Wednesday, April 09, 2008

AFF2: The Airport Chronicles


(The following was written while I was waiting for my flight at the Milwaukee and Minneapolis airports, respectively)

Wed, March 26th, 3:20pm @ MKE

They say one of the best spots to meet single people is at an airport. Who's 'they' though? I dunno, I read it somewhere. This post has nothing to do with meeting a girl, I just wanted to throw that little ditty out there. Either way, I just paid $10 for a gin & tonic. I've never drank at the airport bar before. I probably won't again. The bartender gave me a double beefeater and tonic, and to be honest - I didn't really want a double. Halfway through my drink, a girl my age, chatting away on her cell, ordered a drink next to me. "Hold on", she said, looking in my direction. "Can you drink before you fly?" I started laughing. I reply, "Uh, that's what I'm doing" and held my hand to my drink like I was Vanna White turning an imaginary letter. She chuckled, and went back to talking away. I hope I didn't come off as an asshole - but I thought the previous question was common knowledge? I was early for my flight, so after the 1 drink I settled down in the waiting area. Some 45 minutes later, the previous girl is now standing nearby me again. She looks like she's freaking out inside. "I've never flown before" she tells me. "But I got some beer in me, so it's smooth sailing now!" I guess? Nothin like some sweet old sudsy dudsy sloshin around during turbulence. She was nice, but kinda wierd.

Wed, March 26th, 6:15pm @ Minnehopelessness

6 billion people on Earth, right? It truly is a small world. This is a true story...
...sitting next to me in the bar @ Minneapplesauce/St. Paul International airport is a sweet 50 year old lady. We start to chat it up - and the similarities start to become eerie. She spent 8 years living in La Crosse, WI - aka my favorite college town, and where my parents originally met. We talking about our travels and where we've lived, and she tells me she currently lives in Colorado Springs, to which I reply, "Nice. I've never been west of Kansas." She chimes in, "Oh, I lived in Hays, Kansas". Get outta here lady! To those of you who don't know (and I pray you don't), Hays, KS is in the middle of fucking nowhere. Nothing is within 100 miles of this place. It's a city in the middle of a dry, brown, desert full of oil rigs. No one should want to wind up there. Seriously. Oddly enough, my aunt/uncle/cousins currently live there, and my grandma (from Attempting Floridian Fame Vol I) lived there for 1/2 a decade. Also, the city name is basically my last name. Wow. I continue drinking my $10 (ouch again) 20 oz Leine's Red and the gentlemen directly to my right leans over and goes, "So you live in Madison, eh? I own the Argus building". WTF, this is nuts. I work at the Great Dane downtown - and you can clearly see the Argus bar & building from that location. It get's creepier - his moustached friend next to him, adorned in flannel attire also has something to say. "You said you were from Racine, right?" I nod yes. "I grew up there".

Am I on candid fucking camera?

This is happening in the Minneapolis airport. Honestly, what the hell is going on here.

As if it couldn't get any wierder, it turns out this guy lived ONE BLOCK away from my childhood residence. He described the boulevard I lived on perfectly. So, let's recap. The dude-who-owns the Argus' friend grew up right behind me 30 years ago. Got it. Dude-who-owns the Argus continues - "I own the chamber building above Pizza Extreme (E. Wash for you Madisonians) too. Did you say you moved from Racine to Waterford?" I say yes, and wonder why, and how long, these 2 were eavesdropping on my other convo. The next part completes the creepiness circle. He tells me of a renter of his who used to smoke pot with him on a daily basis. After a night of no doubt black-out-drunkeness, this renter of his climbed on the roof of his apartment and FELL THROUGH the skylight of the afforementioned building. I laugh my ass off and he says, "He's been a teacher at Waterford High School for 15 years now. His name is Mike".

