the problem with airports

Thursday, May 28, 2009 |

I was reconsidering my blog sub-title yesterday, thinking that I hadn’t posted about an un-lucky event in quite a while.  This will end that streak, for sure.  Not that I want to keep experiencing the quirks and failures of life, per se, but they are often amusing to write and read about. Example: spilling something on yourself is much more interesting (and funny, if not fun) than eating a meal faultlessly.  Slapstick humor wins every time.  And works in all languages.  But I digress.

I may have mentioned previously that I don’t have a car.  I do have a scooter (broken, and it’s been sitting on campus for about 6 months now…), and I’m a member of a car-sharing program.  My day-to-day transport consists of a mix of my own two feet and Atlanta’s MARTA public transit system.  So it’s been strange and wonderful to have Lincoln and his car visiting for the last while.  I was able to offer friends rides to the airport as opposed to begging for one.  Refreshing!

I took one friend to the airport on Monday without mishap, and was asked if I could drive a second friend (let’s call her Canadia for the purposes of this story) to the airport this morning.  I was duly warned by friend #1 that Canadia had problems with airports.  Or not with airports exactly, but with arriving at them in a punctual manner.  So knowing this, friend #1 advised me to get to Canadia’s apartment early, and make sure that packing and getting ready were going smoothly.  Canadia and I agreed that I’d pick her up at 10:15am (for a 12:05pm flight), and so accordingly I arrived at her apartment and 9:40am this morning.  Called her cell phone.  She didn’t pick up.  I tried again 5 minutes later.  Still no answer (I started wondering if something was wrong).  I left a message.  Waited 10 minutes, thinking that maybe she was in the shower and/or not expecting me quite that early.  Still no Canadia.  I sent a text.  10am rolled around.  I started texting and calling Canadia’s friends to try and find out her unit number, thinking that perhaps her phone had died, the alarm clock didn’t go off, and she was still in bed?!  (And thus banging on her door would be helpful and not nervous/crazy).  I was imagining going to all of the doors in her building at this point, and asking if they knew where she lived…and meanwhile I kept calling every 3 or 4 minutes. 

The first few texts back from her friends weren’t helpful.  Cue full-blown panic.  I got out of my car and alternately paced and called Canadia’s cell.  10:15am passed.  10:20.  10:23…my heart stopped.  The phone RANG!  It was Canadia, and she sounded groggy.  Ah ha!  I thought to myself, She’s woken up and we can still make the flight.  Here’s a lesson, kids: don’t EVER count your chickens before they hatch, even for half a second.  Canadia’s end of the conversation was as follows: “Cecelia, I’m SO sorry!  Where are you?  S*%&.  I’ll be there in a couple of minutes.  I’m leaving now.  I’m so sorry!  I’m going to cry, Cecelia! (end call)”  What the eff, I thought to myself, is happening?  10:44am, a cab pulled up outside Canadia’s apartment and disgorged the passenger in question.  She was apologetic, frantic, and somewhat incoherent (ya think?).  I took things in hand.  She had boxes that needed to be transferred to a friend's for safekeeping, bags to finish packing, and a sub-let to finalize.  I’ll have you know that I had her packed up, changed and into my car by 11:01am.  We raced to the airport, more apologies and explanations were given along the way (I’m not going to tell THAT story…but suffice it to say that there might have been consumption of a fermented liquid depressant involved, with a dash of dropped phone for good measure?), and I promised that I’d stay in the area in case she didn’t make her flight and needed a ride back in to Atlanta.

Well, not to spoil the ending or anything, but she didn’t make her originally scheduled flight.  She may or may not have gotten on as a stand-by passenger on the flight a couple of hours later.  And I’m still waiting for confirmation that Canadia arrived at her final destination.  But my part in the story is over.  I’m not gonna lie, while it was happening it was equal parts annoying and silly.  But everyone messes up, right?  I certainly have.  Nice to know other people are human.  And the annoying bit just fizzles into humor as soon as the apologies are offered and accepted, so it’s really just a good story for posterity.  Or blackmail.  Hee!


Really Old Guy said...

so...what's her "real" name? You got the movie rights? What a character!

Ginny said...

i loved this.

cannot believe all the fun stories (or shall we say, interesting instead) you have... they're great and i love how you make me laugh every time.


The Clothes Horse said...

Oh man, this is why I have people drive me to the airport and not the other way around...

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