An Open Letter to My Buddy Who Wants a Ride to the Airport
Thanks so much for your call at 10pm last night asking for a ride to the airport this morning. Then that next call. And the two after that. The young lady I was having drinks with for some reason didn't believe it was just a guy looking for a ride to the airport. So, yeah, thanks for that too. Sorry I sent you straight to voicemail. Actually, you know what? I’m not.
I’m not sorry, because what on Earth makes you think I want to take time out of my day and gas out of my car so that you can save a few bucks on your $5,000 vacation to Thailand?
Do I wear a spiffy black hat and call you “sir?” Do I have an aversion to air conditioning and a penchant for incense? Am I a train? No? Well then, please explain to me your confusion.
Because, see, there are a great many options for getting to the airport that don't involve my picking you up at five o'clock in the morning. And you’ve chosen to use exactly none of them, essentially telling me that the money it would cost you to take a train/shuttle/taxi/Illegal jitney is worth more than my time.
And you may be right. But that’s my call to make.
See these two hours I’m spending in my car so you can save a couple dollars? Those are hours I could spend on that Rosetta Stone I bought but never opened. Or learning to shuffle dance. Or gorging myself on Honey Buns. Probably gorging myself on Honey Buns, but it’s doesn’t matter: it’s still more worthwhile than being your personal, unpaid SuperShuttle.
Because I KNOW you’re not going to the close airport. You know, the one that costs a little more but at least shares a city name with our local baseball team? People who ask for rides are never going to that one.
You’re going to the airport all the discount airlines fly into, that’s halfway between here and Oklahoma. 'Cuz, hey, it’s not your gas, right? Wouldn't kill you to chip in, either, but I'm not gonna look cheap and ask. Enjoy that $80 you saved on the flight. I hope they charge you for oxygen.
Same goes for the money you saved by booking a flight at 8:30 in the morning. You know, just early enough that I have to wake up to my phone instead of the sun, but just late enough that I get to join all the morning commuters on my ride back. It’s okay. I hear Elvis Duran is doing some zany stuff on the radio these days.
Or, ya know, you could drive your own car. Just a thought. They have these things now called offsite parking lots -- $8 a day, and they actually MIGHT not use your Kia to sell pot to the guys working the baggage claim.
See, if YOU have a car at the airport, you can drive yourself home. And won’t casually mention as we pull up and you reach in the back to grab your 80lb “carry-on,” that you’re coming back at 11pm on Saturday night, and I’d be doing you a real “solid” if I came and got you.
Because, clearly, I have nothing better to do on a Saturday night than pick you up at Middle of Nowhere International. And then listen to you ramble for the 75min drive home about all that fantastic food you had, and the hot girls you met, and the sights you saw, punctuated by a condescending, "Dude, you REALLY should go to Thailand."
Thanks for the tip. Maybe when I'm not busy with my side job as an airport shuttle I'll look into it.
But you know what, I’m going to drive you anyway. Because right now I can’t legitimately tell you I have a dentist’s appointment at 6am. Congratulations, you’ve just won a free ride to the airport. Thank you for that round of beers you’re never going to buy me, and don’t spend the $50 you just saved all in one place.