Monday, December 5, 2011

There and Back... Again

Every year, the week after Thanksgiving, I head down to Florida for a few days to celebrate my mother’s birthday. This year, however, shaped up a little differently. Instead of spending Shabbat with the folks, I went down on Tuesday and returned on Friday. Which theoretically should’ve been just fine…except when I woke up Tuesday morning, I could feel a cold coming on like gangbusters. By the time I arrived in Delray Beach, I was ready to cough up a lung.

Instead of the fine time I was expecting to have, especially since Cousin Perdie was joining me for a couple of days, I could barely move. I managed to make it to evening services at shul to mark the 75th anniversary of my grandfather’s death. The highlight was going to swinging Delray Beach downtown with Perdie after dinner on Wednesday, where we sat in an outdoor café actually having a conversation without our parents listening in. What a concept! 

The Birthday Girl   
Thursday, Mom's birthday, was fine…I was still sleeping through everything else but at least stayed awake through dinner. My father was positive I was about to expire any minute, but my mother was just happy to have her daughter under her roof under any condition. The best part was when she would stop by to listen to me cough...and then scratch my back. Oh, to be a little kid again!

Friday morning, I returned the car at 6:30 a.m. and got to the curbside check in where I watched my suitcase, now stuffed with frozen kosher meat from Glick's, slide down the conveyor belt. I got to the gate in plenty of time, then settled in for the first leg to Atlanta.

NOT SO FAST. They lost a megaphone. Yes, a megaphone. Did you know an airplane cannot fly unless they have TWO megaphones on board? True fact. Sometime between the time the plane arrived the night before and it’s scheduled departure at 8 a.m. some scurrilous individual snuck onboard and stole one of the two megaphones. The damn thing doesn't even plug into anything. Maybe they need them to shout encouragement at the chipmunks peddling in the underbelly of the aircraft. Other airlines offered us multiple megaphones, but no, this had a be a special FAA coded-to-that-exact-airplane-battery-powered-megaphone and no other megaphone would do. You think I’m kidding, right?  

THEY FLEW A NEW MEGAPHONE TO US FROM ATLANTA. Yep-a-roo. We sat at the gate for TWO HOURS while they flew in a megaphone. The plane with said megaphone arrived, they hustled that crucial part on board, and off we took. 

Now, being the in travel  biz, I am well acquainted with Atlanta and had planned a two hour layover on the way back. That layover was disappearing rapidly. We landed in Atlanta, and thankfully, I was close to the front of the plane. I ran out, stopped long enough to find out where the next gate was, and started running.

With my Israeli paratrooper bag and my Coach stationmaster’s bag slung over my shoulder, I ran. I should also mention I was wearing a skirt…and elevator sandals. And I still sounded like galloping consumption. And I am running through the airport like OJ in the old Hertz commercials. I run down the escalator just as the tram pulls in…I hop on the tram one stop hacking my lungs out…I hop off and run up the escalator, still hacking. I get to the top and almost run over a lady and a stroller. Dodging artfully around…and still coughing, I run down a concourse and a half to the gate where they are about to close the door. 

I’m about to yell, “NOOOOOOOO!” when the gate agent puts his hand up and says, “STOP!”

I crashed into the counter and proceed to hack up a lung. He smiles benignly. “Catch your breath. We’re not leaving without you.” I hacked up the other lung. I didn’t dare ask about the suitcase; I was just happy to be getting on the plane where the only empty seat was a window and all mine. The woman on the aisle was holding a baby. The guy next to me looked like Dean Stockwell and turned out to be a newly minted evangelical bent on testifying to anyone in earshot. Still playing the consumption card, I hacked a few time, wedged my ear buds in,  and closed my eyes. 

Let’s just say the baby screamed non-stop and I am very thankful that SUNSET BOULEVARD is about the same length as a flight from Atlanta to Minneapolis. Patty LuPone can block out damn near anything.

Thankfully, and most unexpectedly, mine was the very last bag to come down the conveyor belt.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Never believe what they tell you about connecting in Atlanta ~
whatever you think it is, add an hour.

No comments:

Post a Comment