Snow Falling On Cretins

Dear Internet,

It is an article of faith with me that I schedule all my travels Up Nawth for no later than mid-autumn. This is because one of my greatest dreads, greater than my fear of jellyfish (but not as fearsome as President Nader), is being stuck at an airport while snowflakes twinkle down in something approaching a torrent.

You can see where this is going.

The punchline is that the 6:07pm flight out of O'Hare actually took off at 8:40pm. I should also mention there was a 2 y.o. girl who BAWLED the entire flight as well as throughout the wait at the gate. I have no quarrel with toddlers who act up on flights (Hell, Numbah Two Son once kicked the seat of Sam Waterston, who turned out to be a complete prick about it.) but I have a gripe with parents who flop their hands and merely register looks of befuddled embarrassment. Hello? Anyone ever mention oh, I dunno...a pacifier? Baby bottle? It seems that unless these two items are proffered the child, you pathetic whine of "we've tried everything" falls a mite short.

The day started out lovely, when we went to a Previously Scheduled Christmas Party with Poppy and crew. I must take a moment to mention Poppy's daughter (Code Name: Poppette) who is just drop-dead gorgeous and MY FUTURE DAUGHTER IN LAW. Anyway, Poppette looked beautiful in her party dress (although reaching this phase took some savvy negotiation on Poppy & TSMSM's part) and the party itself was remarkably fun, even though we were temporarily childless. We're geeks and therefore suckas for beautiful spaces wonderfully spangled for the Christmas holidays, especially when we are loitering with people about whom we're crazy.

The previous night, we attended a performance of The Magic Flute, which was also excellent, except the lady to my left kept closing her eyes rapturously and "air-conducting" and two guys in front of us were getting all lovey-dovey, which was weird, because you seldom see a shaved-headed guy with a dreadlocked guy, let alone at the Lyric, let alone getting all lovey-dovey.

Have I mentioned it was cold as a muhfuh? It verily was. Thursday was the coldest and snowiest, Friday was a picture-postcard day and Saturday we were jacked at O'Hare for an additional two-and-a-half hours with little Taylor trying to break glass with her pipes alone.

At this point I'd normally mention Poppy's wonderfulness in fervent tones, but I think the Internet would be bored beyond tears to read yet another paean on Poppy (and crew) and their searing wonderfulness. It'd be a lot of mushy, saccharine (albeit very sincere) claptrap and we can't have that.



Poppy Buxom said…
The Jokes. How do I love them? Let me count the ways:

1. They brought me a ton of presents for my approaching birthday and Christmas. Also a few for That Stud Muffin I Married, but mostly for me, me, me. And I'm all about the loot.

2. They cooked and cleaned up their own breakfast while I shoved Poppette and myself into our respective party finery.

3. My digital camera's battery was whoops! dead when it was time to take pictures of the kids with Santa. But that Fabulous Babe Joke Married brought her camera and took all kinds of pictures, one of which will undoubtedly become the Christmas Card picture for Christmas, 2005.

I could go on, but you get the picture.


Badger said…
Two point five hours ain't nothin' pal. I once was stranded at O'Hare for NINE HOURS during a particularly nasty blizzard. Needless to say, I missed my Dallas connection.

Oh, and once I got stuck in O'Hare for three hours because they kept closing the Cleveland airport, but then they decided to let the plane take off anyway, and we flew back and forth from Cleveland to Columbus for like five hours while they decided which airport would allow us to land. So THAT was fun. And it was in January. While I was on my way to a funeral. With my 14-month-old girl child in tow.

I laugh at your two point five hours. HA!
Poppy Buxom said…
Oh, I laugh at the 2.5 hours, too. How about the time we were in the plane to Boston but were stuck on the tarmac at O'Hare for nine hours while we waited for permission to take off? It was December 23rd and I had my 2 year old son and my under-one-year-old and still-nursing daughter with me. And there was no food on the plane, because this was supposed to be a snack flight. And my daughter ended up scooping literally HANDFULS of raisins from the cannister I had packed. And she still wasn't really capable of digesting them properly.

I toyed with the idea of running up to the flight attendant and screaming "You have to let me off this plane--this baby's going to blow!" (Needless to say this was waaaaay pre-9/11, when this might have been funny.)

Those children didn't get back onto an airplane for years. YEARS, I tell you.

Joke said…
Well, yeah. I've spent the night at ATL (in the back of a 1982 Volvo station wagon, back in the day when cars on turntable displays were a regular airport feature) because the last flaight of the day was cancelled and there would be no other until noon the next day.

But this was teh 1st time I was w. TFBIm was was sleepy and cranky and just wanted to get home. Not as bad as a toddler, but close.

blackbird said…

I'll raise your delays and see ya with
not ONE but TWO aborted landings at DFW due to fog and ice whilst five months pregnant with a 5 year old in tow. Just before the second aborted landing the fellow next to me said: 'ma'am, I'm a pilot, and after what we just did and what I think the pilot is going to attempt next, I'd like to suggest that you remove your eyeglasses.' We eventually found ourselves in Memphis where we had a 4 hour delay on the ground causing me to miss my connection to OKC by about 8 hours.
Joke said…
You win. I've never had any airline annoyances while pregnant.

BabelBabe said…
sam waterston a prick? say it's not so! I LOVE him. ergh.

had the parents tried robitussin? People say it works wonders. So people say. I have no intention of taking my children on airplanes if i can help it until they are in college. at which point they can go by themselves. and then if they kick the seats of people in front of them, they'll get what they deserve.
BabelBabe said…
and bb - did your glasses survive?
Joke said…
Sam Waterston's prickness was utter, thorough and complete.


P.S. The parents tried nothing beyond some squeakie toy.
Sarah Louise said…
The comments for Joke's book club seem to be broken: i got "this page cannot be displayed 2x"

Well, I think blackbird won this one, but imagine being on a Russian airline after waiting hours and hours in the airport on the East End of Berlin (2 years after the walls came down), they take you up to the restaurant for food, but don't feed you, bring you back down, the plane comes (or gets ready, whatever.) Then, you are in the air and one of the many engines blows (right outside your window) ka-boom and no one bats an eyelash. Never will forget that ride...think I may have written a poem about it...My favorite part of the stint my parents had in Warsaw, Poland, was my semi-annual trip to the McDonalds in the Frankfurt airport--the favorite part was that I could actually find it after not having been there for six months. Have you been to the Frankfurt airport? Lost is not even close to what it's like. It is huge and confusing and...I loved it, because *I* knew where the McDonalds was.

Oh, and I think after the waiting for food and the engine blasting, our luggage went to Shanghai as we arrived in Warsaw. Lovely, those travel stories. Always take carry-on, always take carry-on!!
Joke said…
SL sez: Always take carry-on, always take carry-on!!

Amen, sister! Testify!

I am a carry-on ho, and the king of packing light.


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