Well, that was a bust. I got all the way to the gate at the airport this morning before learning that my flight was delayed (for unscheduled maintenance, I presume—the weather here is halcyon) and United Airlines with all its planes and people and corporate might could not get me to O'Hare in time to make my connection.
So I'm back home for another 24 hours. The trip to and fro' the airport, for naught but a sharp stab of disappointment, cost me $110. That's what I get for trying to save the cost of long-term parking for a week. Saving money usually costs me money; I tend to be star-crossed that way. This is far from the first time that's happened.
Two consolations: as a fan of entertaining writing—something I occasionally attempt to perpetrate myself—I discovered this lovely little takedown of the TV show "TMZ" by one James Parker, in the current issue of The Atlantic, née The Atlantic Monthly, which is what I will call it till I die (I suppose there is a possibility that it is no longer in fact a monthly, but I think a better guess is that some committee decided that a shorter, snappier name is more modish) which I bought at the airport newsstand for the flight that was not to be. I would have laughed out loud at James Parker's nimble skewering ("Harvey—a small man, but an enormous parasite") except that I had to observe standard public behavior because I was in the airport, eating the world's most expensive former bagel. I could tell from the shape that it was originally a bagel. I would have had some choice words for the fraudulent fellow who baked it, except that he's probably retired and moved to Florida by now. Four-dollar bagels are bad, and stale bagels are bad, but $4 stale bagels are bad x bad.
And the other consolation? Believe it or not, this was my first trip through post-9/11 airport security (I don't travel much), and, after having my hands swabbed (the only thing that showed up were traces of ancient, phthysic, fossilizing bagel), I put my belt and my shoes back on underneath a large sign that said RECOMBOBULATION AREA. I don't appreciate useless trips to the airport, but it was almost worth it to find the opposite of "discombobulation" doing normal everyday utilitarian duty. I was most pleased to reflect, as I recombobulated myself, that discombobulate was indeed exactly what had just been done to me as I made my way through security. Perfect fit.
So—a bit more TOP today, and the rest of the time I will spend watching iPad2 tutorials on Lynda.com and trying to figure out how to load some pictures on the thing to show to my relatives, when I get to where I should have been going today.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
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