Sitting in John Wayne Gacy airport, waiting for my 12:15 boarding. I have a window seat. Good. I can sleep. Once that meant something else - augh! Claustrophobia! Now it means I can nap without my head jerking forward and waking me up. All seats should come equipped with some sort of cranial immobilization net . . . on second thought, no. They should come equipped with a hook to which you could affix your own net, which was only sold in sterilized, single-use packs.
The things you think about when you’re killing time in an airport and looking forward to sleeping. But as I said on Monday, I like killing time in airports. Lousy people watching, though. The best airports for people watching are the worst ones for waiting, because the people are slovenly, loud, and generally crass. No, specifically crass. This airport serves a more affluent community, and hence the level of comportment and deportment is much higher.
Of course, that just means they’re all suppressed and insular and selfish. I know, I know. But at least they’re more pleasant to be around, because their T-shirts don’t blare abuse and they don’t yell at their children from 10 yards away.
So, what’s for lunch? There are three options. Starbucks, I’m sure, has a sandwich with multi-grain bread. How many grains, they don’t say. Could be ten. Could be twelve. We assume it’s not two or three; there’s a general expectation that there will be more than six, but fewer than 24. People would balk at 36-grain bread. I didn’t know there were 36 grains. Are you extending grain status to non-grain items?
There’s California pizza kitchen, which I associate with flat, sauceless discs. The airport version no doubt serves individual pizzas that have reposed under hot lights for a long time, boiling off the sauce as surely as a nova blasts the seas from its circling planets.
McDonald’s. I ate at McDonalds for two breakfasts in a row. I can’t stand the Egg McMuffin. I just don’t like it. When it comes to English Muffins, I prefer them on their own. When it comes to eggs, I don’t like divots of egg-related matter, as the sandwich has. The sausage is okay. The whole thing makes me feel like I hate a salty wadded-up hand towel. But the pancakes? Not unacceptable. So I would have the BIG BREAKFAST, which was 700 calories - yes, here in killjoy land, the calories are on the menu - and just had one pancake and the sausage. Did not depress me. I actually looked forward to it the second day.
This morning, however, I traded in my Eco-Hero vouchers for a grim Danish in the hotel lobby. See, if you decline housekeeping, you get a $5 voucher for food or beverage. Build up a few of those and you can have a lobby Danish and a cup of that piping-hot Lobby Coffee, and not pay $9. The Danish was inedible. It was like someone carved a Danish out of styrofoam and spray-painted it brown.
I went upstairs to consume it and check out. Card didn’t work again. The cards apparently demagnetize on contact with flesh, air, and cloth. Went back down. Got another card. Checked out, did an interview on my phone outside waiting for the shuttle.
Watched the haze lift. Somewhat. It’s still a lovely day in California. Isn’t it always? Won’t it always be so?
Now we’re on the plane. The stews are telling people to put their big bags in the bin overhead and their small bags under the chair. Because no one has ever taken a plane. Because this is just news to everyone.
The fellow next to me has a rather imprecise sense of personal space. Took both armrests and extended his upper-arm area into my domain. After I was elbowed twice - totally avoidable elbowing, I might add - I said softly, to myself, “stop poking me, please,” and then I realized that since I was wearing noise-canceling headphones I might have spoken the words more loudly than intended. Because he looked at me and moved away. Well, fine, we’re on notice, then.
He thereafter proceeded to put his unshod feet in the space beneath the seat in front of me, lean into my area, elbow me awake during a nap when he attempted to sit up.
He played sudoko for three hours.
Well, I got a little sleep. I watched a Perry Mason, as well as the first episode of a show I remember with great fondness: Connections. It’s all up on YouTube now, and it was as good as I remember - thanks to James Burke, of course. It’s pop-cult history / sociology, breezy and compacted with great gaps omitted to compress the evidence to fit the thesis, but he’s usually right. This led to that and that let to this, and these are why those are thus. It’s fascinating stuff.
Home. Exhausted. Checked my email; it appears I was wrong. I am both evil AND stupid. I’d forgotten about the stupid part. It was explained to me with vigorous language that employed vernacular intensifiers.
Picked up my daughter from confirmation - so happy to see me she hugged me in public. Later that night she wanted to show me that she’d reformatted her book with new spacing and fonts, and it looked much more professional. I cautioned her that doing these things often feels like you’re working on the book, but it’s like arranging your coins in denomination-specific stacks instead of taking it to the bank.
Realized I had a column to write, so that’s what I’m doing now. After this. See you tomorrow!
PS this just in: I am also apparently a “joke.” It’s amusing; I just remember when people who opposed the expansion of the state into more and more aspects of your life were the good guys. Ah well. Gusphase; Pelphase; and so the wheel turns. Next: Cylons!