Flying To NYC To Throw A Shoe At A Friend
Posted on April 11, 2016
There are days I find it ironic I wrote a novella about a group of people who lived multiple lives. Why? Because I’m sure they’ve pissed somebody off during their time on earth, just as I’m betting I have, and karma sometimes comes back to bite one in the rump. Hence my trip to NYC this past weekend. If life ever mirrors a sitcom, I lived it starting last Friday.
It all began with arriving at my favorite off-site airline parking lot, the one where you follow a driver to your parking space, then you hop on the shuttle and the driver takes you to the terminal. Totally the epitome of convenience, right? The lot was swamped this particular day, so the attendant told me the section where I should park, which was a pain to even find a spot, but I eventually did. Then I had to run after not one, but two shuttles before I could flag one down. Not an auspicious start, yet not horrific. That was yet to come.
I went through TSA, which went nice and smooth, found my gate, and waited. We boarded the plane, started towards the runway and…stopped. We came back to the gate and were informed bad weather in NYC had flights diverted all over the place. There would be a two hour delay. We exited the aircraft, waited two hours, boarded the aircraft…again, pulled away from the gate…again…and stopped…again. We came back to the gate, again, and were then informed our flight was cancelled.
The gate agents were, I have to admit, extremely helpful and efficient in finding us alternate means to get to our destination. I had two choices; fly to Philadelphia—a place I’ve heard of and been to, then take a flight to Newark—a place I still don’t believe exists, so I wasn’t falling for that shit—OR I could take a flight to Washington DC and take a connecting flight to LaGuardia. I opted for the second selection.
Now, the problem with our friend, who books these flights just so you know, is he uses carriers few have ever heard of before. Why? Because they’re che…um…inexpensive. So when we landed in DC, it was literally like pulling up into a parking spot because the airline couldn’t afford a gate. We were shuttled over to a terminal, which was F’ing chaotic, and then I had to take an additional shuttle over to another set of gates. NOT fond of this airport. But this is where things got tricky.
The flight I was on next was supposed to leave at 10pm. It was showing a delay until midnight. However, the gate agent in Detroit told me about a 7pm flight that still had 40 available seats on it. I ran my ass off to that gate, spoke with the gate agent, and was told I had to go to the Help Desk. Fine. No worries. And I did. There were 4 people in front of me, and I texted Little Brother to tell him what was going on.
Friend: Go back to the gate and explain your situation to the woman.
Moi: I did. She sent me here.
Friend: There’s a 5pm flight that’s is going to board in 10 minutes at that gate. You can be on it. Go to the gate!
Moi: Seriously? You want me to get out of line with no boarding pass and go to the gate after she already told me to come into this line?
I reluctantly get out of line and make it halfway to the gate when this little text pops us.
Friend: Wait. No. Stay in the line you’re in.
Moi: I. Am. Going. To. Beat. You. With. A. Shoe.
So I return to the Help Desk line with 9 people in front of me now. Meanwhile, the inbound flight has arrived for the 5pm flight and is emptying out. Our friend calls me and tells me he spoke with someone on the phone and they are holding a seat for me on the 5pm flight. I just need a boarding pass. A very nice gentleman lets me go in front of him and I finally make it up to the desk. I explain the situation and after 5 minutes of trying to get the computer to do what it needs to do, plus a call to their IT group, the Help Desk person hands me a boarding pass and informs me “You’re all set.”
I haul ass towards the gate and only then look down to examine the pass. It’s for the 10pm flight. F WORD! F WORD! F WORD! F WORD! I text Little Brother to tell him I’m F’d, then decide to go up the gate agent and give it one last desperate shot. Luckily, the original gate agent is busy and a guy there offers to help. I simply ask if he’d look up to see if my name is listed as being on the flight. It is! There’s no seat assignment, but I’m there. The gate agent who originally helped me gets wind of this and informs the helpful guy “We don’t have any seats on this flight. It’s FULL.”
He smiles at me and says “Just hold on for a moment. It’ll be fine.”
I. Don’t. Leave. The. Area.
A mother and daughter traveling together I recognize from having been on the flight from Detroit with me try to get on 5pm flight and are summarily rebuffed and dismissed by Gate Agent From Hell while I stand by. The last passenger boards and Helpful Gate Agent prints out a boarding pass for me with a seat assignment, hands it to Gate Agent From Hell who glares at me, then calls my name.
I. F’ing. Board.
For the record, there were at least 4 empty seats on this flight.
I’m the last person on and the last person off, and I don’t F’ing care. The flight to LaGuardia is 36 minutes once in the air. I don’t F’ing care. We had major turbulence the entire flight to the extent they couldn’t complete the beverage service. I kinda F’ing cared because my stomach was tied up in knots by the time we landed.
Our friend is there waiting for me when I exit the terminal, asks how my trip was, and then ducks like the little MoFo he is when I whip a shoe at him.
But I made it. And, damn it, I met author Wade Kelly this weekend! But that’s another blog post.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.