Bag and Boardwalks – Day 2

Sunday in LA started out a rocky day, but it can be odd how nasty, stressful days turn out to be the best in a matter of hours.  This turnaround  was, I am keen to point out, in no way thanks to US Airways – saga here.  As soon as I was up Sunday morning, I was on the phone to them about the delayed bag.  It hadn’t been delivered during the night or that morning at that point.  I was assured over the phone that it would be put out for delivery at ten and would be with me by twelve.  I relaxed.  I shouldn’t have done.  I believed them.  I shouldn’t have done.

At five past twelve I was on the phone again and was, again, assured that it would be with me soon.  Sure, and Elvis is running a meth lab in our basement with Glenn Miller.  After asking them to contact the courier firm to check on delivery, and being kept on hold, I was told that it would be with me soon and that the driver himself would give me a ring to let me know when it would likely be there.  Twenty minutes later, I was hammering the digits of the baggage centre number into the phone, almost biting my passport in half in rage.

Insipid woman on the phone told me, to my surprise, that it had only just been collected and would be with me by 6:09 that evening.  You fucking what?!  I was just on the phone to one of your mongs twenty minutes ago and he said… oh what’s the use.  Lying, skag-sucking bastards.  Insipid woman put me on hold several times between complaints and insisted that it wouldn’t be here before 6pm.  Asked why we had been actively lied to three times now, she had no answer and my blood pressure peaked.  If we didn’t risk losing our fucking security deposit for so much as breathing on a comforter wrong, I’d have put the sofa through the window.

The war-room

After she refused to give me the courier’s contact details, Mark prised the phone from my – now – claw of a hand and managed to get the name of the firm out of her.  A word with Mr Google later and I bypassed US Airwanks entirely and spoke to the courier.  I briefly explained how mucked about we’d been, that we need it desperately, and could he arrange for us to get it sooner; we’d be happy to compensate the driver.  He offered to drive it over himself (it turned out it wasn’t even on the van for delivery at that time, you lying knobmould, US Airways) and after a 45 minutes, we had our bag and the awesome driver had $50.  Pricey, yes, but it would have been double that had I gone with my initial plan that morning of cabbing to the airport and back to fetch it.  Long story short.  US Airways are dicks and liars, real people are much more helpful than insipid or lying corporations and employee-bots, and persistence is very far from futile.  The wheels of the gods may grind exceedingly fine, but a tip makes them grind a hell of a lot faster it would seem.

I gave the bag a hug before being yanked away to go and finally pick up our passes.  The first thing we saw pulling up alongside the expo was the fucking massive banners.  The Assassin’s Creed Revelations one was stunning, with Ezio and Altair back to back, smothering a vast portion of the expo wall.   I decided I wanted it, but a theft would likely be out of the question with all the security around – who knew what they’d do if we tried to cram a banner almost the height of the convention center into a Yellow Cab.  Lee already claimed that he had seen several murders, a meth lab and the Triad, all on the way to the corner shop, so we erred on the side of safety.

None shall pass? Think again.

We wandered in, admiring all the banners and a decorative LOTR War in the North area to get our passes sorted.  Through our travels through the extensive convention center, we had brief glimpses into the show hall, though security were on hand to make sure people like Lee didn’t just wander over and snap accidental exclusives through the doors or nick anything.

The passes looked great, came with a Skyward Sword lanyard, and had a saucy anime lady on.  Score.  We toddled off to a crisis with the EA passes, and then headed back in time to throw on some clothes for dinner with a PR.  The evening that followed was a genuinely wonderful one and erased all the previous stress over the bag (though I still have nothing but contempt for US Airways).  A fantastic steak dinner at the Western themed Saddle Ranch Chop House was followed by a drive through the gorgeous streets of Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, and on to Santa Monica.  The pier was beautiful, thankfully less crowded than I had thought it would be, and oddly quaint somehow.  It reminded me of England in many ways, but comparisons were lost at the joy of seeing the sea again and Ben and I ended up reminiscing for ages as we breathed the sea air and watched the waves break.  Mark, meanwhile, was eyeing up the rollercoaster which was flying overhead among the other amusements.

After a hellish journey and nothing but stress, I just wanted to soak in the view, the texture of the place.  Every board was worn smooth and had a satisfying character which groaned in protest underfoot, and the dimming light allowed the riot of colour from the amusements to stand out.  The coastline was breathtaking and just the sound of the sea, let alone the eternal breakers and dark Pacific made me realise just how much I missed it.

Tearing ourselves away from the view (after a ‘shit yourself’ fake push from Ben) we caught up with the others in time to ride the coaster.  It was small and not exactly Colossus from Thorpe, but it didn’t have to be anything else.  Riding a coaster at dusk, with the lights and sights of Santa Monica boardwalk spiralling below us was an experience that I’ll never forget and topped off a great evening beautifully.  Thanks to Claas and his idea to take us on a miniature tour, we had a night to truly remember.  *Sims memory marker moment* It would be hard to top, but we had to pour ourselves into bed that night for the conferences the following morning when work would really begin.   At 6.30 am to be precise.  Eurgh.

Last five articles by Lorna



  1. Ben Ben says:

    I would never pretend to push someone off a pier, that’s slander that is!

    (hur hur :P)

  2. Knikitta says:

    Hmmm…. the Sea Air….

  3. Edward Edward says:

    Can you take Richie next year and have him just give them all the exquisite pain? Seems like the only fair way to sort it after all of that.

    However, I’m glad that it picked up so much more, and that Ben didn’t really push you off the pier, either :)

  4. Samuel Samuel says:

    I suspect your experience with your bag is why they started cracking down on weapons and potential weapons in air travel. Terrorists nothing, it’s to stop the number of irate passengers turning to murder as a last resort way of showing contempt for an airline’s customer service standards.

    The rest of the day sounded great though, told you it could only get more awesome now that the crap getting there was out of the way.

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