Before I tell about my weekend I want to link to this hilarious interview in the NYT with John Waters.
Q: Is there anyone you would actually kill if you knew you could get away with it?
A: I find it repellent when people do yoga exercises at the gate in airports. I want to kill them.
I have never done yoga exercises in the gate in an airport. But I saw someone this weekend and it didn’t even annoy me.
I went to Madison, Wisconsin this weekend to hang out with Clarion West people. The time there was fantastic but the journey each way was doodoo.
I took a “red eye” there and I put red eye in quotes because you leave Portland at 11pm and arrive in Chicago 3.5 hours later which would be 4:30a with the time change only the pilot managed to get us there at 4am. My hero.
My next flight didn’t leave until O’Hare until 7:30a but the gate was on the other end of the world so I took a long leisurely walk to get there stopping here and there to watch people in line for coffee and look for a comfortable place to read where I wasn’t freezing my ass off.
I got to my hotel by 9am and they let me check-in and I went upstairs and went to sleep for a few hours and managed to feel human for most of the weekend.
The trip home wasn’t the worst trip home of my life but it’s in the top 10.
I was already sad from leaving everyone and I had another 3.5 hour layover at O’Hare. Departing at 8:45 to arrive home at 11pm.
I was one of the last people to board and as I shuffled to my seat in the next to last row of the plane the Captain updated us on our delay which I was hearing about for the first time.
As I understood it they were deep in the innards of the nose cone repairing some critical something with duct tape when they realized there were rubberbands that needed replacing, too, so they had another maintenance guy out looking for rubberbands and the rubberband expert. It would only be a few short minutes.
One third of the people on the plane decided they needed to use the restroom and only one restroom in the back worked because of course the riffraff can’t go use the golden toilet in the front. So for the next “few short minutes” which in airport talk could mean anything I had a series of asses in my face and people shaking my seat because apparently its difficult to walk on a parked plane without grabbing the headrests for support. Finally after an hour the pilot announces that the rubberbands and duct tape have done the trick. We’d be leaving in a few short minutes.
Meanwhile, a man noticed 2 empty seats in the row behind me and decided to change seats and then start a conversation with the woman already sitting there. It was one of those conversations where they talked about stuff that everybody already knows and kept one upping each other with how smart they were. It was like listening to people reenact the world’s most annoying comment thread on the NYT website.
My iPod battery was dead (dammit!) and I semi-drifted off to sleep to their unpleasant drone while we headed for our runway. After a bunch of driving we stopped.
The Captain says: You might have noticed we’re not in Portland yet. We’ve had reports of a strange noise in the back of the plane and we’re getting it checked out.
We had just done a scenic drive of the airport and returned to where we started.
After another hour or so the pilot says a bunch of stuff about checking the cargo and hatches and some sort of fahrvergnugen and everything looked okay. They also checked the manual and turns out that kind of plane sometimes makes funny noises.
I’m not making that up. The pilot told us they checked the manual. At this point I’m pretty confident that I’m going to die and since I’m in the back of the plane I’m going to be stuck with the tailies and that I’m going to have to haunt a certain person for putting that bad mojo out in the universe.
Then after another “few short minutes” of paperwork we really took off and I fell asleep finally and woke up on descent.
I got on the ground at 1am. My sweetheart was there waiting for me. I was in bed by 2am. All my stuff smells like airplane
It was worth it.