There And Back Again, Again

07:53 – Kings Mountain, NC
I’m in Mama’s apartment, waiting for her to get back from checking with Warren Posey next door. Warren’s going to go with us to the airport in Charlotte to make sure that Mama gets back home alright. He’s a good man. I’m not looking forward to the flight to Tampa. Well, “flights” actually. I’ll switch planes in Atlanta. That has me a little concerned, because my second ticket is labeled “Seat Requested”, which I’m told could either mean a block of seats have not yet been assigned or the airline oversold the flight and I might get bumped. Needless to say, I don’t relish the thought of being stuck in Atlanta until Delta can get its thumb out of its ass. Hopefully, I’m worried about nothing.
Mostly I just hate this whole process of flying. I’m a big guy, so just barely fit in the seats in coach. I don’t like being elbow to elbow with people who are either terrified that they might have to speak to me and spend the entire flight pretending that I’m not there, or the opposite extreme where there’s someone who jabbers like a parrot on amphetamines. I usually wind up beside one or the other.
Well, I’m sure we’ll be leaving soon, so I’m going to close my notebook. I’m heading into this wishing I hadn’t worn my “I Know Jack Schitt” t-shirt. I’m going to have to explain that a lot today.
09:07 – Charlotte, NC
Waiting at Charlotte Douglas. Got here really early. Already had a scare. Delta told me when I checked in at the kiosk that my flight has been overbooked and I needed to check in with the gate. The woman then told me that she wouldn’t be sure until 10:00 but that she doesn’t think it’ll be a problem. She doesn’t think it’s overbooked. I don’t know what that means, but with my Atlanta to Tampa ticket labeled “Seat Requested”, my estimation of Delta is at an all time low. Airline travel is stressful enough as it is. Now if only a handful of these frakkin’ yuppies would move their briefcases and carry-on bags so that other people can sit down.

Observations:

  • The man on the intercom at Charlotte Douglas sounds like the voice-over dude on the Blue Man Group CDs. I keep expecting him to say “Your attention please. Please yell if you are paying attention.”
  • A shirt that reads “I Know Jack Schitt” is not an ideal garment to be wearing if you don’t want to attract attention.
  • There’s one gentleman who say his rolling travel bag in front of him with the retractable handle fully extended, on top of which he draped his jacket. Apparently this construct represents a buffer of sorts to him, because he keeps peering over it at everyone else as if he’s looking out of a peephole in a castle wall. I’m tempted to go sit beside him and ask him if he knows today’s frequency.
  • Might I suggest that if you’re going to wear a cell phone head seat, you don’t go through the airport saying, apparently to yourself, in a loud voice, “Oh, no. Say it ain’t so. Say it ain’t so”?
  • Just had a lady next to me reach her hand out to a passing soldier and say “Sir?” When he took her hand and raised his eyebrows in question, she said, simply, “Thank you.” It’s a habit I’d like to get into. Oddly enough, this lady was wearing an Obama pin on her coat lapel. So much for the old canard that Liberals had the military.

11:51 – Atlanta, GA
I’m sitting at the gate for my flight to Tampa. There’s no one at the desk at the moment, though, so I still don’t know if “Seat Requested” represents an epic failure or service or just an unassigned seat. But I’ll be waiting. I’m sure an unsuspecting employee will wander through at some point. When the moment is right, I’ll pounce. On an interesting note, I talked all the way from Charlotte to Atlanta with a gentleman named David something, who was the head coach of a sports team. In true Wic fashion, I didn’t catch the name of the team or the school. I’ll poke around when I get home on the Internet. I’d hate to have chatted with someone semi-famous without knowing it. He jotted down Victoria’s web site, though. Who knows? Maybe he’ll buy a shirt.
[Note: That man turned out to be David Bennett, head football coach for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina)
12:22 – Atlanta, GA
I wandered down Concourse A to forage for food, and discovered the bar where I caused so much consternation in 1991, when I ordered a B-52 and aroused the curiosity of the other patrons. I drank four B-52s myself, and the bartender had to make five or six more for other patrons. He wasn’t happy about it, so I tipped him $10 as an apology. Anyway, that bar is called “The A-Bar”. It makes me wonder if there are carbon copy bars in the other concourses (The B-Bar, The C-Bar, etc) and if I did, indeed, find the right place. But “The A-Bar” rings a bell.
Observations:

  • I used the bathroom and encountered a bizarre hand drying device into which you place your hands and are assaulted by jets of air as you remove them. A black man told me “You just had to try it, didn’t you?”
  • A gentleman told me he loved my “I Know Jack Schitt” shirt and asked where he could get one. I gave him Victoria’s URL at Floozees Doozees.
  • Odd moment while buying food at a Krystal. I noticed that there were white people standing in front of the counter, black people standing behind the counter, and Hispanic people in the kitchen. I wondered if that was a fair snapshot of America at the moment.

13:36 – In Flight
Observation: Three large men in a single row on an airplane are necessarily a living re-enactment of the three wise monkeys. It hasn’t been determined which of us sees no evil, which hears no evil, and which speaks no evil.
15:18 – Tampa, FL
Just got in. Accidentally snoozed on the flight, so seemed to get here in no time. I’m heading out of the terminal now to see my baby. It’s good to be (almost) home). I’ll try to remember to write more about the interesting gentlemen I was sandwiched between on the flight down when I get home.

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