Roadtrip Follies – Spring Edition

Speaking of travel disruptions…

i’m curled up in a corner of the Philadelphia International airport. Sitting on hard tile, near an outlet. Backpack serving as backrest.  Tummy has had a couple pints and a snack.  The place is just lousy with people…. People in a hurry.

i will be here awhile.

Left the office mid-day yesterday for an easy trip to the east coast.  Kick off meeting for a new project, i was to be “meat in a seat” – the Management-Like-Object who sends the “Yes, we care enough to send the high level salaried folks” message to our new partners. 

i was in a good mood at the airport, encountering no lines, and had plenty of time before my flight for a change.  Directed to go into the plexiglass “millimeter wave imaging” scanner, i decided to sing “The Stripper Song” and do a little ‘bump and grind’ for the agents about to visualize my lumpy middle-aged bits in a far off room…

The gentleman from the TSA who welcomed me outside the door smiled – saying “We don’t get many folks enjoying the process this much!”

daisyfae [cheerfully]:  It was “the stripper song”… it reduces my stress levels if i’m doing this as performance art, as opposed to being visually raped by strangers!

TSA Man:  Oh, that’s what that was.  Didn’t recognize the song!

daisyfae:  Maybe if i worked on making better trumpet sounds, that would help…

TSA Man:  That opens up too many obvious jokes!  I’ll leave it there!

Refreshing, for some strange reason. 

Had a nice quiet night, ditching my travel mates for dinner, and opting to knock back a couple pints at the hotel bar.  Spent the evening in my jammies, reading a book.  Civilized departure time of 0830 allowed me to even sleep a little later than usual.

Meetings were fine.  Enjoyable, even.  i learned new things.  We even laughed a bit.

It was on the drive back to the airport that we got the “flight cancelled” message via text – and from the backseat i started working travel options from the phone and blackberry-accessible internet. 

We found an alternate airport.  Flight will get us home after midnight.  If it goes.  Had to adjust rental cars a couple of times – as we’ll need a place that stays open late. 

We have another five hours to kill in the airport.

Went for a pint.  Talked with a pleasant couple hoping to get home tonight to the Carolinas… Patient, and delightfully surprised by the extensive beer offerings at the little hole-in-the-wall airport bar.  We chatted while listening to another woman bitch endlessly into her cell phone about the horrors of a travel delay*.

i sit here, with free connectivity to an internet.  i really have no idea how the internet works, yet it allows me to read the newspapers from around the globe – including my hometown.   Allows me to send messages to my family/friends regarding my travel disruption.  Allows me to check the hours of the rental car facility to make sure the lights will be on if when i get there tonight.

As i read about the loss of life in Japan… the continuing uncertainty regarding the status of the nuclear reactors… the stories of those who have lost their homes… i stop feeling the hard tile under my ass.

As i read about the now international civil war in Libya?  i stop worrying about getting off an airplane at midnight and having to drive for an hour to get my car, and then drive another half hour to get home.

As i watch a young couple playing with their four year old son – who is in a wheel chair?  i remember that i need to call my 22 year-old and see how he’s doing.

Bring on the thunderstorms.  i got nothin’…


* Weather.  Entire east coast/midwest.  Not a fuck of a lot the airlines can do with hail, lightning, snow and big winds, folks…

40 thoughts on “Roadtrip Follies – Spring Edition

    • we watched a lot of folks melting down… that’d be me and some of my new friends i met in the bar after our flight got delayed again until 11:45pm. the road warriors. you’ll find them IN the bar, sitting AT the bar.

    • generally, i like it. being in motion comforts me, he way rocking a baby puts it to sleep. and when the disruptions hit? it tests my skills… makes me feel like a bit of an adventurer.

    • my stranded companions last night were nice folks – the two i was traveling with, as well as the strangers i met in the airport. but nowhere near as lovely as you and ms. dolce…

  1. It always helps me keep perspective when I travel by air to think how long it took people to get from St. Louis to Oregon back in the 1800s…. Over a year, y’know. Makes a few delays seem like nothing at all.

    And tsunamis, earthquakes, and civil war make the discomforts of my life meaningless.

    • sitting with fellow road warriors in the bar, we momentarily cursed the sluggishness of the free internet provided by the Philadelphia airport authority… and then we giggled, and likened it to standing in front of the microwave oven, screaming “HURRY!” as you wait for a potato to bake in 10 minutes….

  2. For some reason, this post reminds me of the Eagles song “Learn to be Still.” And of all the hours I spent at the bar in the Birmingham airport.

    • yes. arriving at the airport at 3pm, being re-booked on a 9pm flight, you have 6 hours to kill. when the flight is delayed until 1145pm? you leave your comfy place and walk casually back to the bar… trance…

  3. It’s good to remember just how fragile it all is… by the way i play a killer air trumpet, i mean i’m like the gd Miles Davis of air trumpeting, just in case you need one next time you hit the scanner.

    • i think he had a good time with it. i really like the TSA crews at my home airport. they are very professional and respectful, and i tell them that when i go through. suspect i’m one of their favorites already!

  4. Don’t forget the plan hen, if you’re stopped carrying the suitcase full of ‘biscuits’ going through customs, point to the oul lady in front, burst into tears, and show them the christian fish logo on your own luggage.
    A man in dark glasses and a sombrero will meet you outside in a taxi.

    Good luck!

  5. Have you seen the Stockard Channing movie “The Business of Strangers”? I watched it again the other night. It’s about hot women, flight delays and coping in the male-dominated corporate domain.

    • No i haven’t but i think it’s going to have to go on my ‘need to see’ list…. i love her… even though she was a little old to play Rizzo, she was the only reason i ever watched “Grease”.

  6. It’s really hard to work up a good self pity with all of this crap going on in the world. I hate that. It really puts a damper on my pity parties. Snuffs out the candles and flattens the party hats. Damn it.

    I think you’ve payed your karmic balance, and are entitled to some nice, easy, on time trips. Hear that, Karma Overlord?!?!

    • there will be travel decadence ahead… and i will enjoy it reasonably guilt free this time! and yeah, no fun at the latest pity parties. i’m going to have to start bringing my own noisemakers.

    • you’re entitled to a bit of a pity party for that one, honey. that was a truly shitty maneuver, and there’s no excuse. send her an invoice for the damn unused airline ticket. grrr….

  7. Increasingly I wonder about the constructs of our “modern society” and I can’t help but think that many of them are arbitrary, even artificial.

    When I was fresher in my career I, like many of my peers, regarded business travel as a positive perk. Something to strive for. Now? Not so much. I dread the day I will discover what comes of refusing a request to be somewhere else that requires air travel.

    Did you ever see the television mini-series based on Stephen King’s “The Langoliers”?

    • i have an internal war between my social “let’s all make life better” self and the “survivalist/isolationist” self that wants to go off to a bunker in Idaho and ride out the coming apocalypse.

      i genuinely like people. that is my blessing and achilles heel. these interactions feed my soul…i adore the transient nature of them. the fact that i won’t know how things turn out for that couple. or the 30-something gent i met, former marine, heading home to Maine to bury his father.

      you can’t do that from a bunker.

      Langoliers? i’ve seen it. i understand everything about that airport.

  8. “i really have no idea how the internet works, yet it allows me to read the newspapers from around the globe…”

    I love that sentence for some reason. It’s brilliant.

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