16th, 2005 1:07 am
015

Great expectations…

Author
Adriana
Posted
Mar 23rd, 2005 12:12 pm