The last…lots of hours have been both a whirlwind and the longest…lots of hours I can remember. John dropped me off at the airport at 2:30 yesterday afternoon, and I met my coworker, Millicent (not her real name), in front of the United counter. She’s got some kind of special frequent flyer status, so we got to get in the short line. Usually, she (and anyone checking in with her (that would be me)) gets a free upgrade at least to Economy Plus, but we were on a full flight and no upgrades were available. Sad for us. Especially as we boarded the plane and realized that we were in the two middle seats on either side of the LAST aisle on the plane. Yeah, those seats don’t recline. We were in the first boarding group and got on the plane about 3:30. Supposed to take off at 4 and land just after 7 PST. My first seatmate, window seat guy, arrived. He’s a big guy, a little too big for the seat, gray hair, very nice. He was reading David Eddings, so we chatted about that for a few minutes. Then Mr. Talkative arrived. Tall and skinny, also with gray hair, he started talking the minute he sat down. He travels ALL the time apparently, all over the world, and knows everything. He tells funny stories, but because he knows EVerything, it got old fast. (And he scared the 10 year old in the row in front of us with horror stories of flying in bad weather.) But I was being nice, so I didn’t bury my nose in my book or reach for my headphones. Anyway, while everyone was still boarding, a maintenance guy came by. We heard the flight attendants talking about how the potable water system wasn’t working. Then they made the announcement. “We’re fixing the problem and will get in the air as soon as possible.” At about 5pm, an hour late and after another announcement that didn’t give us any clue when we might actually go, I called John and told him I’d just text him when I landed, since who knows how late it would be. At about 5:15, they made us all get off the plane. They were either going to fix our plane or find us a new one. But all other flights to San Francisco (and to anywhere that might get us to San Francisco) were full. They weren’t saying where another plane might come from. Everyone ran for the customer service desk. By the time we got there, United was telling us to wait and see. A decision would be made by 6:30 one way or the other. So either the plane would be fixed or the flight would be canceled and we’d be getting on a 6am flight Monday morning, if such a thing existed. It was just after 5:30, so we figured we had an hour and we’d go find somewhere to sit down and eat. Wendy’s was the only place nearby with seating, so Mildred grabbed us a table and I ordered. We got a frosty to share. (We felt we deserved it.) JUST as I got our food and was heading for our table, I heard the announcement for immediate boarding of our flight. It was about 5:45. Maybe another 15 minutes later, we were on the plane again, this time with food. And now people were jealous. But we had a frosty to share, so we were trying to figure out how to sit next to each other, just for a little while. I convinced Mr. Talkative to switch with me, so I had an aisle, and then we noticed that her aisle seatmate hadn’t arrived yet, so I figured I could sit there, next to Miranda in her middle seat, and let Marcella’s aisle seatmate have the aisle seat that belongs to Mr. Talkative. Just for the length of time it would take for us to eat our dinner and our frosty. Everyone went for it, we all switched around, and the plane took off. And then we gave away our fries ’cause we had WAY too much food. So people liked us again. Until the flight attendant (who wouldn’t take any fries even though she was starving ’cause she said it wasn’t professional) yelled at me for getting out of my seat too early. I could have sworn the captain made the announcement. He did make an announcement, but it was about something else. That I totally missed. Anyway, we all switched back when we were allowed to move about the cabin. And then my rather large seatmate, window seat guy, started getting claustrophobic. For real. At first, he was just feeling a little overheated, and he’d ask me and Mr. Talkative to let him out so he could stand in the aisle. That happened two or three times. He got some ice, he had my air thingy and his pointed at his head, but it wasn’t helping. Then he panicked a little and said, “Okay, I gotta get out of here.” So we got up in a hurry and let him out. I had already considered offering him my seat, but I didn’t really think putting this big guy into a middle seat was going to help at all. I was working on how to bully Mr. Talkative into switching with him and letting him have the aisle, but when window seat guy panicked, the mom in the row ahead of us offered to have her daughter (in the aisle of that row) switch to his window seat (next to me). Nice lady. Window seat guy calmed down and was fine in his aisle seat for the rest of the flight. It worked out for me, too, ’cause the daughter didn’t take up nearly as much room. No more crowding. That’s more drama than I need on a flight. Mr. Talkative finally shut up, I was able to finish This Rough Magic (I liked it), and I got more than 2/3 of the way through my Dean Koontz novel. But I was SO bored! I didn’t have any puzzle magazines (stupid oversight on my part – won’t happen on the way home), I was uncomfortable, I didn’t watch the movie (it was The Informant!, which I really want to see (so does John), but the airplane was loud, and I couldn’t hear the movie very well, and I figured I’d just miss lines, so I’d better wait), and I wasn’t sleepy. I don’t usually get bored with reading, and now that I think about it, I don’t really think I was bored at all, but I was uncomfortable and restless. The rest of the flight was uneventful (yay), and we landed around 9:30 or so. We were at the hotel by 10:15 or 10:30 (felt like 1:30), and then I collapsed. I’ll get into today tomorrow sometime.
Who needs paragraphs?