Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Seminar

Oh hip hip hooray and whatnot, it was early afternoon on Sunday and I was shooting down I-294 at about 85 miles an hour on my way to good ole' O'Hare International Airport. Running late. very late for what was to be my first "businss trip." Parked the Sport Utility Vehicle in the "economy" parking lot. Which gave me the opportunity to park about 4 miles from the airport and trample through a foot of snow to the airport "airtram, "airshuttle" or whatever the fuck it's called.

and I called my Dad. It seemed like the thing to do. I said, "Dad, I'm fucked. I'm running late I may miss my flight, any suggestions?" He said, "have you seen that rent a car commercial with O.J. Simpson running through the airport to catch his flight?" I said, "no but I remember when everyone said he killed his wife but he totally didn't because I remember he kept trying to put on that glove and it didn't fit. My Dad said, "you're fucked. "

Then he said well why don't you try United Airline's "Easy check-in" it'll help you save some time. And of course I try it and it wasn't all about my credit card. So I went up to the lady behind a desk and said, "M'am could you tell me where I can find the line for the "difficult check-in." She made some sort of comment under her breathe regarding the fact that I was a real asshole and took my tickets. It was at that point that I'm pretty sure she stamped my ticket with that stamp that says "search the fuck out of this sonuvabitch". Cause when I got to the front of the security check point, it was all fondling me with magnetic wands, tearing through my luggage looking for weapons of mass destruction, random questioning and the now traditional request to "take off your shoes." How I wouldn't like to get my hands on that motherfucker who packed plastic explosives into his shoes in London and got onto a plane. At that point I had about 10 minutes until take off. I high tailed it to gate B12 only to find out that they moved the flight to a different gate on the complete other side of the building. Perfect. Great. Grand. Seriously. I ran for my life, and luckily the flight had been delayed so I was able to hop on the plane just in the nick of time.

Good old coach, Flight filled to capacity, Sitting in the dreaded "middle seat." Out of the corner of my eye I see a baby off to the left of me. She is raring and ready to go. I can already tell that she is gearing up to scream and whine and be fucking miserable for the duration of flight. sweet. terrific. fantastic. But everything is okay right? because the flight attendant will give me a little bag of pretzels and a half can of soda poured into a plastic glass. I crank up my headphones to 10, read my book. it's interesting. seriously. but the fucking kid is still screaming. I'm gonna strangle myself. munching on pretzels, tapping my hand on my knee, looking at the clock on my cell phone. hoping I don't have to go back and squeeze into one those little fucking bathrooms. And at some point I arrive at my destination. Newark, NJ. Who the hell wants to go to Newark, NJ? Not me. But I'm here, I'm ready.

Two days. Couped up in a Newark Airport Hotel. Sitting in a conference room for 9 hour days, where a bunch of old windbags boast about a bunch of industry war stories while talking to poorly put together powerpoint presentations. While everyone else yawns and drinks lousy coffee and ice water in metal pitchers, just trying to stay awake until lunch time, so everyone can put on their fake smiles, tell generic plug and play stories, and hand out fucking business cards.

So this is business.