My flight took off
Yours has been delayed
Last week, I flew to my hometown -- Joplin, Missouri -- to help my parents out for a few days. (My mother was coming home after surgery.) I had an 8:15 am flight from Baltimore/Washington International to Dallas/Ft. Worth, where I would catch a connecting flight scheduled to arrive in Joplin at 3:40 pm.
I got to the airport at about 7:00 am, where everything was hunky-dory . . . for about 15 minutes. Then they cancelled my flight to DFW, which meant that I would miss my connecting flight to Joplin. Dallas had approximately 0.0001 inch of snow that morning, which caused American Airlines to cancel some 200 flights in and out of DFW.
I hustled back to the check-in counter just in time to get in line behind a zillion other unhappy campers. American doesn't have many flights to or from BWI, so they only had three ticket agents working. That meant the line moved very slowly.
I also called American's 800 number, and reached an agent the phone after half an hour -- I was still miles from the front of the line at the airport. I was told I had been rebooked on a 4:00 pm flight that would arrive in Joplin at 8:40 pm.
I immediately asked to be added to the standby list for the overbooked 1:45 pm flight. Taking that flight wouldn't get me to Joplin any earlier -- Joplin has exactly two flights per day -- but I would have more time to connect at DFW if things went more FUBAR on me (which seemed like a pretty safe assumption), and DFW seemed like a more interesting place to kill a couple of hours than BWI.
I made it all the way to #1 on the standby list for the earlier flight. Alas, poor Yorick, that's where I stayed -- so close, and yet so far away. (As you've probably heard, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.)
|So close . . .|
But I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy, so I took advantage of the time between the flights to do something good for me -- namely, to walk from one end of BWI's "C" concourse to the other end and back seven times -- that took me a little over 30 minutes, so I covered about two miles. (People started to look at me a little funny about the seventh time I walked by them.)
The 4:00 pm flight took off a little late, and I had a pretty tight connection to make. But the Joplin flight was also delayed, so the tight connection didn't really come into play. I had time for my favorite airport repast (a "Personal Pan Pizza" from Pizza Hut Express) and a little window shopping.
|The "C" concourse exercise track|
Here are just a couple of the many armadillo-themed items for sale at DFW. I love Texas dearly, but enough with the schlocky armadillo stuff, folks.
Not sure if you can read this, but the small print on that t-shirt says "Tastes like chicken!" Really?
If you're tempted to check that out for yourself, just remember that armadillos are responsible for transmitting about one-third of all new cases of leprosy in the U.S. (Armadillos and humans are the only two animals to contract leprosy -- God has a weird sense of humor, doesn't he? -- and it appears that humans originally transmitted the disease to 'dillos, not the other way around.) A doctor who is an leprosy expert told the New York Times that "people should be discouraged from consuming armadillo flesh or handling it." (Not a problem, doc!)
Take a gander at this thing, which is for sale at DFW:
Just what in the hell is that? It looks like it ought to be functional, but I think it's just a conversation piece.
DFW has a lot of restaurant choices -- there are a surprising number of upscale restaurants in addition to the usual fast-food joints. None of the choices was odder than the Cereality Cereal Bar & Cafe:
Here are the cereals that were on the menu that day at Cereality:
I don't know about you, but cereal is not my first choice for a meal when I'm between flights. I don't see Cereality becoming the next big thing.
I finally landed in Joplin at 9:00 pm, having left my house at 6:00 am -- throw in the one-hour time change, and we're talking 16 hours door-to-door. My home is exactly 1092 miles from my parents' home. If I averaged 70 miles per hours -- and what red-blooded American male isn't capable of averaging 70 mph on interstate highways? -- and minimized my bathroom and meal stops, I could have driven to Joplin in 16 hours.
Driving would have saved me a hell of a lot of money, and I also would have had my car instead of being stuck driving my mother's 1998 Pontiac Bonneville. That hoopty is so ancient it has a cassette player instead of a CD player, but it ain't goin' nowhere anytime soon: it has barely 18,000 miles on the odometer, which works out to about 100 miles of driving per month. (At that rate, it won't break 50,000 miles until 2040!)
"Playtime Is Over" is from Nicki Minaj's very first mixtape -- also titled Playtime is Over -- which was released in 2007. Nicki is a favorite of 2 or 3 lines, and while this song isn't one of her stronger efforts, it's interesting to catch a glimpse of Nicki when she was just getting started.
You've come a long way, Nicki.
Here's "Playtime Is Over":
Here's "Playtime Is Over":