Cruising At 34,000 Feet

One of my favorite parts of any trip is coming home to my own bed and my own stuff. Although truth to be told I have to say that the bed in my hotel room in Dallas was outstanding. I just might have to invest in the same sort of mattress they used at the fancy Redneck Cafe and Rodeo Hotelplex.

It was a quick trip. Flew out the other day and came back in this evening. I sat in the back of the plane and for the first time in quite a while I had the entire row to myself. Initially I had planned on watching Master & Commander but the noise of the engine made it impossible. Since I already had my laptop out I did a bit of liveblogging. However I thought that it was bad so I stopped partway through. But for the three people who say that you want to see everything I write here is an excerpt. Just remember, it is pretty bad.

It is a little past 4 P.M. P.S.T. For the past 90 minutes I have been stuffed inside a flying tin can. It is an S80 and I am seated two rows away from the bathrooms. Some people hate being close to the bathrooms. It is kind of noisy and there is a lot of foot traffic. With a funky digestive system I’d rather be close to the bathroom. You just never know when nature’s call is going to hit so I like to play it safe.

Here in the back of the plane I am surrounded by people. Years ago a mid-afternoon flight would have had at least three rows of empty seats. That almost never happens anymore. Now you’re lucky to find any empty seats. I suppose that today my luck is pretty good as I managed to secure a bulkhead seat. As things go here in coach it is not that bad. The seat next to me is empty and because it is a bulkhead row my knees aren’t knocking into the seatback in front of me.

A small dog is seated in the row behind me, or should I say in a carrying case directly beneath my seat. Every now and then I can hear a whimper or two. He is not too happy, but then again I am kind of irked too. Turbulence can do that to a guy. The plane is shaking and baking every which way. I keep having to retype the words. I am kind of surprised that I haven’t become motion sick. Although my bigger concern is trying to keep the laptop from flying off of my lap.

As you can probably guess the flight isn’t all that peaceful, but then again it was an experience just getting on board. I had a little situation at the rental car lot, but it wasn’t of my own doing.

That last bit about the rental car a story in itself. In the post 9-11 era you never know how long it is going to take to get through security so I always try to give myself some extra time. When I got to the rental car lot I pulled up and was pleasantly surprised when one of their field reps was able to check the car back in right there on the lot.

So I got out of the car and walked around to the trunk to get my bags. Just as I was about to open it another employee came up and asked me if I needed to be checked out. I said no and then watched as he locked the door and slammed it shut. Great job Kreskin, you just locked the keys in the car along with all of my stuff.

I then spent the next 25 minutes waiting for them to find a spare key so that they could open the car and I could retrieve my belongings. Suddenly the big window of time had shrunk. As I waited for the shuttle to take me to the terminal it grew even smaller and I began to get a bit concerned.

And then when I got to the security checkpoint and saw the line I became even more concerned. It was long and it wasn’t moving that quickly. Gradually I approached the head of the line and it was my turn to play. Off came the shoes and belt. Then the laptop was taken from its home and placed in a tray. Shoes, wallet, keys, cell phone, money clip, GPS, iPod and credit cars followed the laptop bag into a tray.

On the other side of the metal detector I stuffed my feet back into my shoes and the rest of my belongings into my pockets and took off for the gate. Instead of being able to take a leisurely walk and enjoy a cup of coffee I was flying down the way, it was ten minute until boarding and I had a long way to go.

Finally I arrived at the gate only to find out that my flight had been delayed. It wasn’t a long delay, 45 minutes, but it was enough that I didn’t have to run. I probably should have gone and purchased something to eat because friendly airlines doesn’t provide “free food” anymore. Now you get the privilege of paying stadium prices for food and drink. $4 for a stale tuna sandwich is not my idea of gourmet cuisine. Certainly being strapped into a seat in which my knees rub the seat in front of me and my shoulders hang off of is not the definition of fine dining.

Anyway, I’ll have to pick this up again at a later date. Fatigue has set in and I have some work to do. Night, y’all.

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