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Friday, August 26, 2011

Travel Woes Yet Again and A Banana Split Disaster

Coming into yesterday I was nervous, very nervous. You see, the memories from my last trip via airplane didn't turn out so well. With that being said my nerves were at full alert as I reached every traveler's nightmare... TSA security.

I know other people on the spectrum have this, not all, but there are enough that have this and this is that once something bad happens we have a tendency to remember and fear it, and over-fear it the next time. This was one of those times and I was sure my flags were going to draw attention and I knew I was going to drop my laptop again and this time destroy it.

The fears were there and I knew it was the going to be the end of the world. As usual though my fears were much greater than what reality threw at me and this time the trek though security was painless for once.

The journey got interesting once I arrived in Memphis. The layover was an hour, and once the hour was over it was time to board. My zone was called and just as I was about to have my phone scanned (my boarding pass was on my phone. How cool is that?) the pilot came up and told the counter lady that due to weather in Boston there was going to be a three hour delay.

The rumors then swirled and at one point in time I heard that the flight had been cancelled. After several minutes the overhead monitor said that it would be about a seventy minute wait.

During the delay I started playing Catan for my phone and then, with 30 minutes left, I went to the ice cream store that was just a few steps away. It had been a while since I had a banana split, March 31th when I was in Lebanon, Missouri, so I decided to order that. The store was only being worked by one lady and it took her a while to make it, but when it was done it looked amazing; a banana (naturally), ice cream, nuts, and whip cream.

While she was finishing up with it I looked out at my gate to see if the boarding process had begun, it had not, so I turned back to see that she was holding my banana split towards me and she said something. What I heard was, "An announcement?" and I stared at her in confusion. I instantly went into hearing mode to hear the PA to see if there was an update on my flight. She said the same thing again and I stared at her blankly. The third time I heard what she really was saying, "Your banana split, sir."

I felt awkward from this and left the store while I heard her and the customer behind me laugh. To make matters worse I forgot a spoon so I had to turn around and re-enter the store and get one. After getting the spoon I walked to the gate across from mine and I had to figure out how to sit down. I had my flag bag over my left shoulder and my computer bag over my right. I decided to set down the flag bag first just at the same time as an announcement was being made.

What happened next I am not fully sure, but somehow I ended up toppling over the split onto the ground where my flag bag had just been set down. A half a banana, whip cream, and nuts went flying in all directions. It was a certified mess and I was in shock. Why? For one I just lost out on a $6 purchase, and secondly my flag bag now had all sorts of ice cream on it. With no napkins in sight I made the walk of shame to the bathroom to try and clean up a mess.

I fully believe I was in a minor overload and that caused me to drop the split. It started in the store and because my mind was analyzing the encounter with the clerk and the other customer I truly should have not rushed to sit down, much less try to sit while an announcement was being made.

The remnants of my split remained on the floor all the way until I boarded my flight; I would have cleaned up, but truly I did not have the tools or napkins to take on such a mess.

The flight from Memphis to Boston will always be remembered for the most dedicated flight attendant I have ever seen. Perhaps this isn't a good thing, but every rule was followed to the T. On takeoff each person that had ANY electronic device not in a bag was scolded. My laptop bag was 98% under the seat in front of me, but this wasn't good enough. He said, "Sir, all bags must be fully under the seat in front during takeoff and landing. See this line? (he pointed towards the mark of where the seat in front of me ending) This is the point that your bag must be past on takeoff and landing."

Truly the whole flight was like that with every rule that was violated he promptly fixed. Maybe he was in the military at some point in time, but in any event he ran that plane like every minor infraction could have catastrophic consequences.

This flight attendant also created a panic within me as we neared Boston when he said, "Folks, I've just got word from the flight deck that the turbulence we are about to encounter will be severe. Because of this we will no longer be coming through the cabin." I've never heard this and was sure I was about to die. The turbulence mentioned was a few mild bumps and was nothing out of the ordinary so once again my fears we unfounded.

So today I am going to be flagging practice at the Little "T" and in Thompson, Connecticut. I still have my eyes towards Irene and keep going back and forth from thinking there will be no delays, to being stranded here at Ryan's house until September.

There is a chance I may blog during the weeked should something merit it, or if I want to talk hurricanes.

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