Monday, November 17, 2008

Hurry Up and Wait

“Welcome to New Yawk…we’ve decided we don’t want you to leave.”

And so begins our quest for some Florida sunshine, which we are definitely not going to find on this dreary-fog-filled morning. As I write this, I am one of maybe 200 people attempting to pass the time, so we won’t focus on the fact that our flight is now delayed for three hours.

That’s three hours, people.

Most everyone’s chatting it up on their cells, or reading…of if you’re me, you’ve got your feet propped up on your incredibly-overstuffed carry-on bag and you’re typing away…whilst trying to simultaneously prevent your top-heavy bag from falling over and tipping your laptop monitor just so to avoid the glare from the fog surrounding the entire borough of Queens and possibly the entire Eastern Seaboard.

That lady in the blue blazer was on the 8:30 flight and they’ve been here for three hours and her plane is coming from Atlantic City and twice they tried to land here and were turned away and she’s DONE and she’s OVER THIS and this airline SUCKS. The lovely couple next to us are heading to Lauderdale for a wedding and “Thank Gawd it’s not till tomorrow…” (said in a dramatic Long Island accent.) Evidently, our flight to Lauderdale is coming from…Lauderdale. What this has to do with anything (other than the fact that pilots may not live such a glam life after all) is beyond me.

Tonia’s doing a crossword puzzle and is only addressing me when she gets stuck on a word. Since we are of equal intelligence, I’m of absolutely no help to her whatsoever. However, if she keeps ignoring me I will start making up words just to keep her engaged…although this may only be a short form of entertainment, as she’ll be on to me pretty quick.

Every now and then, the loudspeaker crackles to life and something ominous is announced. The last time, we heard: “Anyone with a ticket to Jamaica, please come to the counter. I repeat, anyone going to Kingston, Jamaica come to the counter NOW.” Those of us in the Lauderdale cheering section shared worried glances as some uncomfortable looking people began making their way up to inevitably be told something they did not wish to hear.

Next, we heard that the flight to Detroit had been cancelled. Many weary travelers with their heads hanging low shuffled off to find an alternative means of transportation.

This is people-watching at its best…basically ‘cause there is nothing else to do. I’ve placed one emergency text to Jack requesting a quick report of what bluefly.com is, as we’d found a very risqué magazine ad that displayed a beautiful young woman, completely nude (yet artfully positioned to avoid any lawsuits)…sitting at a Thanksgiving dinner table. She’s being surprisingly, studiously ignored by her fellow diners (including a merry, possibly hammered-on-the-cooking-sherry Grandma in the background)…and is staring seductively over one bare shoulder at the camera. Nowhere in the ad does it even remotely suggest what they’re trying to sell. However, it clearly states the website…and it’s effective as hell, ‘cause here I am texting a friend to look it up. This is marketing at its most effective. Jack replies that it’s an online site for handbags & accessories and goes on to suggest that we start drinking now, and beat the crowd. He also reminds me that “what happens in Florida stays in Florida”.

That sounds pretty good to me.

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