Rant 17: Kiri, Universal Tour

Written August 20th, 2010

 

Oh shit, more updates.

Well, it's been two years so I figured I needed another vacation away from the dick heads I deal with on a daily basis. For a repeat trip I headed back to New Hampshire to hang out with Mael and Xer for a week, which as expected was pretty kick ass. While the
vacation itself was enjoyable, as expected the flights and lack of were proof that the airline industry did not deserve the bailout back in 01.

We start our magical tale on Tuesday, June 29th. Sitting in the single waiting area at our local alleged "Airport", we're supposed to
depart for Houston at 4:45PM, emphasis on the phrase "supposed to." At about 3:50PM an announcement comes over the intercom saying there is a delay for maintenance, and we are to leave an hour later than previously
predicted.

I didn't think it would be that difficult to have a scheduled maintenance every once in awhile, but what the fuck, that'll still give me five minutes to make the run. Nothing really new here. Apparently some power at be understood this, and cause the sky to cloud over. This causes everyone in a uniform to collectively shit their pants. The desk grunt
deals with some college professor who says he HAS to be there by 5AM and threatens to drive
to Houston and demand a refund, she says he might still make by car it if he left now. He immediately backs down.

While Tropical Storm Alex is still three days away, the cardboard cutout refereed to as a
plane remains grounded for fear of getting the wings wet. Sure you can dry cardboard out, but
anyone who has ever worked with it will tell you it's never really the same after it gets
wet like that.

This held us at the airport for another two hours. Now there is no way I'm going to catch
my Houston flight, my vacation has been fucked before it even started. Now comes the
apologies and attempts to make amends. I get a voucher for the Marriott(A Hotel) and $12 off
of anything in the Houston food court. I figure it could be worse. The Plane leaves at
7-something, we arrive in Houston at 8.

I make an attempt to figure out where I need to be the following day to catch a flight to
Boston, no one knows, including the Departures boards. I suddenly miss the Ogre from last
time.

Heading for the food court, I am met with a disappointment I shoulda have expected, everything's closed. well, everything except a
golden arch, one that almost removed my hunger.

Now, I have a $12 voucher that I can use once, and two choices. I can A) Use it now and starve tomorrow, B) Say "Fuck that Jazz", and buy two meals, then eat one cold tomorrow I choose B. I quickly do the math, and buy a Big mac Meal, and a Nugget Meal coming to $11.56. The Big Mac is tonight's meal, and it tastes like Mayo covered, foam rubber. I head to the Marriott.

Under the terminal is a small subway-ish train that runs between the terminals and the Marriott On this is a "No Food or Drinks Sign", so I condense space and mass itself to fit tomorrow's meal into my laptop bag. I head into the Lobby and the man from the
Onion's Franz Kafka airport video waits on me. While I have a voucher, he still takes my credit card number for "additional charges." I realize it's one of those $5 for bottled water kind of hotels. The Voucher is for $57.99 a night, so it isn't exactly a cheap hotel in
the first place. I'm in 207. I step onto the full elevator and hit the (2) button, it asks me for the key card I got at the desk. I insert the card into the slot near the buttons, it asks again. I take it out, turn it around andre-enter it. It asks a third time, dropping off the riders on the 1st floor. I politely ask the robot-lady "What the fuck do you want from me?" She asks for the card again. I finally get it to accept the card as the 2 button lights up. The elevator starts moving again, and it goes to the 3rd floor to spite me. Someone else gets on and the 2 button goes dim. I say "Oh, fuck my life." and scan it again while the guy next to me giggles. She asks another six times before the whore of a computer woman takes me to my floor, then we go to to the lobby, THEN to my room.

When I unpack, I have mashed my fries back into a single potato, which I eat half of.

I swear as I look for Cartoon Network on the TV, then see a binder on a side table. Looking through here I see a tab for internet, and decide it would be a good idea to update Mael on my progress, since I haven't spoken to her since the Victoria airport. I think they mis-
used the word "Complementary" when describing the internet. Normally that means free, and they ment as is "Complements the room." I say fuck it and go to sleep.

While my alarm was set for 5AM, I wake up at 4 and decide that the little hum it calls a wake up tone wouldn't wake me up if it was played through a stadium intercom. I take a shower, almost afraid to use the soap since everything in the room costs extra. I step out of the shower and miss the floor, giving everyone an early wake up call as I shout "Shit Waffles"
on the way down to the tile.Linoleum is one thing, but what the fuck possessed someone to tile a floor they know
will get wet in smooth marble? That's like building a urinal on an electric fence.

After my unexpected trip, I decide to go to the airport and check on my flight. The new updates have been set on the departures screens, and now knowing that I'm not going to need a place to sit for another four hours, I return to the hotel to give them my key card.
As I hit the Bottom floor button named "Subway", there is a hint of malice and frustration in the computer woman's voice as she calls out my floor.