It wasn't Harmeling, and I couldn't think of another last name for the life of me. At any rate, this shit is amazing. Lastly, guy tells me also owns the Madison Metropolitan. If you haven't been keeping up on current events the Metropolitan is in foreclosure. There were numerous stories about it in the WI State Journal. This guy owes millions. OWES MILLIONS. He blamed it on the bank and then on the Willy St. Co-op for not helping him out or something. He told me he was flying to Ft. Lauderdale for a tradeshow on wood flooring. Hmmm. Guy- (never actually got either of the 2 men's names) instead of a flooring conference - perhaps you should go to a 'real estate for dumbasses' or 'managing your finances correctly' seminar. Wow. It really is a small world. I got on my plane really, really creeped out. < News Story on Metropolitan's foreclosure


Aboard the Minneapolis flight, 2 douchebags in their mid twenties were behind me talking about grotesque things, and other musings that should not be talked about at a high volume, which they currently are doing. I knew it was going to be a long flight immediately after they sat down:
Dbag1- "I get the window seat eh"
Dbag2-"Ugh...the middle"
Dbag1- "Haha - you're gonna have to sit next to the FAT lady! hahah!"
[10 second pause]
Gentleman1- "I'm not fat. And I'm no lady."

5 minutes later he asked the stuartist if he could move, and she promptly reseated him. I should have asked as well. The next 4 hours were filled with ramblings on women, ebay, video games, std's, marriage, the army, and more. As I sat by myself, I actually considered turning around and asking them, "Have either of you ever been called a douchebag before?" Had they said yes, I would have said nothing, and turned around. Had they said no, I would have simply stated "You're both douchebags" and turned around. I would never be able to actually do that, but it felt somewhat liberating to think about it. The worst part of this story is, for a good hour, I wrote what I called 'The Douchebag Haikus'. It was a good 12-15 part barrage of Haikus on what these 2 morons were talking about. They were really good - they even made me crack up at myself. Unfortunately, whatever I wrote them on - I no longer have. It makes me really sad, cuz I know you would have liked them. Damn me for losing that piece of paper. I might never forgive myself.

What I still DO have, is a few noteable quotes from the duo that I scribbled whilst waiting to fly. Keep in mind they are spewing this trash at an unreasonable volume. Keep in mind this flight has children behind them, and plenty of other strangers strewn next to them on this evening flight.

Dbag1- "I had a massive hard-on, and she got on top of me, and I was like 'this is a bad idea in the pooooo-ooool' ".

Dbag1- "I'm giving birth to a beautiful herpe-infested baby boy". About a call from a hook up on the Vans Warped Tour in a dream he had.

Dbag2- "What'd you say to her?"
Dbag1- "Well, I was hard on her. I called her a bitch and a cunt".
Dbag2- "Hmm. I talk to my wife like that every night."
Dbag1- "But after that fight, we've been better than ever".
Dbag2- "You get a make-up blowjob?"
Dbag1- "Maybe I got a make-up hug, if that..."

Dbag1- "You ever get head from a chick....and like.....just wanna pull her head off and do it yourself"?

Not gonna lie, that one made me laugh a bit. But the smile went away fast, cuz I remembered how douchebaggy they had been thus far. All of the above was said BEFORE WE EVEN TOOK OFF. 2 hours into the flight, Dbag1 talks about how Wisconsin girls have outdrank him. Doesn't surprise me. My guess is a 3 year old in a sandbox could outdrink that homo. 3 hours in, I overhear that he's from Stevens Point. Great. Until this point I was hoping he was from Florida, or down south, or somewhere else - ANYWHERE but Wisco. Wrong. For the record, Dbag1 was by far the douchier of the douchebags. Anyways, the topic switched to Ebay for a good 30 minutes. I forget what was said, but the business tactics of Dbag2 were stunningly shitty. Again, I'm quite upset at myself for losing that haiku document. It would have been some award winning poetry right there.


