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Saturday, June 28, 2014

It Never Hurts to Check


Universal Assistance asked me to visit a sick Costa Rican in Downy. The call arrived at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

“Downy is thirty miles away,” I explained. “The distance is not a problem, but I don’t want to go during the rush hour. Will she wait till nine?”

The dispatcher checked and obtained approval. The next hurdle was confirming the address. It was 9640 Bell Avenue.

“Is that B – e – l – l?” I asked, spelling it out because English is never the native language of travel insurance dispatchers.

“Yes,” he said.

I checked Google maps (“29.4 miles; 39 minutes; 1 hour 17 minutes with traffic”). That address turned up in an adjacent city but not Downy itself. My first instinct was to accept it. As a visitor, the Costa Rican was unfamiliar with local geography, but several unhappy experiences have persuaded me that it never hurts to check. 

“Not ‘Bell,’ said the desk clerk when I phoned. “It’s B – u – e – l – l. Buell.”  Google found it in Downy.

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