When the plane pulls up at 7:25AM, I board and get set next to a woman about my age with 3 kids. One is being a noisy little bastard, so
her and him trade seats. Her poor life choices are my problem through the rest of the flight.

A week later I am back in Boston. Mael drops me off at the airport and I proceed to the front desk to get my tickets, then go through security. The line I end up in is run by the loudest black woman I have ever heard, and a white guy that appears to be in desperate need
of a cigarette. She's shouting at some Indian guy that's trying to explain to his mother that her bracelets will set off the metal detector, and that she needs to take her shoes off. Once the shouter runs out of breath he has enough time to convey the message to her
and she quickly complies. I take off all of my electronics and set them in a bin, and my laptop as well.

"Did you take that outta the bag?"
"Yeah, the bag's on top."
"That ain't gonna work! You're gonna get
stopped!"

She turns to the rest of the line and loudly yells. "Don't do that! You'll get stopped."

The guy running the x-ray glared at her like he wanted to ram his fist down her throat and
said. "It's fine, the bag's not lined in lead." She shot him a "Fuck you" look, he
couldn't have cared less.

Just as an insertion, this is how I've been told to do it in every single airport I've been at. I think she just needed to get laid, BAD.

I take my stuff as she eyes me like I had a bomb strapped to my balls, and I get my crap then proceed to the terminal. AS the flight boards I see 4-5 people lined up against the wall near the entrance, a security guard says "please come this way sir" and brings me over to them. They others consist of every Indian and Asian person on the flight, and one white guy with a Captain America Shirt, AKA, me.
Apparently someone doesn't trust Steve Rogers after the whole Civil War thing.

They go through our luggage while I play my PSP, only stopping when the guard can't
re close my bag. I repack my stuff and get onto the plane.

The flight back home is uneventful.

We pull into Houston and I check my ticket. I'm in Terminal E, and need to find a way to
A. Doing what any reasonable person would, I follow the signs. An above ground automated
train appears to be the quickest way, since above the door to it is a sign that says "A B
C." I take the train to C, then to B. Everyone gets off and B, and I sense something isn't
right. Not as in "Danger", but more like "Someone isn't doing their job, get ready for
a fuck up." The Doors begin to slide shut and the crawler above the door says "Next Stop:
Terminal C." I dart through the door, entering terminal B. Apparently no one changed the
fucking sign.

I look around for some hint of what to do next, and see a small "Ground Transport to A" sign, then follow it. This was the correct set of actions, and I end up in Terminal A 30 minutes before my flight is supposed to board.
I take a seat and wait 50.

We are supposed to take off in 10 minutes, and have not yet boarded. My "Everyone is fucking incompetent" sense goes off and I get ready to approach the desk. As I do she picks up the intercom mike, hesitates, then puts it back down. "Excuse me, are you all waiting for flight A7?"

I stop and nod, the other 10 people follow suit. I already know what has happened, and prepare to call my ride to tell them I'm getting delayed.

"It looks like there are some...maintenance issues with the plane. We were going to delay the flight for two hours but..."

But? What the fuck is "But?"

"But the flight crew didn't want to stick around, so the flight for tonight has been canceled.

REAL fuck'n classy guys. I don't think you were supposed to tell us that either.

People quickly swarm the desk. Some guy starts loudly bitching about her not doing her job, while his family backs him. She explains that
they are willing to call a cab for us, and while this sucks, I think it's a lot better than staying at the fucking Marriott again. The other guy does not. "A cab?! What?! Unacceptable! Get that plane working, and let's go damnit!"

She offers him a voucher for the Marriott, which he says he doesn't want to be stuck in Houston all day, but still wants a refund
along with the cab ride. She says she can't do that, he continues to fight with her.

Tired of seeing grunts pushed around by irrational dickheads, I turn to him."Nancy, quit yer bitching. They're giving us a ride, take it or leave it." He turns red and the lady at the desk hides a grin. She starts printing out a voucher and says "We can seat 6 to a cab, Steve-er, Sir, would you mind being with this group?"

She motions toward the guy I had just told to shut up and I say "What the hell ever, as long as I get home." The guy immediately asks for
the hotel voucher. She prints it and he rips it from her hand then storms off. She holds the other voucher in her hand and looks at me
next. "So is this other group fine with you?" I look to my left and notice that the other "Group" consists of five 18-26 year old women.
I say "Sure." She hands me the voucher and clears her throat. "I'm going to give your voucher to this guy." She turns back to me.
"Take these people to baggage claim 4, and hand this to my supervisor."

I turn toward the others and physically strain myself not shouting "Avengers Assemble!", then immediately regret not doing it.

We make our way down, and find another group waiting for us. We take two different Cab-Vans and I get to ride back home with a bunch of chicks. My Captain America shirt is not a good conversation starter.

I actually get back to Victoria at about 11-something PM, the cab fair came out to almost $300 if I remember right.