Sunday, March 05, 2006

Traveling Composure

I may have mentioned that my sister does not live in a thriving metropolis. I may have even gone so far as to say she lives in a quaint little village off the beaten path. Well today I am here to tell you she lives on the backside of Mt. Nowhere. And it was covered with snow. And we had to drive over the tip top of it to slide down it to get to the highway which would eventually lead us to an actual (yet rather small) city that was nevertheless big enough to have a bus terminal so I could take a bus (leaving at 3:45 in the morning!) to get to a city big enough to have an airport so I could get the heck out of Dodge!

Having finally arrived at the airport (with very little sleep, and only stale cheetos and coke for breakfast), I was surprised to find the lines for security so long. You wouldn't think that there would be that many people trying to get out of New Hampshire at 6 am on a Saturday morning. Or maybe you would. After all, I was well nigh desperate to get out of New Hampshire at 6 am on a Saturday morning, so maybe all these other folks were feeling the same way. With the possible exception of the bloke at the front of my security line. From my position of about tenth in a line of sixty or so, I had a nice view of Mr. Clueless. He was obviously flying for the first time since 1992. He had money, as evidenced by his tailored, heavy, leather coat, his perfect briefcase, his expensive loafers, and his "Where's my caddy?" attitude. Mr. Clueless apparently believed that the instructions to take off shoes and coats and place them in the bins and to take laptops out of their cases etc, etc didn't apply to HIM. He suavely stood there with his coffee in hand waiting to walk through the metal detector. The security guy just stared at him. They had already started scanning his briefcase and then had to reverse the conveyor belt.
"Sir, is this your briefcase? Please remove the laptop and open it." (Can you hear the mild grumbling and rustling from the line of sixty?) Mr. Clueless backed out of the metal detector doorway (stepping on the gal behind him.)

If he had been a bumbler, he might have gotten more sympathy from the line. As it was the sympathy ran out immediately. He tried to walk back through the metal detector even though the security guard had told him to take off his jacket and shoes while he was getting out his laptop. The guard blocked the archway and turned the guy around again. This time he almost sloshed his coffee on the woman behind him. She had followed procedure and was trying to get around him but he took up too much room! He transferred his coffee from one hand to the other to take off his jacket and put it through the scanner. Same with his shoes. He sauntered through the metal detector for the third time. The security guard reached out for his boarding pass and Mr. Clueless handed him the coffee! The security guard took the coffee and without taking his eyes of Mr. Clueless, dropped it in the trash and asked for the boarding pass through gritted teeth. Guess where the boarding pass was? You got it. In the pocket of the leather jacket which was just then going through the scanner. They reversed the conveyor belt AGAIN and finally got Mr. Clueless through. The line was huffing and puffing - fuming even. One man snorted and mockingly called out, "Fly much?"

Mr. Clueless didn't deign to respond. He was too busy standing in the bottleneck behind the metal detector reclaiming and rearranging his paraphenalia thereby clotting the security process further. About a dozen people (myself included) pushed past him. We reassembled ourselves in the side area quaintly labeled "Composure Area." I wasn't bothered so much as amused, but I swanee, several of my fellow passengers were going to need a heck of a lot more than a chair off to the side to help them regain their composure.

I got to my gate and got on my plane and it was clearly way to early for most everyone, including the flight attendants. They were yawning. The passengers were fumbling around and talking loudly. The whole plane load seemed unsettled. The designated microphone guy got to the part where he was supposed to make sure everyone was on the right plane by saying it was flight so-and-so going to so-and-so. He managed the flight number and the destination but then added, "with continuing service to... oh, lots of places. Wait a minute. The list is around here somehwere." I was in the front of the plane and he admitted to the first few rows of us that he didn't usually work mornings. He said he wasn't quite in the groove yet. He did his spiel about all the safety procedures and at the end said, "I want to say thank you to those of you who were listening this morning. And to those of you who weren't, good luck!" I'm not sure if that was a sign of him finding his groove or not. Apparently someone found him the right list and he announced the flight schedule. Imagine my surprise when he mentioned Baltimore and then Cleveland and then home. Eep. Not that I'd had any choice, as this was the only way to get home - but I hadn't at all clued in to the fact that I would be in FIVE different states in one day. I had not planned on THREE sets of take off and landings to get home. That's when I began taking Dramamine.

I don't get freaked out about flying, but my tummy doesn't like the TO/L's so much. Especially when I'm tired. Or haven't eaten. I can't quite remember how much dramamine I had or how many pretzels or how much coke. I'm sure it was too much of all three though. I was a little (and by that I mean a WHOLE HECK OF A LOT) goofy by the time my best friend picked me up at the airport. Once home I managed to get started on the backlog of hugs and kisses from my kids, but I didn't stay coherent for long. I was napping on the loveseat in the library when my son Mayhem tried to tell me about his toothache. He had to go get help waking me up. Eventually VBGF managed to wake me enough that I was talking, but I wasn't talking sense. I told her to give him some antibiotics and that I was sorry she was upside down in the pit. Aren't you glad I wasn't blogging in that state?
I'm back to my normal (composed and dramamine-free) self today. I'll have more pictures of my studio to post soon! I am so close to having places to write AND sew that I can almost envision a time when my post will be about quilting!!! Oh the day!

1 comment:

Deb R said...

Glad you're back home safely!!

And I have to apologize - I know you asked about my cutting table arrangement and I had the best of intentions about getting back to you, but then Real Life intruded and those intentions are, unfortunately, busy paving a road to Hell. What did you want to know? Dimensions or....?