Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Onwards to Buffalo

Now, I'm pretty exhausted, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but there is a giant Snoopy staring at me. He is, in one hand holding his suitcase, and in the other a jumbo jet. This mutated Snoopy will destroy us all. Ohh look – a play ground.

Outside it's raining, inside there's CNN telling me about oil, and spilling, and didn't I hear this a month ago? Just fire a torpedo down and block the spill – would that work? I figure if they wanted to plug the hole, they could just bast it shut like a cave. Now I'm no underground beneath the water, whatever, but it seems to me that those snazzy nuclear torpedoes I saw at Pearl Harbour would do the trick. No negative environmental hazards could come from a nuclear explosion in the ocean, right? Well, fine, just a normal torpedo.

But enough of that, the more pressing matter is the giant Snoopy, and the Fox Channel store, which is really just a magazine shop, offering a fantastic deal – buy six, get one free. Who needs seven magazines all at once? What type of person sees this and thinks, finally – savings!

I'm in Minneapolis airport. It is currently four sixteen in the p.m. on July Fifth. Due to some fancy time zones, I travelled two extra hours into the future from my last hop. That last hop? It's where I woke up.

Touching down in Seattle, travelling three hours into the future with those zones changing around, I found myself in a wonderful magical airport. Well, I assume it was. It was an airport that offered free wifi and let's be honest, that's all I need to be pleased in almost any location. I went on the internet, and somehow the two hour stop over managed to solve itself. I was not bored, I was not itchin' for something to do, I was just there and then I was ready to leave.

The flight that followed also pleased me by presenting me with the movie Date Night – I'd wanted to see this film for a while, unfortunately it was one of those things where the best parts were in the trailer, an that was that. Again though, free, and you didn't have to buy any fancy head sets, you could use your own. (I should point out that Delta, they're not down with the freebies normally, so this was a lovely treat. American airlines, they just love to charge for everything.)

But now – now I'm in MSP and there is no free wifi, and the stopover here is far longer. If I was military, or had one of their access codes, I could get online, but that seems a bit out of my ability right now. So, instead, I just hang out here, wondering what the next thirty minutes, and three hours will hold. I'm too exhausted to wander around looking for the free connections I know exist. I just can't e bothered. In all likelihood I will be very well versed in the news stories of the day – repeated by CNN every ten minutes, and then discussed to death in their effort to all 24 programmable hours.

I'd like to thank the Ricky Guide Gervais Guide to Medicine for filling an hour. Though, I must say, by this point he is so willing to make Karl look stupid, that he blows by valid points. Le sigh. Next up on CNN: drug dealers using primitive submarines to sneak drugs into the country. This is the third time I've seen the story – still, it's better than the Vuvuzilla one. You hate this sound, now we'll play it in the interest of news, every hour on the hour. Great, good, super, thanks.

Halfway through the podcast the entire waiting area stood up an left. Checking the time, I realized I was in no great hurry to hear this pertinent news. Finally checking, it was made obvious that there was been a gate change. I suspected as much, but this one moved us to the other side of the airport. There was a monorail, but who can be bothered with something like that? It just seems silly.

Walking past all the restaurants I realized I was hungry. It is a testament to the overwhelming amount of food in my pizza/pasta meal last night that I was only now starting to feel peckish. The upsetting part? There was no cheap food outside of Burger King. I tell you – in a world where everything was once undercut by McDonald's, they're losing their grip here in the good ol' USofA. Two Whopper Jrs. for three bucks? Sure why not. It would be filling enough to last me through the flight, and the next time zone change, until I reached – finally – Buffalo, at 10:30 local time. Local Buffalo time. I will have had four different local times by the time all this nonsense finally comes to an end.

Outside the washroom a mother yells at her son that he does indeed, “need to go to the bathroom! You'll be on the flight for over an hour!” Over an hour... on a flight... with toilets. Fine, whatever. Me thinks these are not the most travelled people. Me thinks this boy has a rough helicopter parent life ahead of him. But, you know, maybe an hour's a long time – though I remember twenty four hour road trips with only one or two breaks, so my dad could run. Case and point, if the kid can sit through a movie, he can sit through this. Hell – if he can go to Disney and wait in line...

you know what, never mind – the flight is boarding. Time to get on the final plane of my trip, all going to plan. Last take off, last touch down, last familiar moment of waiting in the airport.

I closed continental chapters behind me – but this, an end of a form of travel? Well that's just bizarre. Surely I closed train some time ago, and most likely I've said goodbye to the bus too – but flights? Flying... It's been with me since the beginning, and now, it's time we said our goodbyes, made our peace, and enjoyed a final ride up and above the clouds.




Although that has to wait. My flight? It's been delayed. Only fifty minutes for now – we'll see how this progresses. Fantastic that the one flight I'd really like to see roll out on time is the one that gets a delay. I assumed that it would, but only out of a – what's the worst that could happen – mind set. I'm used to these delays growing and growing and growing, but maybe this is just a one off, and we'll get on only an hour delayed.

You know, there are times when I look like an upstanding member of society, and then there are times after a day's worth of travelling, when my hair is all wacky, and my beard goes where it will. These are the times when people step away from me. It's either that or the smell – you know, both are acceptable.

But now – now I just have to kill forty five more minutes, until we board – and then it will just be half an hour until we take off. In theory. These things? They have a way of getting out of hand.

An hour and a half late I was up, and two hours past that, I was back down on the ground again, just after midnight. Katherine met me in the luggage collection area, and my bag decided to be amongst the first to come off the belt. I was out that door faster than, things that are fast – we then made our way down to the Motel 6, and I proceeded to fall asleep on a plush bed, n an air conditioned room. It's all rather posh to me. Motel 6, posh – who could have imagined?

Let the new trip begin.

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