Wednesday, November 1, 2006

My Departure From Chicago

I was in Texas for a majority of last week. I got to visit family in friends from Dallas, to Austin to San Antonio (yes, the ususal I-35 pilgrimage was in effect). Overal, it was a good trip but much too short.

I do have to thank the millions of runners successfully jacking up traffic in Chicago by holding a marathon on the same day I was to leave. Getting to the airport was fun since I had to pick up Jill from volleyball tryouts at UIC which happened to be surrounded by the marathon path. The line of cars to get onto the highway was at least 4 blocks long and very slow moving. So, in my infinite wisdom, I attempted to find a way around the path and use side streets to get to I-55 to head to Midway. That was fun too because we must've been stuck behind every junk truck, slow moving 9 passenger van, and stoplight heading down 18th street. I wondered, "Why am I manifesting this for myself?!"

I eventually did get to the airport in the nick of time. After checking in at the counter, I was 10 minutes passed the board time to get onto the flight! DOH! I hit Security as quickly as possible, scanned my bags, shoes, belt, jacket, and boarding pass (I heard from the Administration there's an explosive paper that can be used by terrorists. I just wanted to do my part to show that ATA was being a good, corporate citizen of the good ole US of A by scanning my e-ticket printout!) in the X-Ray scanner while the attenedant was busy chatting away with a girlfriend ignoring the potential dangers in people's luggage. I dressed again and walked quickly to the terminal to just find out the incoming flight was delayed by 30 minutes which then made my hasty arrival at the gate 10 minutes early. DOH! So, I chilled out, called Jill to let her know I made it in time, and waited.

I boarded onto the plane a short while later and headed to my seat. I noticed there was a rather large man and his family occuping the entire row in which I was to sit in. I then scrambled to find my ticket stub and saw 17D written on it. I've been in situations before where my seat had been sold to two different people so I didn't freak out. I leaned over to the chap and said, "Excuse me. I hate to bother you but it looks like we both have the same seat." The gentleman seated was busy playing with his Treo when I started talking to him. Annoyed, he looks at me through slanted eyes and says candidly, "I'm sitting in my seat. 18D".

Taken aback by the attitude, I said, "Oh, really...I must've been mistaken."

He then proceeded to look up and check the numbers on the overhead bins and he realized he was in the wrong seat. He started fidgeting quickly. Looking down at the floor he said, "I'm sorry. These numbers ain't written quite right."

I then glanced at the fact he had a wife and baby with a car seat sitting the aisle with him. So, I placed my hand on his shoulder and said, "Dude. It's alright. It was an honest mistake. I'll just switch with you if that's alright. It's easier for you to stay there."

"Are you sure?" he asked still trying to get up from his seat.

"Yeah, bro," I replied. He smiled and sat down and now was much more interested in the oncoming passengers to ask them for a switch for the other two seats. I busted a couple of jokes with him to ease the awkwardness of his plight.

The plane took off and I fell asleep to the sweet sounds of my iPod.

Currently listening :
By Monte Montgomery
Release date: By 15 June, 1999

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