This just might be my first "grown up" blog entry; a mobile post from the road, chronicling my journey into adulthood which seems to involve, for whatever reason, various travel mishaps so outlandishly comical as to appear contrived. (I assure you they are not: I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried – I’m not that talented.)
I’m writing from the cool, comfortable floor of the Atlanta airport, where I’m enjoying a brief respite after spending the first leg of my interminable journey to the promised land (Washington, D.C.) seated between a sweet-hearted eight year old gentleman and a foul mouthed, Jimmy Buffet-esque Harley dude headed to “FLA baby… Tampa!” as he was want to repeatedly ejaculate when roused — by turbulence — from his alcohol-induced slumber.
I have much to ponder, having spent countless hours over the past two days doing just that. Because what else can one do with idle moments spent surrounded by some of the strangest strangers this fine land has to offer? I spent three hours on the tarmac at Pittsburgh International yesterday evening, waiting out the stubborn thunderstorms in Cincinnati which were conspiring (and ultimately prevailing) to disrupt all my plans to descend upon the District of Columbia in a cloud of glory, taking Capitol Hill by storm.
Why, you ask, might I be traveling via Atlanta or Cincinnati? Well, let’s just say I’m not quite a jet-setter yet, and cheap flights always come with a catch.
In my case, the catch being unending comedy interspersed with drama and scandal, all playing out within the restrictive confines of a Boeing 737. Last night’s attempt for the Hill was unceremoniously aborted after hours of hopeful vigil (okay, forced imprisonment on the tarmac) when at long last the thunderstorm warning was lifted and we were cleared for departure. “But do I smell… sniff, sniff… gasoline?” worried a nicely-manicured woman in the 4th row?
As we deplaned, herded from our seats like disgruntled cattle, the offending gasoline odor was pinpointed as originating from the pants of a gentleman who had inadvertently doused himself in diesel at a gas station earlier that afternoon. And then gotten on the plane. At this point the pilot’s nose is twitching, and he thinks perhaps the smell might in fact be jet fuel, not eau-de-diesel on denim. So the TSA is called, and I politely request the opportunity to try this again in the morning.
Which brings me here, to this cool patch of linoleum in a busy terminal, waiting for my second flight of the day, having already been propositioned by the above-mentioned parrot head from paragraph 2 to join him at 37,000 feet in inaugurating one another into the Mile High club…
I politely declined, after which point he affectionately christened me “blondie,” spending the remainder of his conscious flight time offering me fist bumps and words of wisdom and anecdotal accounts concerning his (former?) drug habits. Cocaine is a lot like taking off in a jet plane, did you know that?
I am not making this up, but I am posting it purely for your enjoyment. And I’m beginning to relate more closely to Jim Carrey’s character in “The Truman Show,” because, come on, Somebody’s got to be scripting this…