(I trust my readers are title-readers, but if not, go back and read it.
I had a cold and was traveling to Abilene, TX, for my five year college reunion. That’s why.
The following came about while waiting in the airport Friday morning (I was supposed to arrive in Abilene Thursday night, but circumstances beyond my control as I do not have godlike powers, or even Superman-like powers that would enable me to fly around the world and turn back time, caused me to miss my connecting flight from DFW to Abilene Thursday night). On a second read, it more or less makes sense, and this way I won’t have to worry about getting in a Monday Miscellany post once I’m back home and concerned about things like buying groceries for the week and laundry. Yes, I am lazy.
So. Here it is.
Notes from airport 10/16/09
Sitting in the airport after missing my flight into Abilene last night. Issues with the flight out from Denver to DFW–wound up leaving about an hour and ten minutes later than we were supposed to, and though the flight made up about forty minutes en route, it wasn’t enough for me to make my connecting flight. At least American Airlines cashed out for a hotel room, though my stay at the Days Inn and Suites was hardly what I would call primo conditions. Also I am spending more money than I would have otherwise, just from tipping the shuttle drivers. Not like it’s their fault my flight was delayed and then missed, and of course they have those “Tips constitute majority of drivers compensation and are greatly appreciated thank you” signs.
I can forgive the run-on and lack of plural possessive apostrophe. I have reached the point of frustration where it actually shifts from frustration to a sort of benign neglect/nascent zen-like benevolence toward the world at large. So I tipped the drivers a couple of bucks going from and to the airport.
Shuttle was named RC Express. Maybe it was the tiredness kicking in, but last night as I waited forty minutes for my shuttle to arrive (though the American Airlines desk worker who handled my missed-flight issues had assured me it would be fifteen) I found myself wondering what the “RC” stands for. Royal Crown? Royal Crest? No, I think those are the names of dairies back home.
Righteous… something. Righteous Custard.
It was then I realized the missed flight had addled me more than I thought. “Righteous Custard.” What would that even be? Supercilious ice cream treats?
Shuttle itself looked run-down. “RC Express” in blue lettering across a white van. Dusty all over, minor dents in the door, and a few rust spots. Shuttle driver popped out and asked me where I was going. I knew this and told him.
“North or South?”
“Ummm…” Vaguely remembered seeing on my room voucher one of those directions, but couldn’t remember which, spent several seconds scanning my voucher and wondering why my hotel name with the crucial directional designation had faded from my voucher in the 35 minutes since I’d last looked at it.
Driver came to peer at the voucher with me, and eventually found it. “North. Good. Because sometimes it’s South and we don’t service South.”
I also discovered that the Righteous Custard Express serviced several hotels in the area aside from the Days Inn. This was because we picked up other people who had missed their flight and were also put up in a hotel by American. I tend to externalize my problems and assume that others are dealing with the same difficulties I am–maybe because it makes me feel less alone in the world, I don’t know. There’s likely a philosophical take on it that would reveal the depths of my psyche, but I’m running on around five hours of sleep and still fighting a head cold, so I’m disinclined to spend much time pondering things that may give me headaches.
So yeah, maybe not everyone on that shuttle–six of us all told once we finished hitting up every terminal, during which time my driver found it necessary to pull over to the curb and get out to ask people where they were going. I guess he suspected that, unlike me, his potential passengers took a lackadaisical attitude as to their hotel transport. “What was my shuttle called? Ringling Circus Express? Ranger Cowboy Express? Oh well; I’ll just assume that rather than having to watch for the shuttle myself, the driver will pop out and ask me where I want to go.”
Just realized I never truly finished the first sentence of that paragraph. Maybe not everyone on that shuttle had missed their flight and was relegated to spending the night in a Dallas-area airport. But at least one other was, because I noticed the familiar logo on his voucher. And I noticed the way the shuttle driver also peered at this guy’s voucher, much as he had mine, and I recognized the “North or South?” confusion on the passenger’s face that must have graced my own just ten minutes prior.
Only this guy’s voucher turned out to be for Wyndham Hotel, which, from the outside, looked much nicer than what I knew to expect from Days Inn. Which made me wonder if American had blacklisted me for having bought my tickets off Priceline rather than directly through American’s site. Maybe-fellow flight-misser was even a first-class passenger.
Oh well, thought I, it’s only one night.
And it was only one night, with a complimentary breakfast. Breakfast also required a voucher, procured simply by showing my card at the front desk, otherwise it would’ve been $5.95. Which made me wonder–people who stay at the hotel get the breakfast for free. Do the fine folks of Days Inn truly expect outsiders to come in for their breakfast? “You know, honey, I have a hankering for the tasty reconstituted eggs, dubious sausage, and toast made from Every Day Value bread* from Days Inn. Totally worth the $5.95. Whaddya think?”
Because I like to know exactly what I’m putting into my body, while obtaining my “foodstuffs” from the breakfast, I read the ingredients of the little Country Crock spread tubs.
“That’s water,” I thought I heard the waitperson–whose job it was to ask me if I wanted coffee (“Do you have tea?”) and stir the gravy at regular intervals to keep it from forming a skin–say.
“Pardon?” I asked. Surely he wasn’t telling me that if I wanted water, I should open up several of those little tablespoon-sized containers of Country Crock and toss ’em back, like trans-fatty shots.
I went for the neutral “Oh.”
It took me another few seconds to realize he was truly saying “That’s butter,” as if I were too stupid to identify what was in the Country Crock tub. Which I’m not, because it’s clearly not butter. Real butter has one ingredient: Cream. And salt if it’s salted butter. Real butter doesn’t have an ingredient list so long I haven’t finished reading it before gravy-stirring waitpeople observe me staring at the packet, think, “Poor lady is unfamiliar with the breakfast stylings of Days Inn and must be informed of what she is looking at,” and so kindly enlighten me.
*I saw the bag. And I judged. I get judgy when I’m tired.
From there, my babblings segue into semicoherent rambles about NaNoWriMo and stuff that is theoretically helpful in plot development and character building, but which, if I do post here, I’ll save for my Thursday 300, since it’s more writing-related rather than complaints about missed flights and fake food and musings on the potential meaning of an initialism. Next week’s Miscellany Monday should be more put-together. I hope.