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escape from lot c

February 04, 2001|Russ Spencer

I had just traveled through three countries, one of them off-limits to Americans, two of them in the Third World. But after getting on the long-term Lot C shuttle bus at LAX, I began to wonder if the biggest adventure of my vacation lay ahead.

* The industry couple at the front of the bus told me that after four days partying nonstop in Vegas, Lot C had gotten the best of them--they had spent three hours looking for their car and were about to take a taxi home and attack the monster again in the morning.

* The guy behind me said he once came back from Mardi Gras with a friend and they looked for his green Chevy for two hours before realizing they had arrived in a different car.

* Overhearing our conversation, a woman behind us chimed in that she had once scoured Lot C for two hours before it dawned on her that a friend had dropped her off.

I found my car after 10 minutes. Little did I know that Lot C had one last trick up its sleeve. I circled for 20 maddening minutes, unable to find an exit, covering the same real estate over and over only to end up precisely where I had started. I finally pulled over in desperation and shouted at some workers sitting around the bus depot, "How do I get out of here?"

They laughed a knowing, evil laugh.

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