From 1984 until my stroke in 2007, I spent a lot of time in airplanes, most of which actually made it out of the airport. One Sunday, I was flying from Atlanta to Chicago, and Delta (an acronym for “Doesn’t even leave the airport”) was an hour late getting the plane onto the runway, then ran into mechanical difficulty and had to taxi back. A lot of trips on Delta have to stop in Atlanta, but that was the first time a flight from Atlanta ended up stopping in Atlanta. Given a four-hour delay, I chose instead to make that trip on Airtran. Of course, my bag was still on the Delta plane, so I just went to O’Hare and picked it up when that flight got in, many hours later.
One night, I was flying back to Chicago from Omaha, and I recognized the woman sitting in the plane next to me, but didn’t remember where from. Turns out she was the bartender at the Holiday Inn I stayed at, and she told me, anytime I got stuck in Omaha, stop by the bar at the Holiday Inn and she’d take care of me (i.e. free beer… I’m a good boy). And, the next trip I took to Omaha, I was stranded, and, true to her word, I didn’t pay for beer. I left her a tip big enough to cover the beer and her good service, though.
The weirdest flight I ever took was to Rochester, New York. I had had several very long days and was exhausted, so the minute I got in my seat and buckled myself in, I fell asleep. Next thing I remember was waking up to answer a phone. It was a wakeup call from the front desk of the Radisson. I said, “Wait, where am I?” He explained that I had come in with the flight crew. Evidently, they woke me when we got to Rochester, and managed to get me off the plane, get my luggage, and get me to the hotel. I remember none of it. Somehow, I had gotten to my room, gotten my clothes off, and into bed. When I was ready to leave, I couldn’t find the key to my room. I had left it in the lock.
Dennis Miller once said that, when you’re sitting on the edge of the bed at the Courtyard in your underwear, watching TV and eating cookies from a vending machine, you know you’re living life in the fast lane. He’s right. I’m glad those days are over.
It is, of course, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, hosted by Linda Hill. Follow this link to her blog, where she has links to the other blogs participating this week, as well as a list of the rules that most of us follow most of the time.