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Banana the Grouch

October 18, 2008

Heading to San Francisco I had a nagging feeling of dread. Dread over the race. Am I ready? Will I forget to pack something? What was I thinking when I settled on this race with all of its hills? Why didn’t I do more hill training? Dread over traveling. Why didn’t I book direct again? Have I ever been to the Philly airport, I mean do I even have enough time to change planes during the layover? Shit, how do I even get from the San Fran airport to the friggin hotel?

Some things went encouragingly well. Best buddy, Buggie, gave me a ride to DCA. Getting a ride is always nice—gives one a sense of being missed, loved. But the airport was packed and the counter lines inside were atrocious, not much better were the more expensive sky cap lines outside. Waiting and standing in line puts me on edge and makes me fidgety and cranky. I didn’t want to be cranky, but the dread and the cranky went well together so there I was, trying to force smiles to security agents and TSA personnel so as not to make a complete ass of myself.

Had just enough time, due to a delay, to grab some grub and a bottle of water. Just as i was paying an urgent overhead message made me hurry from California Tortilla to the gate. Realized at that moment that I’ve never flown out of gate 35A. Gate 35A is downstairs and when urged to go down the escalators after giving up my boarding pass, there was another line—and no plane. No, apparently when flying to Philly one must take a bus onto the tarmac to a turboprop jet. So we stood in line, and stood in line some more and some more for good measure I guess. Finally we were allowed to board a very crowded airport shuttle, just so that we could wait again—this time for a plane to move out of our way. Have I mentioned yet how much I hate waiting? Yeah. So at least it was a quick flight, like quicker than a shuttle to New York…so my spirits lifted a bit. But trying to find out where I was supposed to be upon landing quickly dampened them. There were no available agents to help direct passengers; the first departure board I stopped at didn’t even have my flight on it. When I found it finally, it said “SFO GATE B9”. Since I was in terminal F, I guessed that was far. I stumbled across a place where they were boarding people onto another one of those airport shuttles, I asked where they were going and a man with earplugs in his ears said, “BCD” which sounded more like “Ehbeashheeshday”. I got on and hoped for the best. Wasn’t too long before they let us off, and as I made my way down through the terminals I finally found Gate B and they wound through the terminal for a good long time before I get to B9. The jetway is totally crammed, so I hang back (why stand in unnecessary lines when I hate them, ya know?). The gate agents then start calling peoples names up to the counter, so I move up since it seems like they are closing the flight. I am standing right there, hanging back a bit but there, ready to give them my boarding pass. I step up just as she finishes with this one woman and instead of taking my boarding pass the agent follows behind the woman to and closes the door to the jetway. !!! Uh, hello, I need to get on that flight? The other gate agent tells me that I missed it. I protest, I am here! There is the plane! We belong together! She ignores me.

After a long period of waiting (fun!), I find out that they bumped me 30 minutes ago—not really caring that I was actually in the airport making my way from a connecting flight. I did get a travel voucher out of it, but still. I have never been bumped! My annoyance was eased when she got me on the next (oversold) flight out, just an hour later and of course that free ticket. Still trying not to embrace my grumpiness, I make due and knock out some work and figure out how to get to the hotel once I land. The plane ends up being late, of course, but I stay in the gate area and make sure I get on as soon as humanly possible. I am in the last row of the airplane, in the middle seat, flying for the next 5.5 hours. Joy. My seatmate on the aisle turns out to be a grossly oversized man missing many basic manners. Manners such as closing his mouth when chewing, and not knowing to keep his fat ass arm off the arm rest (I am in the middle!), and not picking his crap up off the floor when others are trying to get in/out of the row so now thusly we are tripping onto our faces just trying to get to the damn bathroom.

It’s 9pm at home right now, I still have 45 freaking minutes on this plane and I don’t know if I can stay sane for all of them. The dread has turned to frustration that is slowly seeping into anger. This is supposed to be a fun trip—yay Cali, yay marathon, yay running partner Lindsey who is already there (bitch), yay two days off of work. Ugh. I hope it gets better.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. duetforone permalink
    October 19, 2008 6:23 pm

    That sounds horrendous! If you tell me when you are arriving, I will pick you up and smile through the tears that will show how much I missed you while you were gone during a time we could have been having fun and winning prizes! at Gold Cup! And the hats and the skirts! Come home now.

  2. duetforone permalink
    October 19, 2008 6:26 pm

    That was me.

  3. Bug permalink
    October 19, 2008 6:26 pm

    Jeepers. It was ME. BUG

  4. Matt permalink
    October 22, 2008 8:35 am

    😦 Hate air travel. Haaaaaaaaate!

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