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travels home

Finally arrived home in NJ Tuesday after not being home since August. I stayed in Columbia until yesterday because I filled in a few live truck shifts. Otherwise I would have flown home Sunday. But anyway, I flew out of KC to Newark, and took the MO-X shuttle so I could leave my car at home. I’m thinking this was a bad decision despite near-exhaustion from lack of sleep the night before. I got on the MO-X at Gateway and changed buses at their terminal on Providence and the Business Loop. I boarded the bus and was surrounded by old women. I thought, “uh oh.” I have nothing against old women, but I was NOT in the mood for making conversation. I wanted to put on my Springsteen Live in NYC on my noise-cancelling headphones and sleep for at least 45 minutes. So when the guy with a Bluetooth headset, enormous backpack, and walking cane steps into the bus, introduces himself, and tells everyone he has a laptop to check “traffic and weather for the whole trip” you can imagine how irritated I was. He then told folks he was a former Navy SEAL (the picture of him is included with this post) had “friends in NASA”, and then asked the driver to plug in his portable charger to the power outlet in front. So upon departing Columbia, he began making small talk with just about everyone. I was basically asleep by the time the Mo-X accelerated onto I-70, and slept til about milemarker 75 (a good 30-35 minutes). I was awoken by the same man blathering on about his computer’s internet connection and the old woman behind him horrified of missing her flight she’d be arriving for 3 hours in advance. I was forced to endure this background talk as my Springsteen blared on in my headphones. Of course, instead of taking I-70 through downtown Kansas City to I-29, the Mo-X takes I-435 around the entire city to the airport. It adds a good 30-40 minutes to the trip because apparently they’re afraid of getting stuck in traffic – in the middle of the day, no less. Line of the day came at this point – the man pointed to his computer screen and said “We’ll be out of this rain in 2 minutes!!” 2 minutes later, it was still raining, and he looked very disappointed. Anyway, he got off at USAirways (a completely different terminal) and I was one of the last to get off at Continental.

I ate lunch at the majestic Budweiser Lounge while being tempted by the fine alcoholic products available at 12:15 on a weekday. I didn’t have any, but any later in the day I may have considered some. This, and going through security remained uneventful. Upon sitting at my gate for a while, a Continental employee got on the PA and told travelers the “aircraft’s lavatory light is not working, and the pilot doesn’t want to take off without that because it’s a 2 hour and 15 minute flight, so we’ll try to get it fixed, worst case scenario we’ll either fly with no lavatory service, or change aircraft.” I’ve never heard of that happening before – the lavatory light not working – and the fix seemed incredibly simple (change the bulb??) but what do I know, I’m not an airline mechanic. So they had us move to the gate next to ours, the plane to Houston, while the Houston passengers moved to our plane.

So all that goes on, and I get on the plane content to sleep again. We took off and enjoyed a relatively uneventful flight until about halfway through when the small child in front of me began 1) singing constantly 2) telling its Daddy to “DADDY LOOK THE WINDOW WON’T CLOSE”. This eventually devolved into the child singing one line from “Joy to the World” on repeat until the door opened in Newark. Of course, the parents didn’t do anything and seemed to think their child was just bringing JOY TO EVERYONE!!

Hardly – they would have been more joyful if the kid had just shut up! UGH!!!

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