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Who has two thumbs (one in working order, the other jammed all to heck) and is taking a 15 hour overnight bus ride to Las Vegas tomorrow?  This guy:

Microsoft Paint arrow indicating spaceman, not female Mario

Microsoft Paint arrow indicating spaceman, not female Mario

Yeah you read that right.  I’m taking a bus to Vegas.  Yeah, I know it’s dumb.  Let me explain.  When this Vegas trip was conceived a couple months ago, some travelers grabbed their SF-Vegas tickets for ≈ $150.  I had to wait two weeks for payday.  On payday, those same tickets were $250.  “F that,” I declared emphatically.  “I am not paying that price.  In the spirit of Vegas, I’ll gamble and hope the price goes down.”  So I gambled.  But Vegas doubled down.  Two days ago the tickets jumped to $450-500, and I’d have to fly at crazy werewolf hours.

SO, I scrambled.  I bought a non-refundable 15 HOUR* bus ticket (leaving SF at 11p.m. on Thursday, arriving in Vegas at 2:30 p.m. on Friday.  YEAH.), and a one-way flight from Vegas back to SF on Virgin.  Which is pretty much the equivalent of taking a Saturn V to the moon (travel time: approx. 3 days), and returning on a Bussard Hydrogen Ramjet (travel time: approx. 3 minutes).  I’m also looking forward to the enhanced security I’m sure will accompany a one way ticket bought at the last minute.  I’m looking forward to becoming intimately familiar with this guy.

The nation's first line of defense

The nation's first line of defense

Whatever, I’m an idiot.  But hey, there’s something kind of romantic about a bus ride across the American West, right?  If my knowledge of 1990’s rock ballads serves me correctly (and it nearly always does) the bus will most likely be populated by runaway teens.  Maybe if I wear a leather jacket and a flinty stare I can convince them its never too late for a second chance, maybe even for this road-weary drifter.

I’m looking forward to shaving in a truck stop bathroom before sitting down to a plate of whatever passes as sustenance in or around the L.A. Greyhound Depot in Skid Row  during my 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Friday morning layover.  Also looking forward to the 20 minutes I’ll have to enjoy beautiful downtown Barstow.

Oh, and the total cost of this bus/flight combo? $250.  There is probably a lesson in there, but heck if I know what it is.  Besides, screw long-term investing, I can easily make my money back on the last day by putting my $200 plane ticket on Red!  What could go wrong?



*One upshot of a 15 hour travel time: I bought a used copy of The Brethren for $1 last week.  So by the time I get to Vegas, I’ll be able to answer any questions you have about the internal workings of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1968-1978.



  1. Now, not only am I convinced you and Captain Colada will never make it back to Sunny California in one piece, I am concerned that you may not even make it there. I’ve seen enough horror flicks to know that nothing good happens in the middle of the desert at the witching hour. That being said, it was wonderful knowing you and can I have your spacesuit?

  2. Don’t worry, I’ve seen those movies too, and I assure you, I run much faster in MY denim jacket. And you don’t want that spacesuit. During re-entry after last weekend’s adventures, I severely compromised suit integrity. It’s being donated to the Smithsonian.

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