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The Looong Journey Home

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It was supposed to be a direct flight back from Phoenix. We were scheduled to leave at 10 a.m. and land in Denver around 12:30 p.m. today. But here we are, ten hours later than scheduled, tired, pissy, depressed. And extremely happy to be home. Earlier today, we boarded our plane as planned. And sat there. The captain made a couple of lame jokes about the engineer checking out the landing gear. Soon we’d heard enough — something about hydraulic issues? We all filed out in a hurry to await Plan B. For us, Plan B meant eating our lunch at the airport bar (with our oh-so-generous $7 food vouchers) and waiting to squeeze onto a later flight. In the meantime, we had little to do but check out the behavioral changes of average people stuck in confined public spaces together. We’re bored. We’re pissed off. And many of us have abandoned our civilized selves on board the other plane – the one that is currently sitting elsewhere in an unknown location, presumably leaking hydraulic goo all over the tarmac.

One thing that disgusts me in particular: the ladies’ room. Do these women live in barns? Do they normally pee in the woods? Is there any freaking reason that women insist on “hovering” — which translates in plain English to peeing ALL OVER the toilet seat — when in public? I’m assuming they do not do this at home. I may be wrong. In that case, I will not be accepting any dinner invitations to their homes anytime soon. I understand the germaphobes’ concerns, but that is precisely what those handy little paper toilet liners are for. Jeez. I’m no angel of course. Normally, I like little kids. Babies are cute. Under any other circumstance, a crying baby is cause for concern. At the airport, however, any squalling infant quickly becomes an imminent threat; I sure hope that baby’s momma ain’t sitting next to me, I’m thinking. Then I catch myself. Am I seriously sitting here hatin’ on poor little innocent babies? What the hell is wrong with me? Fortunately we were all so exhausted (babies, mommas, and all other assorted folks) that by the time we boarded our later flight that afternoon we were all silent or sleeping. No happy chatter on this flight, nosiree. So we make it to Denver. Our little setback was just that — a little setback. Until we got to our car and hit I-70 this afternoon. It was rush hour. There was some sort of terrible accident, and the traffic was insanely slow and crowded. The highway was jam-packed because they had to close it off at Colorado Boulevard. Frustrating, but manageable. The the car began to overheat. Like, burning-engine-smell-get-off-the-road-right-now kind of overheating. One hour later, we managed to get through the parking lot that I-70 had become — after receiving numerous insulting hand gestures as we desperately tried to get across four lanes of non-moving traffic and get to an exit. We found a shopping center, parked, called AAA to tow the car. And waited. You can probably imagine our mood by this point in the day. At last, relief came. Our tow truck driver was a very cool woman who was kind enough to let us ride along to our local mechanic’s lot (Mancinelli’s, FYI – great service.) She even drove us the rest of the way home. Finally, we’re back. Anybody else have a crappy Monday?

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