1/28/07 - I wrote this a while ago. It's almost like journaling after death it's been so long since I wrote it...
I hate listening to other people’s conversations on phones.
If there is any one thing that annoys me the most about having to wait in public places it’s listening to other people talk on their cell phones. It almost seems like incessant banter – trite and meaningless. And it surrounds me… someone behind me, some one next to me, the person in front of me. I just so much want silence.
Really what I want right now is sleep. Flight is in 20 minutes. I have to stay awake at least until then. No, ugh, I have an aisle seat so I’ll have to stay awake at least until the person sitting next to me gets in their seat. That’s going to add another 20 minutes, most likely.
I realize it might not take that long, but that’s the way things go for me.
Here is my luck. And it never fails… week after week, this is what I get more than not: the person sitting next to me doesn’t get on the plane until I’ve already been sitting there for 15 minutes. The person sitting next to me is, in most cases, an over-weight, elderly person. Like the guy sitting next to me here at the gate… there’s a good chance he’s sitting next to me on the plane, judging by his hacking, pneumonia sounding cough and the fact he weighs no less than 300 pounds.
This is the game I play out of boredom: Pick the Person Sitting Next to Me.
I assign odds on the different people at the gate. Coughing fat guy is getting 2:1 odds. The really old guy with the cane and dirty baseball hat, I’ll give him 3:1… yeah, he’s a close runner-up.
The attractive woman with size 38-D breasts and cute braids that make her look like the Riccola girl… 10,000:1 odds. Virtually no chance she’ll be sitting next to me – I’m surprised she’s even waiting at the same gate.
Lou Dobbs annoys me too. This guy is on TV? He can barely spit out a sentence without pausing 60 times. And who made this brilliant f@ing decision that CNN should be on TV at every airport in America anyway? Why CNN? Why not.. say.. a TV station that actually reports news? Do we need Wolf Blitzer on TV everywhere? Really?
Past boarding time. Why do they bother putting a boarding time on the ticket? And 30 minutes before takeoff? It’s never happened.. not once. Can we have some honesty here? “We’d like to get everyone starting to board 30 minutes before, but the idiots who can’t carry luggage and walk at the same time will still be trying to get off the plane 10 minutes before your takeoff. And forget about getting everyone on the plane in less than 30 minutes time, because there are just as many idiots getting back on. Be at the gate 10 minutes before your takeoff, just to be safe.”
Mr. 2:1 has already gotten up to go stand in line to get on the plane. He’s being very impatient, like standing in the concourse looking at his watch every few seconds will get everyone on the plane quicker. They haven’t even called for pre-boarding yet.. people, sit down and relax.
I can barely keep my eyes open at this point. This week has just sucked the life out of me. Maybe it has something to do with the woman in the sweater that looks like… oh, what was that gum from back in the late ‘70s –early ‘80s? Multi-fruit flavor, came in the stripped wrapper… her sweater looks like that wrapper. Hideous.
They’re going to start boarding. Of course, they board by zones but there are now no less than 50 people standing directly in front of the door.. they haven’t even called zone 1 yet. Idiots. IDIOTS.
So here’s the problem. They stand there looking like they’re in line, so people get in “line” behind them, but then they don’t MOVE because it’s not their zone. Then people can’t get through so the gate agent thinks everyone who wants to get on the plane has, calls the next zones – then bottleneck, and we’re all slowed down.
Well, 2:1 was sitting the seat directly in front of me, so I was wrong. Nice young kid – heading home from Ft. Campbell for the weekend sat next to me. Quiet, I slept well on that flight and he was pleasant to talk to while we waited for a gate to open up.
Now waiting for my next flight. I think I’ve already found my new 2:1. Elderly couple sitting across from me, have to be in their 60s, if not older. They look about as happy as starved pit bulls in a cage.
No, I don’t always get first class seats. If they upgrade me, fine, but I’m not paying extra for it. A $500 difference just so I can drink? Regardless if I’m paying for it or not, I can’t drink THAT much in an hour.
It’s nighttime coming home now. The winter landscape looks like a great mirror on the ground below. Each light reflecting; appearing larger than it should. The light and shadows of house windows make the ground look like it has windows of its own, even from this high up. Going on midnight, my week is finally ending… at least, this stage of it.
New week, new adventures. A quick stop through the Carolinas and then off to Kentucky again. I should have honorary residence in Kentucky – I think I’ve spent more time there than at home in the past 4 months.
Flying into Nashville to make the hour drive to Bowling Green. As an added bonus, a late request to make a side trip to Elizabethtown; another hour north of Bowling Green.
Excitement abounds. Ok, no it doesn’t. The entire population of Bowling Green wouldn’t fill a professional football stadium. Elizabethtown is even smaller. And not a whole heck of a lot to do in either place, not that I had time to do anything besides work, drive, work, fly… typical week. At least the local vendor team down here is nice. Awesome, really. We have a lot of fun going out and unwinding from the work day.
The other nice part of the trip is Avis giving me a brand new Mustang. Ok, it’s a Ford… but as far as crappy rental cars go, there are much, MUCH worse cars. At least these are set up to rip the tires loose with the slightest depression of the accelerator. I made it a goal to return it with bald tires. I gave the wheel-wells a rubber-chunk undercoating but no dice. The tires were too new to show any significant wear.
Ok, so this guy getting on the morning flight is wearing these.. plaid, I guess, pants.. with no less than 1.5 million colors on them, with a striped shirt and tan corduroy jacket. I’m all for individual fashion statements, but it looks like he got dressed in the dark and did it all by feel.
That’s ok, morning bloody mary’s always make the flight, and the people around me more tolerable.
If I happen to make it home today, I have next week to look forward to. Looks like everything that is actually scheduled is being canceled, so I ponder what surprises might be in store….
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