Today I am in Los Angeles for a writers' conference, the Writers' Digest Novel Writing conference. Today is the 15th of August, the Feast of the Assumption. HD of O.
I thought I had it all planned. I looked up churches, checked out mass times last night, set my alarm at the hotel. There's a line of cabs out front. How hard could it be, right?
Plus I made sure it was a well-known church. The Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. (I should probably point out that I've never been to LA before and all my knowledge ofhte place is from movies.) Alfred Hitchcock's parish, if I 'm not mistaken. I ask you, could it get any more iconic?
So the doorman gets me a cab. "Church of the Good Shepherd, " I say.
Cabbie glares at me. In a rich accent- I'm guessing Iranian?--"Where is that? What is the address?"
"Um.. I don't know." Now I'm at a loss. "I could go back inside and ask."
Cabbie starts yelling at doorman. She doesn't know the address! Door man starts yelling back. You mean you don't know where it is?
DIH tactfully slips out of cab. Heads back into hotel for the address.
Doorman yells. Wait! This next guy knows!
Another cab pulls up.
First cabbie: (furious) Just give me the address!
Doorman: (pissed off) I don't know the address!
First cabbie: (Really furious) I will take her!
Doorman: Well she doesn't want you!
Second cabbie (same accent as first cabbie but not as angry, which at this point would take a lot): Miss, miss, I know where it is, I take you.
DIH slips into second cab. Cab starts leaving hotel driveway.Second cabbie: I'm sorry, what was the address again?
DIH: I'm outta here. (Exits cab)
OK. Call me a cynic. But one of my rules of life is never get into a cab with an angry Iranian if he doesn't know exactly where he's going. Trust me, budgets have been blown that way. And worse.
Now my only problem is getting to church later. I believe Good Shepherd has a 7:30 pm. mass. I wonder if the cabbies will have mellowed by then. And I will definitely have the address with me next time.