So the title of this blog post is a joke. I was not at the races yesterday, but, instead, was experiencing the antithesis of a day at the racetrack. I guess 'antithesis' isn't the right word really, though, because there was a lot of sitting on a my ass watching other people freak out about the little slips of paper they held in their hands, but the little pieces of paper I'm talking about weren't betting slips. No, they were something far, far worse...they were airline boarding passes.
All the itinerant bad weather had seriously screwed up the air travel world, so much so that I saw more delayed and canceled flights then on time ones yesterday as I sat in the Manchester Airport in New Hampshire–after driving by Robert Frost's childhood home on the way, how cool is that?–while I waited for my flight.
The irony was that my flight was one of the few that was on time. I counted myself among the lucky as I sat across from an elderly couple–the woman in a wheelchair–as they tried to decide what to do with themselves because their flight to Chicago wasn't happening that day. Period. I felt pretty bad for them. If they'd been heading to LA, I might've even given'em my ticket, it was that pathetic to see them struggling.
But LA wasn't their destination, so I climbed on board my flight and thanked my lucky stars. Until we got to the runway and had to turn around because of a generator failure. We taxied back to where we'd come from and sat on the plane for the next two hours while they tried to figure out what to do with us. To everyone's amazement, they actually got the plan working again and we took off, heading for Phoenix and for all those missed connections. Only, as we hit the air, a rumor started circulating through the plane that no one was missing their connection 'cause all the flights–except the peeps going to Orange County and Portland–had been delayed.
It was ironic and kind of weird.
I spent the remainder of the flight drinking a bloody mary, trying to write, but mostly watching Season 2 of The Wire. We landed in Phoenix and the rumor proved true. I saw my dazed compatriots checking out the flight board and scratching their heads. Everyone had at least an hour or four to wait for their original, now delayed flights...even the Orange County peeps made their flight 'cause the airplane held an extra few minutes for them.
After seven hours with no food, except two tiny bags of peanuts and an equally minute bag of baked pita chips, I had a killer headache (the bloody mary didn't help the headache like I'd hoped and was my original impetus for drinking). I had three and a half hours to kill so I ate a cheeseburger that I'm pretty sure came out of a freezer bag and watched more Wire.
At 11:10, after an almost 11 hour odyssey, I trudged onto the plane and promptly fell asleep. I've never slept in my hard contacts before and, after that experience, I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone.
I got to LA and got my bag and was standing at the curb of Southwest Airlines at 1AM.
I don't know why I felt like sharing my yesterday with you, but there it is.
You know what the funny thing is? It really wasn't that bad. People have much crappier things happening to'em in this world right now. In the end, I got where I needed to go, I didn't get beaten up and there was always a restroom to use.
It was a win/'sort of' win...and, really, isn't that all you can ask for from a Wednesday?