The Travel Agency
I had promised a friend that I would go to the Airport and purchase tickets for his 2 boys to fly to wisconsin later that week. Unfortunately, it had slipped my mind, and when I finally realized my mistake, it was 5:30 pm on a Friday afternoon, right in the middle of rush hour. I had been shopping in Walnut Creek. I pulled over, jumped out of my car, ran over to a payphone, and started searching the phone book for a nearby Travel Agency. And then, I saw one called "Macy's Travel Agency", located at the Broadway Plaza. I looked up, and the Broadway Plaza was directly across the street from me. I put a quarter in the phone, dialed the number, and a man answered, "Macy's Travel Agency, how can I help you?" I asked him what time they closed, and he said "6:00". "O.K., now are you in the actual Macy's store, or are you just in the Plaza"? I asked him. He said, "Here's what you do . . . Go into the Macy's store. In the center of the store you'll see an escalator. Take the escalator up to the 3'rd floor. As soon as you step off, you'll see a lit up office area over to your right. There will be 2 hallways. Take the 2'nd hallway, and go to the 3'rd door on the right."
I was so relieved. I ran across the street and entered Macy's. And sure enough, in the center of the store there was an escalator. I went up to the 2'nd floor, but as my head was clearing the 3'rd floor, I noticed that there was nothing on that floor except for tools and "Please excuse our dust" signs. And it was all dark. "O.K., I said to myself. As soon as I step off of this thing, I'll just run around to the other side, and get the hell out of here!" But, as I stepped off, I saw a lit up office area over to my right, just like the guy had told me. So I just grabbed all of my courage, and I hurried over to it. And just like he said, there were 2 hallways. But, suddenly, I couldn't remember which door to knock on. I went over to the desk, and I rang the little bell. A young teenager came out to assist me. I was really stressed out already, so I asked her which door was the Macy's Travel Agency. She shook her head, and told me that she never heard of it before. I had no time to debate this with her. So, I demanded to speak to her Supervisor. A man in a nice suit came out and asked me what the problem was. I explained that I just couldn't remember which door was the Macy's Travel Agency. He looked puzzled, and he told me that there USED to be a Travel Agency there a few years ago, but they'd been gone for at least 3 years. I told him that he must be mistaken, because I had just talked to the guy on the phone not 5 minutes ago. He asked me where I got the number that I had called, and I told him from the phone book. He came around the counter to my side, and walked over to the wall to a payphone. He pointed to the phone book and told me to look it up. "There!" I said, "that's the number I called a few minutes ago." He reached into his pocket, pulled out a quarter, and handed it to me. He told me to dial the number.
I dialed the same number that I had a few minutes earlier. And I held the phone out so that the guy could put his ear by it too. We were cheek to cheek. It rang once, and then there were 3 high-pitched tones, followed by "I'm sorry, but the number you have dialed is disconnected or is no longer in service. Please check your listing and try again." I was absolutely stunned! I slowly turned my head towards his, and as soon as our eyes met, he very quietly said "Do-do-do-do, Do-do-do-do." (The theme song from the Twilight Zone!) I dropped the receiver, and ran out of that store as fast as I could! I have never been able to explain what happened that day. But, one thing's for sure . . . I don't shop at Macy's anymore!