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Saturday, February 07, 2004

Airport Karma, continued... (boring)

Sitting now in Atlanta, watching the busy workers service the planes. I have another hour to kill--the last of twelve. The same thing happened yesterday that happened the day before, but I'd already used up my safety margin day, so I had to go for the lowest risk plan. Clare* is on her way from Stockholm as I type, arriving in Los Angeles this afternoon, and it would rather suck if I were still stuck in DC or Atlanta when she arrived. Barring a complete flight cancellation or extreme delay, I should get there just a few hours before her.

All things considered, I'm not faring too poorly. It's mostly my hair and stomach ache that betray my having spent last evening and night here. Airport food... let's just say I really wish they had even a Taco Bell here. No, let's say more: the "grilled chicken" was in fact grilled, but if it was chicken, it (the whole chicken) had been pressed flat (probably under a few truck tires), worn as a shoe insert for a week, torn apart by small, angry children, glued and pressed back together, torn apart by large, angry children, and then delicately grilled with provolone cheese and served in small portions on a large piece of stale bread. All for $7--which in retrospect is a pretty good deal when you consider all the effort involved in making it. I will say that it successfully killed my appetite, which I guess is sufficient. I wasn't even hungry this morning, but I made myself eat (eck) because the five hour flight I am about to take has no food service. (Hazards of flying AirTran--the others being frequently missed connections and no hotel vouchers when you do.)

Anyway, cherish your comphy beds tonight. I will.


Now on the plane headed toward LA. If this plane had been delayed yesterday or the day before by just twenty minutes, I would have made my connection, but it left on time both days. Today, it is running over an hour late. On the bright side, I won't have to wait as long at LAX before meeting Clare*.


Clare* arrived, but her bag stayed in Chicago. While Clare* finished up the paperwork for that, we loaded my bags into Radiantsun*' car. Radiantsun* and I walked around the passenger side of the car and discussed options for a mere few seconds, when a van full of parking Nazis pulled up with revved engine and practically screeched to a halt beside us. Four parking Nazis jumped out and wrote us a ticket for "waiting", despite Radiantsun* attempting to depart with no hesitation. We were of course incredulous, but their immediate reply, as if somehow this justified anything, was "we've been sitting back there watching you since you drove up". I can only imagine with four of them in the van, it was like a training session, the wise old parking Nazi telling his apprentices: "Look, see how that one looks all distraught and is talking to the people at baggage services? That means one of her bags didn't make it -- the driver always waits when that happens, just you see."

Killer robots. It may be the only answer.

The airline sent her bag on the next plane, and once it arrived at LAX we called and they gave us a delivery time between 9pm and 3am(!). Fortunately they accepted a written note to leave it at the door.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com