Monday, January 09, 2006

trip update 6: the no good, very bad day

And here’s where the fun ended, for Sunday was a horrible rotten day.

It started off okay. In the wee hours of the morning, after we got back from the party, G, Padre, and I watched the Giants game on tape, and despite some nasty injuries (including Michael Strahan getting jabbed in the eye by a Raider, complete with incessant closeups of the swelling and bruising), they managed to win.

We had a huge, delicious brunch, after which I was practically forced (o the horror!) to finish off the last of the cheesecake.

We polished off another cryptic crossword.

But then it was time for everyone to grab their shit, for we were heading to the airport.

Once Padre had pulled up to the curb and unloaded everyone’s luggage, it was time to say goodbye. I hugged Madre and Padre goodbye and thanked them for everything, and Madre put her hands on my face and said in a tear-choked voice, “You come back any time at all.” Then I hugged A and J, said goodbye to the kids, and G and I went inside. I had to stop at the bathroom, so I left my suitcase with G and went into the bathroom. I had just sat down on the toilet when I heard the most horrific noise coming from the stall next to me.

It sounded like someone gargling raw cookie dough.

Oh, lord, please let that woman have food poisoning, I thought, peeing as quickly as I could and holding my breath the entire time. The last thing I wanted was a nasty case of the flu.

When I got back outside, we went upstairs to the longest security line I had ever seen in my life.

“Holy fucking shit!”

It took almost an hour to get through the line, and we must have been invisible because we had no fewer than three people cut in front of us. By the time we’d gotten through, we had to run for our plane and we just barely made it, which is good because they were about to take standby passengers. I had no time to purchase new reading material, so I was none too happy about that.

Halfway through the in-flight movie (In Her Shoes), the picture froze and the intercom crackled.

“Uh, ladies and gentlemen, if there’s a doctor or nurse or any emergency personnel on board, please come to first class immediately.”

Three people got up and headed towards the front. One returned about ten minutes later, and I overheard them tell their seatmate, “…(inaudible) heart attack, but (inaudible).”

Dammit, people, speak up when I’m trying to eavesdrop!

Dinner was served (chicken sandwich, potato chips, Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies) and it gave G serious heartburn; he was actually breaking out in a sweat. He rang the call button and asked if the stewardess had any Tums or Rolaids; she apologized and said they weren’t allowed to give out medication. The guy sitting in front of us turned around and said, “I have some, here.”

Oh, blessings on you, sir!

At one point, I became inordinately teary and G asked what was wrong. I fanned my eyes like a beauty pageant contestant and burbled, “I’m gonna miss your family so much, it was so nice being part of a family again, and I’m gonna miss them, and…”

He put his arm around my shoulder and I eventually fell asleep.

Then there was turbulence.

Then we got back to LAX, waited for the paramedics to take away the first class passenger, waited for the people with connecting flights to hurry off, waited for the two million people in front of us to get their shit out of the overhead compartments and get out of the fucking aisle, FINALLY deplaned, and went outside in the pouring rain to wait for the Van Nuys flyaway bus. The first one to show up was full, so we walked three stops down in hopes of catching the next one. We managed to snag a couple of seats, but of course we had to stop at every other curb, and the driver didn't just open the doors, bark out "We're full!", and keep going. No, she had to be nice about it---the one time I would have preferred someone to be curt!---and actually pull over, get off, and explain in lengthy and excruciating detail that she was oh so dreadfully sorry, but the bus was full to capacity, and if you wouldn't mind too terribly waiting for the next bus, which had left Van Nuys just minutes after her, and therefore blah blah blah. G was starting to get really pissed off by this point; I was too tired to feel much of anything.

When we got back to his place, we pretty much went straight to sleep. But in the morning, when we’d had a good night’s sleep and our frazzled nerves were soothed, we made up for lost time, so to speak; modesty prevents further elaboration.

And that, my friends, is how I spent my Christmas vacation.