My favorite thing about visiting my parents at “the resort” is the fact that I have an entire wardrobe and nearly all my necessary toiletries down there, so I don’t need to pack much to go. I just grab a backpack and I’m off.
I though this would simplify the entire process thereby eliminating things that could go wrong during travel.
My 6 am flight from Savannah was due to arrive in New York at 8 am. But due to inclement weather we were forced into a holding pattern.
After 30 minutes of essentially flying in circles the pilot came on the speaker and basically said, “We’re about to run out of fuel so we’re going to go ahead and land in Baltimore.”
This began my 12 hour delay.
On this particular flight there was an especially annoying individual wearing a Bluetooth headset the whole time. I will refer to this gentleman as a WMD or Weapon of Mega Dooshdum.
I’m almost sure he would have been sitting in first class had our plane been larger than a hot pocket.
After we landed in Baltimore, everyone was worried about whether or not would be taking off in this plane again or getting on a new plane. This is when the WMD spoke up and said, “I just got off the phone with the platinum desk, this plane isn’t going anywhere.”
Ooo you got off the phone with the platinum desk? Everyone come and listen, Ezekiel is back with tales from the Platinum desk!
What else did the platinum desk tell you? How to solve the sub prime lending crisis? The name of the next American Idol? When Jesus would return?
I would have continued to focus my hate on him but of course, the woman sitting behind me was screaming in Spanish into her phone. The plane was completely still, no engine noise, there was no crisis and no need for yelling. But she apparently felt her speaking voice Spanish was not appropriate and instead was using her tornado warning Spanish.
I then realized what I don’t like about flying.
It’s the people. They are everywhere. Being weird. Being abnormal. Being creepy. I would not be bothered by flying as much if I got to do it, say, in my own plane, by myself.
I hung out in the airport for a couple of hours while angry passengers yelled at unsuspecting gate agents who were doing their damndest to help them. One woman was yelling at this particular gate agent about how this was the 3rd time this happened to her and blah blah blah.
She kept yapping until I said;
“SHUT THE HELL UP AND GO LAY ON THE TARMAC!”
Well not quite but I did tell her to leave the poor gate agent alone. I am so very brave.
If you take a look around an airport you realize this is no longer the golden age of travel. People don’t travel in suits and elegant leisurewear. They travel in whatever they found on the floor when they woke up that morning. I saw a man in a purple t-shirt whose belly was so big I thought he was wearing a prosthetic.
Perhaps he had some sort of silicone belly implant? There was no way one belly could stick out so far. It was only for the fact that his shirt stuck out so far I could see his bare flesh exposed underneath it that I realized this was no prosthetic. It was like a belly penthouse.
I found out I had 7 hours until my new flight to New York, so I decided to take a shuttle bus to a train into D.C. to go see the Cherry Blossoms. I figured this would get me away from the crazies and the hideousity.
In the fully packed Amtrak waiting room I came across another prized individual.
This gentleman sat across from me (also with a belly penthouse), directly in front of a brightly lit vending machine. He sat there cross eyed and absolutely transfixed by the colorful offerings available inside that magical glass box. I thought he was going to try and make a withdrawal from one of the many shelves when he made another decision.
You know how sometimes you cough up a little bit of phlegm, but you just deal with it because you are not in a place where you can get rid of it?
The gentleman sitting not 4 feet across from me in the Amtrak station waiting room did not think this was one of those places. So I watched him, cough, gag, and then let loose a horrific dribble of phlegm that fell like an autumn leaf and landed between his feet on the floor.
He didn’t even try to hide it. His basic philosophy appeared to be, “I’m gross, everybody watch.”
So I took the train into Union Station in D.C. and in an effort to save money (I’m becoming cheaper by the day) I walked 45 minutes to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms, and the sun came out and it was beautiful. I sat strolled and took pictures such as this one.
And then it started to pour on me. I didn’t have an umbrella. So I walked the 45 minutes back to Union Station where I bought an Amtrak ticket back to Baltimore, which I then immediately dropped on the floor and didn’t realize until I heard over the loud speaker;
“Would Mr…. Bo-em-key please pick up his ticket at the information desk.”
Back on the train to the shuttle bus to the airport where I checked in for my 6 o’clock flight, and went through security. I sat down in the waiting area for a while, and was walking to my gate when a woman ran up to me and said, “Sir! You dropped this!”
It was my plane ticket.
Double damn it.
I was starting to think maybe someone or something was trying to stop me from going home. But 14 hours later I made it. Which means it took me an hour LONGER to fly home than it would have to drive.
Forget airplanes. Forget travel. Next time I’m just going to stay home and grow a belly penthouse.