Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Travel

I was trying to post more regularly, and I will continue to do so. Today, I was traveling and not able to do it until now. At this point, I want nothing more than to vent and to invest in anyone working to perfect the Star Trek style transporter thus eliminating the need for cars and planes.

It is cold here in Chicago. Thus, I was not at all happy when I found myself at 6:00 AM, in five degrees of cold, in the dark, on the side of the Edens Expressway (at Peterson for the locals), with a flat. I was headed to O'Hare to catch a 7:00 plane. This, it turns out, was not a pull-into-the-nearest-gas station-for-air-and-limp-to-the-airport kind of flat. No, it was a gaping-hole-in-the-sidewall, riding-on-the-rim kind of flat. I have no earthly idea what happened. There was no way I was driving on this thing. If I were either Starsky or Hutch, I would assume that someone shot out my rear wheel.

Keep in mind, I was going to visit a client and was (as the client later put it), in "full lawyer." So, in my nice blue suit, tie, and overcoat, I started rummaging for the spare and tools. Again, this is in the dark and no, I do not have a flashlight in the car (thanks for asking). I found the jack and pulled the spare out without trouble. Getting the shredded tire off was not much of a problem either. The problem was trying to line up the spare over the bolts IN THE DARK, wearing gloves, but having no feeling whatsoever in my fingers. It took me many tries including a couple of adjustments to the jacked height of the car. Eventually, I got it done, hand tightened the lug nuts, and lowered the car. With the car down, I tightened up the nuts and tossed everything back in the trunk and went on my way.

Off I went. Total delay, about half an hour and no damage to my suit. Clearly, however, I would miss my plane. Ten minutes later, as they warmed up, my hands were hurting badly and I wondered whether I would lose my fingertips. Arriving at O'Hare, however, I was relieved to find my flight delayed by 40 minutes and I was able to board. So was the screaming infant, the non-stop talker with the Bluetooth headset, and the guy who is not clear on the concept of "please take your seat." Bluetooth guy was so rude to whoever he was talking to, I would be surprised if he were not routinely pummeled at work. His conversation consisted of repeating the sentence, "We are looking at the same numbers but you are too stupid to understand them. " At least I made it to my meeting able to blame the airline for my being late.

On the way home, I had no such luck. We boarded on time and then sat for two hours waiting for "air traffic delays" into O'Hare. What a pain. Luckily, I had Mary Roach's book Spook with me for an interesting read. Now I am home, tired, and ready to go to NY on Monday. Pray for my better travels. Please.

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