Thursday, July 14, 2011

Epic battles

On Tuesday, He Who Shall Not Be Named says "your husband and son may not board their airplane." Dumbledore says "in these dark days, we must remain ever vigilant against international child abduction."

Darth says "your husband and son shall be trapped in Germany." Obi-wan says "they avoided Newark--the Force is with them."

Sauron says "that'll be $560 to rebook the flights." Aragorn says "no price is too high to bring the halfling safely home."

Arawn says "stay away from the airport lest flames rise from your vehicle's air conditioning belt." Gwydion says "the Sons of Don shall lend you a car."

Thor says "humidity shall swell thy 1992 Walker organ and 1982 Kawai grand and make the pipes cipher and the hammers stick." Brünnhilde says "neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor the winds of change, nor a nation challenged, will stay her from the swift completion of her appointed practicing."

What next, what next?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Home again

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Newark anymore...


Oh wait, here's a redeeming thing about the Newark airport: you get to feed toxic muffin crumbs to pigeons at the gate. Lucky pigeon didn't even have to take off its shoes to go through security.

A blogger in the armpit of airports

I have given Newark International multiple opportunities to offer me something redeeming to write about it, but I fear it is the armpit of airports. That's being generous. Even the helpful airport employees agree this is an awful place. "Oh no, ma'am, not in July, nuh-uh. You don't want to fly through Newark in July."

Want to check your bag? Stand in that line over there. Once you reach the front of the line, you'll be told you need to go to that other line, over there. From there, you will be sent to another line in a different terminal, where they will pull you out of your next-in-line spot and tell you to sign in at the kiosk, over there. When the machine tells you your data is invalid, the cranky people-mover will tell you to stand in this other line, over here. No, not that one for our elite customers, the one to the left for the plebes. When you finally reach the front of that line, and they say, "oh, I don't know why they keep doing this, they shouldn't be sending you over here, you need to go back over to the other terminal," and you burst into tears and say you can't take it anymore [sob], you've been back and forth between both terminals multiple times [sob] over the past 12 hours and [sob] you can't stand in any more lines because [sob] no one in this airport knows what they're talking about--why, then you will be sent to another line.

But now, having cried, you know how to work the system. You skip the other line, walk to the front of the elite counter and burst into tears again. When the bored employee (totally unfazed by your outburst because she sees people crying in the Newark Airport all the time) says she doesn't need to see your boarding pass, she just needs $25 for the suitcase, and you sob that you f*cking aren't going to pay for the suitcase that was supposed to be checked in for free, she will say, "well, I didn't know you were coming from somewhere else. Let me see your boarding pass." Then, rather than doing things properly, she will pretend your 51-pound suitcase is an infant car seat so she can print a free sticker for it, which doesn't exactly make you feel confident about airport security.

Speaking of airport security, plan to be shocked when a male TSA guard makes an offensive joke to his female coworker because she will shortly be asked to feel up an overweight elderly woman ("look at that bulge," he mouths, smiling, raising his eyebrows, and pretending to wipe his hands across imaginary love handles). Instead of calling him on it (because surely you will just burst into tears again, plus you don't want him to decide to interrogate you), you ponder how much money this man managed to bring in when he sold his soul to Satan.

Ah, now you have made it through to the gate. You are hungry because you haven't had any breakfast. Look at all of the overpriced, plastic-wrapped, preservative-infused muffins and bagels for sale at the "Whole Grains" shop, and pine for the fresh baked Semmel you recently mocked Germans for loving so much. Settle on a scone, then burst into tears when the cashier asks, "may I help you?" When she says, "I hope the rest of your day is better," realize you've finally found something to appreciate in Newark.

Curse you, Continental Airlines, curse you!