Nothing too exciting to report here. My flight left Ft. Lauderdale a bit after 4pm on April 2nd. I was so incredibly hungover from 6 days of drinking that my body basically shut down that day. I had a massive heat rash on my chest and arms from dehydration & the sun. The previous night consisted of patron & pitchers, so my mouth - even after numerous brushings - tasted like a garbage disposal. Out of my element completely, I actually pooped at the airport. Defecated in an airport bathroom. Yucks. Nauceous for about 2 hours pre-flight, I struggled not to yak at every moment. I'm telling you - it was a miracle I didn't throw up between the hours of 10am & 6pm that day. A miracle.
The flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Memphis was fine, minus my ability to even think a complete thought. Some large spanish family had a kid up front who kept screaming. It was a happy scream though, so it was ok for awhile. And when I say 'awhile', I mean 'never.' Eventually the stuartist bitched at the family for not even paying attention to the little guy or even bothering to shut him up. It was really wierd. If I had a kid who was being loud on a plane, I would probably tell it to stop. "Don't yell" - I would say.
2 hour layover in Memphis. What a shitty airport that was. For how busy it was, they had about 20 chairs to wait in. I found this unacceptable. Did you know that Memphis is the #1 cargo carrying airport in the world? Number 2 was Paris, France. Apparently the time zones and the fact that Memphis is centrally located (kinda?) is what makes it such a popular destination. You could look it up, but I think 11 million packages go through that airport every day. Or is that too much? I don't really recall - I was still not functioning very well so the fact that I could actually read words at all was comforting enough. Another large family was hustling and bustling a few yards away. The father had a WI tee on. There were 5 very small children crying, eating, yelling, and doing other kid things. He walked by me numerous times muttering 'fuck' under his breath. I didn't really feel bad for him though, as it's his fault for goin to town without a hat on, ya know? The youngest child couldn't have been more than a year old. She could talk, but barely. A lot of that incoherent stuff that kids 'say' at that age.
Fast forward to the plane. We're waiting to lift off, and we're a few planes in line. It really wasn't all that funny - but it made me laugh my ass off: No more than 5 minutes in, the previously mentioned young child started screaming. Crying screaming. Through the garbled yelling, I could make out only one phrase. "IIII WAANT MY DA-DDYYYY" This was repeated about 100 times, no joke. I'm laughing in my seat, and the guy next to me thinks I'm nuts. The only real reason I was laughing so hard was the fact that a) The mother was the only one with her and b) IT WAS IN FIRST CLASS!!! All the hoity toity bastards & bastardesses (just made that one up now, folks) were scowling at the helpless mother. They paid all that extra money to get bigger seats, amazing service, free drinks - only to have this dumb kid SCREAM at the top of her lungs in search for her daaaaadddyyyy for 15 minutes. 15 solid minutes of uncontrollable crying. I laughed really hard.
My flight touched down in (cold) Milwaukee around 9:30.

My flights to Milwaukee were heaven compared to what Schmill went through. The atrocities that he experienced on his return trip were enough to push any human to their limit. Delays. Cancellations. Emus. Just kidding. But he was so frustrated during and after the ordeal, that I told him he should write about it. So he did. The following is directly from the Schmill himself, sent to me:

While returning from a recent trip to Florida I had the opportunity to witness very interesting traits among fellow Americans. I also got to experience corporate greed at its finest. My US Airways flight back to Milwaukee from Charlotte was severely delayed and we had finally gotten on to the tarmac to take off. We began the acceleration off the runway but never left the ground. The frustration among all passengers immediately rose. Once back at the terminal we learned the door sensors alerted it wasn’t shut. An hour later, we learned the flight was cancelled. This is where it became interesting. People began scrambling to butt in line to talk with the ticketing agent, Stephanie. She was frantically trying to get alternate flight arrangements from her head office yet the questions/concerns/complaints kept on coming to her. Some passengers made their calls to get alternate flights. One amazing person actually found an alternate flight to Milwaukee and gave the reservation up to a mother travelling with her newborn child; one of the nicest things I’ve seen in awhile. Poor Stephanie was running out of same day flights and reported that arrangements were being made to send us home the next day. People were not happy and some even banded together to get back to Milwaukee. A group of 5 strangers took an alternate flight to St. Louis and bided to drive the 6 hours to Milwaukee. I on the other hand decided to take the next day flight. After a shitty nights’ sleep, I was off to Philadelphia to catch a connecting flight on Midwest back home (I was looking forward to the cookie). However, after a 3 hour layover and then checking in at the Midwest ticket counter, they said US Airways had reserved my flight but hadn’t sent over my ticket. Not happy. I trek over to another terminal to find a US Airways agent. They first off had no idea what I was talking about and then once they found my information, instead of sending the ticket over and sending me on my initial flight, they booked me on a delayed US Airways flight 6 hours later. Pissed off, I took my 10 dollars of meal vouchers “for the inconvenience” and wasted my Saturday at the Philadelphia airport. Needless to say, it was a shitty way to end a vacation; I finally made it back to Milwaukee and shall choose US Airways as a last resort from now on.

Airports and airplanes are crazy. The end.

1 comment:

Dustin said...

yeah, I actually had to tell work to never book US Airways, sucks for Matt. I see you flew Northwest, they aren't too bad.