Los Angeles is a city. Right? You'd call it a city. However, the parts that make up Los Angeles are also called cities, rendering the word "city" kind of meaningless.
Where do you live?
Oh, really? Where?
I've never fully understood how that works exactly. It's kind of like ordering a carbonated beverage in Texas.
What would you like to drink?
I'll have a coke.
What kind? We have Sprite, Dr. Pepper, root beer, Coke.
(If you're a local) I'll have a Dr. Pepper.
(If you're not) Um. I'll have a Coke.
Or like "sizes" on women's clothing. Why even bother with a number when a size 8 at one store is a 12 at another? "Size"? A meaningless word.
Anway, when I say NWAI and I zipped across town for B-SNAK's birthday, we were going from one city in Los Angeles to another city in Los Angeles. Not a big deal. We do it all the time.
According to Yahoo maps, the distance from my house to B-SNAK's is a mere 8.3 miles, and the approximate travel time by car is 17 minutes. Makes sense. We're just zipping across town. Sure. Ok.
The trip to her place in the morning was lovely. NWAI and I stopped for cupcakes on the way, had a lovely discussion about the complexities of admiring Justin Timberlake (Dick in a Box is an undeniable work of genius), and we got across town plenty quick. It was, I don't know, maybe 20 or 25 minutes.
So you can imagine we were quite stunned when the return trip -- same exact route -- took one hour and forty-five minutes to complete. Wait. Let me put that another way. In the time we could've watched a feature-length Hollywood film, we travelled 8 miles by car. Eight. Miles.
We left B-SNAK's at at 5:30 pm, and pulled up to my place at 7:15 pm. In the time it took us to travel about 4 blocks, we watched the sun set.
5:34 - around the corner from B-SNAK's
NWAI: Wow! This is kind of bad.
Me: Huh. Yeah. Well, it is rush hour.
NWAI: Good thing we have the 2007 Grammy nominees CD!
We laugh. We dance. We talk about how great stamping together is.
5:45 - we've travelled 2 blocks
Me: Hmm. This is pretty bad.
NWAI: Yeah. It is.
Me: My sidekick made reservations for us for 8:00 for a late Valentine's Day dinner. I'm sure we'll be fine.
NWAI: Oh, you'll be totally fine.
We sing along to Sexy Back. We laugh some more. We talk about Valentine's Day.
5:50 - not moving at all in traffic
Me: Oh, shit. I think I was supposed to get him a present.
NWAI: Uh oh.
NWAI: We can stop somewhere.
Me: No. That's silly. It'll be fine.
NWAI: We can totally stop.
We both find this hilarious, as we are already completely stopped.
For the next 5 blocks or so -- let's say the next 30 minutes -- we joke about my hopping out of the car and running into one of the shops on the street to buy him a gift.
NWAI: He'd love some bubble wrap and boxes for shipping.
Me: Nothing says love like hardware and wiring.
NWAI: If you bought him an insurance policy, he'd really know you care.
Me: Check it out. It's a sex store!
NWAI: We can totally stop.
We find this hilarious again, because we are still, for all intents and purposes, stopped.
It went on like this for a while, until finally I mustered the courage to call my sidekick and sheepishly ask if I was supposed to have gotten a present. My sidekick is awesome. He not only said there were no presents required, but he also offered to move the reservation if it would help.
I think it was around this time that the punchiness set in. That's the only thing I can figure happened. Because next thing I know, NWAI has turned up the music, is looking at me with the most hilarious look I ever saw, and is singing along with (Grammy-nominated) My Humps. This. Is. A. New. Low. This is hands-down the worst song I've ever heard in my life, and she's singing along, knowing it's horrible, and smiling from ear to ear. This song is to music what our car ride is to commuting. The worst of the worst.
The good news? We've now got a new standard.
How was your drive?
It was pretty bad.
Was it My Humps bad?
Well, no. Now that you mention it, I guess it could've been worse.
Thank God for carpooling. And the bus lane. (Oh! Is this the bus lane? No wonder we raced past all those other cars. Sorry.)
Los Angeles: A city of cities, where you can drive 8 miles in 2 hours and decide that there's an upside to My Humps. God bless it.