L.A. Stories: Never Diss a Local Who's Willing to Give You Directions

On my way home tonight from a meeting at my fifth-grader's school, I stopped for gas at the Mobil on Melrose and Highland. One of my pet peeves is dirty car windows so while the gas pump ran, I got busy washing with the squeegee. While I went to town on the driver's side window, a woman in an SUV pulled up alongside me.

"Hey lady, how do I get to Santa Monica Boulevard?" she yelled.

I paused a moment before answering because
A. I wasn't feeling the yelling
B. "Excuse me," is always more polite than "Hey lady," and
C. You never know when you're about to mugged.

But because I have "Map and Directions NERD" tattooed on my soul, I replied.

"You go north," I said, pointing in that direction, "but what's your cross street?" After all, depending on what her cross street was, it might've been faster for her to zoom up La Brea instead of Highland.

"I need to get to Santa Monica and Laurel Canyon," she said.

"OK, hmm...you need to turn right out of this parking lot onto Melrose, and keep straight for about 1.5 miles till you get to Crescent Heights. Turn right onto Crescent Heights because THAT turns into Laurel Canyon. But the problem is it doesn't become Laurel Canyon until you're way north of Santa Monica."

Crescent Heights BECOMES Laurel Canyon Blvd north of Sunset Blvd.
And then I paused and asked, "Are you sure you don't mean Laurel Avenue instead of Laurel Canyon? Because if so, you still want to go up Crescent Heights and then turn right onto Santa Monica and Laurel Avenue is like the next street."

"Your directions are too fucking confusing," she said. "I just need to know the easy way to get to Santa Monica and Laurel Canyon."

This was SO my face:

 "Well good luck with that," I said, and turned back to my car to squeegee the front window.

"So are you going to tell me or not?" she yelled.

Me: Silence. (Except for my squeegee, of course.)

Her: "Well fuck you, bitch."

And then she hit the gas pedal and peeled out of the parking lot. 

Is it mean of me that I can't help but laugh as I picture her wandering through West Hollywood, trying to find the intersection of Santa Monica and Laurel Canyon--an intersection that doesn't even exist?

Perhaps it is cruel, but as my brilliant friend, Cynthia Liu of K12 News Network so aptly quipped, "Her karma was full of LOST and LATE."


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