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May 02, 2004

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, literally


This is being written (to be retyped later, but we swear we didn't change a word, including this parenthetical which we anticipated) at 12:42am Pacific Daylight Time on Friday, April 30th, from a row of black vinyl chairs at the San Diego International Airport, aka Lindbergh Field. "But wait," you say, "weren't you taking a redeye on Thursday night? Shouldn't you be on a plane?" Why what a good question! YES, we should be on a plane!! "Well why then," you say, "are you sitting on a row of black vinyl chairs at the San Diego International Airport, aka Lindbergh Field?" Another excellent question. See, Girl-E left her mom's today (Thursday) at 3:30pm to drive from just north of L.A. to San Diego-- normally a three-hour trip-- in order to be shockingly early for a 10:15pm flight. But wouldn't you know it, the gods chose this particular Thursday afternoon to explode a tractor-trailor on the I-405, and the three-hour trip in fact took the entire seven.

So, she will not sleep tonight. She will not make the wedding in DC. Unless she gets on a morning flight standby, she will be stranded in New York at midnight Friday night. She had some allergic reaction to something and she has an itchy rash all over her legs. They keep the "don't leave your bags unattended blah blah" announcements going at full volume all night. Someone is vacuuming. Someone is pumping shitty music through the sound system between security announcements. The 24-hour Starbucks charges $7.10 for a sandwich. It's 3 1/2 hours before she can put her name on a standby list, and another 3 until the theoretical plane leaves. And another 8 before the flight they actually booked her on. And the damn Starbucks sandwich was filled with onions, the taste of which she now has to spend these miserable hours with.

So, how was Friends tonight?

Update: 2:45am

1) Airport graveyard shift Baristas do not receive the standard rigorous training. They are unfamiliar with the Frenchier terms on the menu, and your hot vanilla will have a 1:1 ratio of milk:syrup.

2) While it is true that one should never leave her bags unattended, it is also true that a large suitcase does not fit in a standard bathroom stall, and one is likely to render herself trapped which would be particularly troubling in case of fire or flood. Go handicapped the second time.

3) It is wise not to accept the lady's offer to hang together while you both spend the night in the airport, for you will run into her enough, particularly in the restroom curling her hair at 2:30 in the morning and musing about how nice it feels to get cleaned up.

4) Two hoodie sweaters, a vinyl raincoat, and a pashmina wrap are not sufficient protection against the arctic blast of the terminal air conditioning as you attempt to sleep under the black chairs. Get your frigid ass up and go to Starbucks.

Update: 6:40pm Friday

1) We get tired, you get lists.

2) Got last seat on morning flight. Cried.

3) Threw money around like birdseed to get from JFK to Penn Station and theoretically now to Boston. Ate Pizza Hut personal supreme pizza of approximately six days in age over the course of approximately six seconds.

4) Train departed 30 minutes late. Conductor advisory to "hold on tight" while all possible attempts made to make up time.

5) Pen exploded all over Amtrak ticket where signature required. Signature resembles thumb smudge of deaf illiterate mute.

6) Girl-E has no chance of ever getting her suitcase out of the overhead compartment. Zero.

Posted by The Twins at May 2, 2004 03:33 PM

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I think that approximately 50% of the stress I've experienced in my entire life has involved being on the 405 trying to make a flight. I cringed just reading this.
But you're home now, yes?

Posted by: Jess at May 2, 2004 03:51 PM

Yup, home, and actually at work on Sunday afternoon. Sweet!

Posted by: EV at May 2, 2004 03:57 PM

I was aware that these events (at least the external circumstances) were going on, and I felt so bad for Girl E. However, its only now after reading that I recognize how truly, unbelievably terrible were these realities. Ouch. You need a cat to curl up with, for a few weeks maybe.

Posted by: The Dude? at May 2, 2004 06:33 PM

Planes, trains, automobiles...have you thought about writing a screenplay? ;)

Seriously, that sounds truly revolting. What is it about airports that makes them beacons to irritating/useless/imcompetant people?

Glad you made it home.

Posted by: Dani at May 3, 2004 12:14 AM

Oh, way to go and NOT READ THE POST TITLE. *smacks hand to forehead* Can you tell I'm blonde?

Posted by: Dani at May 3, 2004 12:15 AM

I slept in the Atlanta International Airport once, and the only things that kept me alive and sane were 1. my sister, bless her, and 2. the promise of two plates of biscuits and sausage gravy at 6am.

Your country breakfast is ready, shug!

Posted by: Girl-C at May 3, 2004 10:29 AM

Goodness gracious me. I'm glad you made it home safe and sound. It's time for that cocktail party!

Posted by: Hilatron at May 3, 2004 09:25 PM