Sunday, January 07, 2007

George Smith and the Vishnu Disco Nightmare

Contrary to the previous post, I did not fly out of Columbia, smooch my wife, pet the cats, or sleep in my own bed. The flight to Detroit was cancelled due to mechanical problems. Hey, better safe than sorry…I’m all for that. What I am not all about is a rude gate person and a bungled reassignment of our flight. The aforementioned George Smith was on duty at the gate and he was a real winner. Not only did he misdirect me (and a few others) out of a line in which I was 4th to a line in which I was 12th but he was also extremely rude about it to everyone. Once we got in the slow line, I began to hear my fellow passengers grumbling about old George. I made my intentions to report him known and the others concurred. A soldier, trying to return to Kuwait, saw George and ran over to get his name. When he came back with the name of the enemy, the pens flashed like swords. I finally made it up to the desk to find out my fate when I overheard the ticket agent also berating George. It seems he’s mighty popular at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. The ticket agent then told us that when our flight was cancelled, the airline immediately began the process of finding us a new way home. We should have stayed in the terminal and jumped on a flight to Memphis that left 1 hour later. But George sent us out beyond security with no way to return. (no more boarding pass) Most folks were in a hurry to get home but I told them I’d rather spend the night than jump on a redeye or get stranded in some airport in Newark. They finally made arrangements for me to spend the night in a hotel with meal vouchers and free transport to and from the airport. (Shout outs to Dwayne and Stanley for handling all of us with patience and grace)
So, I head to the hotel and it’s pretty much a rundown Holiday Inn on a frontage road near nothing. I put my stuff in my room and, after calling Sarah, went to the lounge for food and beverage. Since the previously mentioned activities had left me in a slight tizzy, I opted to relax with a margarita. I also downed a chicken Caesar salad and some apple pie that was pretty good despite the appearance of the rundown hotel. My waitress was very nice and all seemed well. I returned to my room for some TV and bed only to discover that the AC isn’t working and it’s hot. So, I trot up to the front desk, get a new room and finally try to settle in for the evening. I turned the light off at 10pm hoping to catch a little shuteye before getting up at 5:30am to catch my shuttle. At 11pm, the booming sounds of bass suddenly bring me to full awake. It seems the Indians (or whatever nationality they were) whom I had seen partying in the conference room had decided to get jiggy with it. I called the front desk and the volume subsided within minutes. I settled back down and went back to sleep. At 11pm, someone rolled a metal cart down the sidewalk outside my room. After that, I never fully fell back to sleep. 5:30am arrived to find me up and at ‘em. (Thankfully, since they never gave me the wake up call I was promised) I caught the shuttle, arrived at the airport, checked in, went through security again, bought another bottle of water and actually caught the flight.
I am now sitting in the Detroit airport with another 1.5 hours to kill. I am writing this in Word for later transfer to my blog since wireless internet access isn’t free. (I’m not paying $8 for 2 hours) I hope that all goes well and I catch my flight to Seattle which should arrive at 2:11pm. I apologize to my friends in Columbia for not contacting them. There wasn’t time and I hope you will forgive me. So, that’s my little story about George Smith and the Vishnu Disco Nightmare. Hope you all enjoyed it.

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