Saturday, November 25, 2006

Even in the post 11 Sep 19732001 World, Miracles Occur at Airports

by Ken Houghton

As I may have mentioned, I sent the wife, children, and m-in-law Southbound Monday morning, having classes and work commitments until Wednesday morning.

Slept three hours of the next 48.

End result was that I made last-minute edits to a file at 5:45a.m.—and forgot that Excel saves large files extremely slowly as a matter of memory management. And the company VPN had thrown me off the system hours before because it needed to do an antivirus update. "I love technology; it's MSFT I can't stand."

Interim result: at 6:15, I'm desperately burning a CD, calling the boss, and e-mailing a ZIP file from my home account to work (which requires a few workarounds).

End result: I leave home around 6:30--for a 7:45 flight.

Worse, I forget how far long-term parking is from the modified Newark Airport and decide not to spend the extra ca. $50 parking within monorail range.

Consequence of the action: arrive to check bag ca. 7:18—past the time limit.

BUT the courteous Continental attendant asks where I'm going. "Orlando." Her eyes widen a bit; no one has given that answer in a while, I'm certain. "7:45." She cuts me to the front of the line; the bag is checked late, but checked. I don't know how you're going to make the flight, though, she said.

"Begging and pleading," I tell her honestly.

I have forgotten that Wednesday is not Monday, but that air traffic those days is reversed Thanksgiving Week.

I go to the first security attendant, telling him the truth, having learned The Lesson of Josiah Bartlett long ago. He puts me through the crew check-in line.

I make the flight, running the length of the C corridor at Newark in untied shoes, almost four minutes before they are scheduled to close the cabin door.

Pictures to follow tomorrow.
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