Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bootleg Limousine Ride

The thing about being a Femme Fantastik Author is that anything goes. You can't do something and get away with it when you have the wittiest women in the world together. We are going to notice and we are going to talk about you. Let me describe to you our bootleg (to the fifth power) ride from the airport.

I arrived in LA and went in search of Nina in baggage claim. Why did I find her sitting down and not with the promised limo driver? I was so excited, I hugged her and then asked, where was the driver.

She replied, "Right there, don't look."

Come on now. Don't tell me not to look at something. I'm peeping everything. I'm a black suburban woman who doesn't get to see much in Duluth, Ga, so I looked, and didn't see a thing.
I was like, ok then. I told her I was going to get my luggage and to wait for me.

I walked through the doors and waited at the wrong carousal for my bags. Just as I began to lament America West, a man came up to me and said "Ms. Foxx sent me in here to help you."

I looked at him and thought this is a scam. He's gone steal my bags and then I'm gone be funky and in my stretchy, fat traveling pants for the signing. Damn. No way was he a limo driver. He had on baggy jeans, Timberland boots and a long shirt. Did I mention he couldn't turn his neck to the left? Whatever, I don't care. He didn't look like a limo driver. Plus, he had a four year old next to him. He was about to rob me with a luggage cart and a kid. Damn.

Then I noticed that he had a sign with him. Why was it handwritten? Why was Nina's name scratched out? Why was there a jagged scratch through the beginning of my name and apparently the pen ran out, so little stabs through the last part? Why was Lori's last name spelled wrong and because it was long, printed down the side of the cardboard?
Where the hell was Nina? And why the hell wasn't she with him? Oh, right, he was bootleg and so she sent him to help me. I made a promise to kick Nina's tail later.

Okay, so we get my luggage and I immediately put my sneakers on. If I have to run after you because you really are a thief, I was going to do it in my Nike’s so I could use my traveling shoes to throw at the back of your head. Whatever, I’m from Buffalo. Nobody said we fight fair.

So after we get our bags loaded on the cart, we exit the terminal and stop. Call me a diva, but I was kind of expecting the car to be like, right there. The driver, kid and our bags keep walking toward the parking garage. Nina, in her Coach shoes, and I are standing at the curb, looking stupefied. Even the cop looked at us funny. I stupidly ask him, “Where’s the limo?”

He looks at me next to the Grand Dame of the airport, Nina, and said, “Ion know.” Translation, “I don’t know and what the hell you asking me for? You need to be following that man with your bags, fake a-- diva.”

No lookin’ left driver yells over his shoulder, “I’m in here”—meaning the parking garage. We scamper across the road feeling just a little dumb. At the end of a long row, we see the limo, parked in between civilian cars. Can we all say bootleg together?

Nina and I stand there, our diva status obliterated by car exhaust fumes, and I get ready to throw my bags in the trunk. At this point, if he told me I’d have to ride a bike to the hotel, I’d have believed him. Driver looks at me unloading the cart and says, “I got this.”
I think hell naw. I’m watching my bags go in. No offense, but inside I have two Alfani shirts I got on sale at Macy’s and well, I want them. He raises the trunk, and can I just ask for the chorus to say bootleg together right now?

This trunk is so full of tires, I don’t know how he closed it in the first place. Now, as you’ve learned from previous blogs, I’m a regular ole’ girl from the hood. My suitcases came as a set of four for $89.99 with a box of 48 freezy pops and a $5 calling card. Nina’s bags cost more than the entire limo. She wasn't hav'n it. Quite frankly, I thought she was going to levitate.

I’m thinking that ain’t gone work. Needless to say my busted up stuff went into the trunk. I don’t care. That’s why you buy cheap bags.

Nina and I climb in the back seat—with her suitcases and laugh our butts off. We’re both thinking the blog is going to be off the chain.

We pull out and then our driver taps a truck. I just shake my head. Damn, now I’m a witness. Lucky for him, there was no damage, but I do have to direct him out. What the hell, I thought. If I didn’t, we’d never get Lori and never get to the signing the next day. We’d be there until my next birthday shouting, “Pull up. Cut the wheel! Turn, up again, cut! Damn, you tapped him again. Pull up.”

We drive over to Continental and he gets out with the kid to go get Lori and realizes he got a ticket. I suppose the limo couldn’t fake as an ordinary sedan. For the longest time, he stood there and I begin to feel sorry for him. Nina does not.

The whole time she’s laughing, typing on her crackberry, (her blackberry), eyeing the parking lot because we know Lori and her smart mouth is going to have something to say.

Lori gets in the car and we start up again. Well, after he shoved her luggage inside, we die laughing. Definitely bootleg. There’s more luggage than people. Our knees are up to our throats and we’re laughing like crazy. I was just glad nobody had gas.

We get on the road and we put the privacy window up, but we didn’t know it was broke and wouldn’t ever come down again. At this point, it’s so funny, we have to talk about it. There’s no way we can make it the whole ride and not. Lori was in rare form. She was just glad none of the white passengers on her flight saw her and the infamous note card bearing her name.

The ride was uneventful, except for the part when No lookin’ left didn’t see traffic merging on the left and slammed on the brakes so hard, Lori slid the length of the limo on the seat. Now that was funny and way beyond bootleg.

Luckily for us, we made it to the hotel in one piece and when I got back to Atlanta and my son brought my bags inside, he only asked me once why there was permanent tire tread marks on my bag.

Carmen Green
I tell stories for a living.


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Anonymous said...


I enjoyed your story and tales of the Femme Fantastic. You're all vonderful!