It’s big! It’s huge! It’s colossal!
It’s bigly, hugely colossal!
…another snowstorm in Maine.
Uh, I think we got maybe seven inches, max. The power hasn’t once flickered.
This is Maine, media people. Seven inches of snow is not a blizzard. It is not “epic”. It’s barely a flurry. It’s what we do here. It’s how we roll. The most annoying part about a storm like this is listening to people complain how sick they are of snow. These are the folks I want to thwack with my shovel and yell, “We live in New England!” thwack “And it’s only January!” thwack “I don’t want to hear you complaining for the next three months!” thwack “So get over it!”
Whatever. I got to work from home today, so what am I complaining about? It’s just anti-climactic after all the build up about “20-24 inches of snow”. I want to see two feet of snow. I don’t really want to shovel it, but I’d like to see it. From my window. While wearing fleece, holding a mug of hot chocolate and watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
I guess I’ll have to settle for a wimpy seven. Oh well.
While I’m waiting for my epic blizzard of epic-ness to hit, let’s talk about travel, shall we? Specifically a recent trip down to Orlando.
If you’ve been able to dig yourself out of the Gargantuan Snow Banks of Doom and have been following this blog, you’ll know that T and I tried to head to Florida last Thursday for a long weekend. You’ll also know that T has been afflicted with a travel curse.
So it was that we found ourselves in the airport at six in the morning listening to a U.S. Airways representative announce that the Philly airport, due to an epic snowstorm of epic-ness, was closed until noon. (I think we’d gotten a total of three inches from that storm up here.)
Consequentially, our flight was delayed until 5:55 p.m.
Pooh. At 5:55 p.m. we were supposed to have been in Orlando for six hours.
We wrestled our bags back into the car and drove the snowy roads to a local diner where we had breakfast. Then we drove home and took a nap. We got up. I blogged. We went to our favorite Thai restaurant for lunch, hit the chiropractor’s office for a last-minute adjustment and headed back to the airport.
Flight delayed until 6:40 p.m.
We stripped down, went through security and got dressed again. Then we decided that we should grab a bite to eat before we hit the air, so we sat at the edge of a restaurant and ordered while keeping an eye on our gate.
Twelve hours into our vacation and so far all we’d done was drive in circles and eat.
Our food was served just as the boarding started. We bolted a few bites and hauled our stuff to the plane. We were on board!
And then. Oh! then.
They hermetically sealed us in and rolled us out onto the tarmac. And stopped. And proceeded to announce that because of the day’s traffic congestion, there would be another 35-minute delay before we took off.
T and I looked at our watches, then looked at each other. There was still a chance we could make our connecting flight. There was just as good a chance that we’d be spending the night in Philly.
I sighed and pulled out a puzzle book, but I didn’t even get it open before there was a disturbance a few rows back.
“You need to let me off this plane right now!” some woman was demanding in a tone loud enough for not only our entire plane to hear, but the next two planes in line.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, but we can’t do that. We cannot go back to the gate.”
“I’m going to miss my next flight and I cannot spend the night in an airport with an infant!” Her “infant”, which either had a severe thyroid condition or was actually closer in age to a toddler, was now screaming, no doubt because the mother was so panicked. Or perhaps because he knew they were related. I’m not sure which.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, but we cannot go back to the gate. We’ll lose our place in line for take off. Once we get to Philly we’ll make every effort…”
“If I can’t get off this plane right now, I’m going to have an asthma attack and you’re going to have to call an ambulance.”
Bingo. Temper tantrum: successful.
The flight attendant asked her to please calm down and told her she’d see what she could do. Quicker than you could say, “Who’s a spoiled brat?” we were taxiing back to the gate.
During the trip in, Ms. Asthma Attack was perfectly calm, patting her screaming child and saying, “It’s okay, baby. It’s okay.” I didn’t detect any gasping for air or anything, so apparently the crisis was averted by simply getting her way.
Me? I was sitting there with my mouth open, frozen to the spot. Only my eyes could dart around, looking desperately for I don’t know what. Maybe a giant croquet mallet to drop out of the sky and punt this loser back to whatever planet she came from?
I turned to T and, without bothering to keep my voice down, said, “I just want to make sure that I have this straight. She’s worried about missing her connecting flight because she doesn’t want to spend the night in the airport, so she’s going to make the plane go back to the gate, losing us our place in line and basically causing everyone else on this plane to miss their connectors. Does that sum it up correctly?”
T pretended to think about it for a second before nodding and saying, “Yeah, that sounds about right.”
Hoe. Lee. Crap.
They warned us about this during the military reintegration briefings. They said that our soldiers might not have as much patience with people’s problems because they now have an extended world view. They realize that many of those problems aren’t so big after all.
The thing about it is, I have noticed this happening with myself as well as with T. I can still empathize when people suffer real misfortunes or fall on hard times, but I have very little sympathy for this kind of idiocy. This person’s worst nightmare is spending the night in an airport with an infant (toddler)? Really? Because I can think of one or two other things that suck a whole lot worse than that.
Are you with me, ladies?
I mean, come on. Buck up and do what you need to do instead of creating a scene and inconveniencing a hundred or so other people. It’s called “social responsibility”. It’s called “maturity”. It’s called “not making an ass of yourself”.
No wonder people hate Americans for being loud, rude and inconsiderate. How odd.
“I see,” I said to T. “Well, she doesn’t know it yet – and she probably never will – but she just got blogged.”
Know what the funny part was, though? Almost all the other flights in Philly were also delayed. As a result, very few people missed their connectors. Except for this one bozo stuck back in Maine.
I believe our connecting flight (which we made) finally left Philly around 10:00 p.m., putting us on the ground in Orlando just after 1:00 a.m. on Friday. By the time we got our bags and were bussed over to Disney, we checked into our hotel at about 3:00 a.m.
We staggered into our room, fell onto the bed and slept until about 9:30 a.m. the next day.
But we were there.