Adventures in Atlanta Airport
Larry and I spent a lot of extra unplanned time in Atlanta airport last week. Here are some recaps of our adventures.
Good Things Come to Those in Good Humor?
Thursday, thunderstorms in Atlanta left me and Larry with a cancelled flight. We hung out at the airport until late in the evening, hoping to get on one of the two remaining flights to Roanoke. Turns out, it is not quite easy to get on a Roanoke flight when the standby list is nearly twenty passengers long. But, we still had a good time. Even at 10 PM and still without a flight home we were both in good spirits. We stopped by the Delta Crown Room with the intent of getting on the wireless connection to find a hotel. However, when we were checking in, we explained our dilemma to the agent and she started poking around looking at flights.
Meanwhile, Larry and I, apparently not tired of each other, did our usual bantering and joking around.
“Are you related?” the agent asked.
Larry, showing the salesman in his blood, replied, “No, but we can be!”
She did some mysterious typing and he and I yammered on, finding plenty to laugh at.
And then suddenly our agent printed out something. She couldn’t get us on a flight that night, but she did get us two totally free rooms at the posh Sheradon (which sported fancy schmacy flat screen TVs). Do you know how many cancelled flights I’ve had? I’ve never been offered a free hotel…ever. This “Victoria B” from Delta certainly did not have to do that for us, especially considering our delays were weather-related, but she did anyway.
It was a nice treat. Though I have to wonder– if we had approached her with entitled attitudes and grumpy demeanors, would the results have been the same?
BPP and ATL
Circa 8 PM, Larry and I were seated next to two anxious college students who were trying to get to Wichita. They both had job interviews the next morning. I noted one was carrying The Boondocks: Public Enemy #2, so we started talking about The Boondocks. From there, the conversation meandered, Larry and the other student joined in and the four of us managed to entertain ourselves while our respective flights continued to have delays. After a little while, I brought the conversation back to The Boondocks.
“Do you know who Huey Freeman [one of characters in the cartoon] was named after?” I asked the college student.
“Huey Newton!” I said proudly, but noticed the kid’s eyes did not register. “Do you know who Huey Newton is?”
“Sure,” he said, “He’s a musician, right?”
Heh. Nice try. I explained Newton’s role with the Black Panther Party and then I moved on to why I mentioned it. I think about Huey Newton a LOT at airports. Why? He has marvelous passages on the act of waiting. Wrongly incarcerated, Newton spent a lot of time waiting in jail. Whenever I am stuck at an airport, I think about the conditions Newton had to wait in and how much he excelled at capitalizing on the time. Does this concept sound familiar? I’ve mentioned it twice before on this blog– both on posts covering an airport delay.
Huey Newton, waiting in jail. Now, is waiting at an airport really *that* bad?
Anyway, I shared my insight about airports, waiting, and Huey P. Newton with this kid. He nodded and stared. Other than that– silence. It is safe to say I failed to inspire him.
My uninspiring Huey Newton monoloque wasn’t the only Black Panther Party reference at Gate 32B. With all the delays, cancellations and confusions, there were a lot of gate changes. Earlier in the evening, Larry and I got to play “Gate-Pong” between Terminals C and D. Late in the evening, an older gentlemen wearily wheeled his luggage into our gate area. He was just about to find a seat when a gate change was announced for his flight– all the way in a different terminal.
“WHAT?!?!?!” the man yelled. “Uh huh. No way! WE PROTEST!!!!” He shoved his fist into the air and all the passengers in the surrounding areas cheered. It was almost as poignant as the 1968 Olympics. Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Frustrated Flyer.
Deal with the Devil?
I may have done something unwise with my free time at the airport. Or maybe exceedingly open-minded. Larry likes to declare he hates Ethopian food. How many times has Larry actually eaten Ethopian? That would be zero. So I like to get on his case.
“You can’t judge it, until you actually try it.” I’d nag.
Well at one point, one of the college students was talking about Ann Coulter. I said something and suddenly Larry and I had our roles reversed.
“Have you ever read one of her books?” he asked.
I stammered and tried to cite other encounters with the author, but he had none of it.
“Well, you can’t judge her until you’ve read one of her books.”
So I went into attack mode, “Oh yeah, what about Ethopian food?!?!”
Our conversation continued and as the college students watched on, Larry and I settled on a deal. He will go to Ethopian twice and in return I…uh…will read one of Ann Coulter’s books.
I think I’ll end up winning in this deal though. I’m pretty darn sure Larry will end up liking Ethopian.
Friday, Larry and I returned to the airport to catch a morning flight to Roanoke. We loaded up on free Starbucks (Soy Green Tea Latte for me) and sat down at the gate. Soon a man my age approached me.
“Excuse me, this is going to sound like a weird question, but are you Vicky Sawyer?”
The question did not seem that weird at all. My maiden name is, in fact, Vicky Sawyer. I wouldn’t have recognized him on my own, but once he said something, I could place him instantly! He was an old BBS friend from high school.
And so, my second wait at Atlanta airport went by quickly. After all these years, there was plenty to catch up on. Before I knew it, my 28 hour journey home was ready for its very last leg.