March 27, 2006
I traveled deep into the heart of the Bible Belt last week, (San Francisco), to do a book signing and discovered something in the process. I am the kind of traveler that my wife hates to encounter when she’s flying. It’s not that I’m rude or obnoxious. I’m just oblivious to everything that’s going on around me. Fortunately for both of us, I was traveling alone.
I arrived at the airport in plenty of time to check in but I could not figure out how to work the auto-check-in computer. I got into another line which had a real live lady to talk to and she told me to go use the auto-check-in computer. I went back to the smug auto-check-in computer which was now mocking me and proceeded to punch buttons until it told me it could not find me in the system and to go back and talk to the lady that told me to go to the auto-check-in computer. Then the auto-check-in computer malfunctioned and quit working, a development which the people standing in line behind me did not seem to appreciate.
I finally got my ticket and proceeded to the security gate where I was stopped and was told that I could not get onto the plane because my drivers license had expired. The security guy took pity on me and let me go on through but warned me that other security people might not be so kind to me. This made the rest of my trip a pleasant experience knowing that at any point along the way I could be stopped by any security person on a whim and not allowed to go any further.
I was so happy to actually get onto my airplane that I walked several rows past my assigned seat and had to ask the line of people behind me to back up so that I could get back to my seat. They were all very gracious and hardly rolled their eyes at all.
I had a connecting flight to catch in Chicago and I got aboard that plane with no problem, but it was a very large plane and I had some trouble finding my seat. A steward saw me struggling, grabbed my ticket, looked at it and told me I had passed my seat. He walked me back to the front of the plane, helped me into my seat, and hardly rolled his eyes at all.
My wife, (who was already in San Francisco), picked me up when I arrived and then was my chauffer for the entire week since my drivers license was expired. She sure thought that was fun and hardly rolled her eyes at all.
We flew back together, but since she was in first class and I was in coach she boarded the plane long before I did. When it was time for my section to board, a flight to St. Louis had begun boarding through the same breezeway. I marched right down the breezeway to the plane that was going to St. Louis. Fortunately I figured this out before it was too late, got into the correct airplane, slid into my seat and whipped out my Ipod Nano to listen to some music. The Nano immediately ran out of juice, but that’s ok because you can power them back up with a laptop computer… which I don’t own… so I looked out the window a lot and listened to the guy snoring in the seat next to me.
We arrived back in Indiana safe and sound except for one of Karens hard shell suitcases which literally had a hole in it where one of the wheels had been ripped off. Fortunately for me I did not have that problem… my suitcases were fine… they located them somewhere in Texas… I am sure they will make it home safe and sound…
…one of these days.