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Friday, December 21, 2007

Worst Day EVER

The wife and kids are in Gulfport. They woke up at 545AMish this morning to leave to go to the airport. I go back to sleep after that bit of fun and sleep late.

I only have to fly to Baton Rouge and back and be done at 530pm.

I had decided to leave a little later. I didn't have to be at the airport until 130pm, so I knew traffic wouldn't be bad and I've been getting there well over an hour before my show time.

I was talking to my friend whose wife is having a baby who has been surviving on a teacher's salary and regional airline pilot first year pay for a while. He's getting a raise soon of which most of it will probably go to baby stuff. At least he has a few months to put money aside as his wife's car is getting paid off. I remark how some people think the good Lord is persecuting you when you get extra money and then something happens so that you have to spend it. I say you have a windfall just as you happen to need it, so it's perspective.

He has to go so I clean a little. I find a live frog with a mangled leg under an ice chest in the kitchen. Don't ask about why there's an ice chest in the kitchen.

My friend calls back. "Man, I got to go. I have to get ready for this trip and I just found a mangled frog I have to deal with."

What to do? Put him out of his misery? Amputate the leg? I decide to let nature solve it and put him outside.

So I get showered, shaved and dressed. And that's when the real trouble started.

I can't find my car keys. I can't find the pants I had on the night before that had my wallet in them. I tear around the house for a while in an increasing panic. The wallet also has my passport in it. I wonder if there is any chance my wife somehow has my wallet AND keys.

Then I remember that I had given the car keys to Sue after eating at Ninfa's last night so she could see how my car was driving. I had new tires put on not long ago.

So, my car keys and house keys are in Gulfport. She went there this morning to visit her dad for Christmas. I call her and wake her up and she remembers piling a bunch of folded clothes on top of my pants from last night. So I find the wallet, and feel like I'm running just a bit late at this point.

I would have been really screwed without my passport. I'm overnighting in Mexico in two days.

I can't find my sunglasses as they fell out of my shirt pocket somewhere while I was tearing the house apart looking for my wallet and keys.

Fortunately I had taken the key to a car we're trying to sell off the keychain in case anyone wanted to test drive it.

Now the car I have to drive is my car we're selling and guess where it's parked? Between the garage and the car I don't have keys to. Which is locked and an automatic, so I couldn't even move anyway. So guess where the garage remote is? Fortunately I had an extra remote for my electric bike which uses a keychain. So I have to back it out in 1-2 ft increments. Forward, turn, back, forward, turn, back. You get the idea.

So on the way there, I remember as I go through the second EZ Pass tollbooth lane that THIS CAR DOESN'T HAVE AN EZ PASS ON IT! So, I'll have to call and fix that to avoid a fine. My car I normally drive does.

Then I have to put some air in the tires. It's 75 cents, and I manage to somehow lose 2 tire stem caps.

I get to the employee lot and I'm in such a hurry that I get on the E terminal bus when I need to go to B, which is 2 tram stops away.

While on the bus, I notice that my $400+ Scott leather bag has dragged and the corners are worn through. So now I have to figure out how to get that fixed and stop it from getting worse. And my $300ish Luggageworks bag has a rip in the nylon at a corner in the frame.

Then I get out at E with a little over an hour to get to the crew room, check my inbox, and get to the gate.

At security, I notice my ID is missing. They fortunately let me in with my passport and military ID.

While I'm riding the tram, it gets stopped at the B gate doors for 'maintenance'. So now I'm trapped on the train. 5 minutes go by and finally someone arrives with the key to let us off.

At the crew room I find out the plane we are supposed to take to Baton Rouge is delayed so I have extra time.

I sit down to post pub changes, open my flight case, and there are my sunglasses which had fallen into it. No ID card however.

The Chief Pilot drives me over to get a new ID made. It's $50 unless I find the old one and that will make it $10. He takes me out via the van but I have to go BACK through security again now that I have my ID. He can't escort me through the drive in checkpoint.

I'm telling all this at the gate with my crew and another crew. The gate agent wants me to do a breathalyzer. Ha Ha. I tell the captain maybe he should do everything and I'll just swing the gear. Laugh everyone, laugh at the day from hell. The flight attendant who has been up for 14 hours even sympathizes a bit.

While waiting for the now long overdue flight I decide I'm going to grab a coke from the galley on another plane. Storytelling makes me thirsty.

Guess where they're going? Gulfport! And they were delayed thirty minutes. So we swap cell numbers and information and he's going to put my keys in my inbox after my wife drops them off in Gulfport.

We end up getting delayed for two hours. On the ground at Baton Rouge my cell rings and the other guy has my keys, and says he's off in 20 mins. Great, we'll probably be there about the same time. We get off the gate in 21. So we're ahead as GPT is fther away.

We get back and the gate assignment computer has crashed so we have to wait for a gate for about 15 minutes.

My captain jokes that he hopes the guy with my keys isn't like a Chicago commuter and doesn't forget to put my keys in my inbox. Ha ha ha. We'll just keep shuttling them around the country and have everyone hold them up in front of well known landmarks while they take a picture.

I get back to the crew room and there's the guy with my keys.

On the way home I find out that you have to run a tollbooth three times before they flag it, and just call back in a few days to check. I think I only ran two. At any rate, they said they'd just out it on my bill. I imagine it happens fairly often with multi car families.

So here's the score:

Wallet: found due to wife's lucky memory of seeing my pants before she put the clothes on them.
Keys: Had an extra car with an extra key and extra garage remote.
My normal keys: Houston to Gulfport via wife, Gulfport to Houston later that day via airline pilot.
Scott Case: corners worn through, unresolved.
Luggageworks Case: Rip can probably be superglued, unresolved.
Sunglasses: found in flight case.
Tire stem caps: 2-3 lost; one already missing.
Tollbooth charges: unresolved but promising.
ID Card: $50 hoping for $10.

I'm typing this from bed the next day on my laptop. I go on reserve at noon, and I doubt they will call.

But I'm just a little afraid to get up.

Dear Lord, please give me more than just a windfall to make it through the day today.

If that weren't enough, I'm planning on trying to finish some Christmas shopping 4 days before Christmas.

Wish me luck.


Lucy said...

wow! now I know what you've been doing while I've been feeling sorry for us stuck at the airport on standby. what a wacky story!

Jim Howard said...

Good grief!!!

Sucks to be you!

Merry Christmas, you need it!

Rob said...

Later, I found the ID. When I sold my old car, the new guy who bought it found my ID where it had fallen into a crack in the seat.

Luckily, he lived in the neighborhood.

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