Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rusty, crusty, banana, fana, fo, fusty

One word accurately describes my current travel expertise.

Rusty.

My road-warriorness needs a little polishing.

This week finds me in Ohio, driving to West Virginia. It is cold, frigid and icy with a lovely wind that freezes my nose hairs.

It is so cold and icy that my manager and I upgrade to a four-wheel drive vehicle, the Ford Expedition, not an Explorer, an Expedition. It is huge, bigger than my first apartment. I found a family of four living in the back. And since I’m staying in the mid-west a little longer, it is in my name. I’m driving.

It’s a far cry from the Malibu Max with no seat warmers. My tushie is still cold.

I dropped my manager off at the airport yesterday afternoon. His last words to me were, “Don’t forget to fill up the car before you drop it off tomorrow. This thing’s a beast. I can’t imagine what Avis would charge us for gas."

I laughed. Of course I would remember to fill it up! I’m an ex-road warrior driving an Expedition from Ohio to West Virginia and back again. Of course I’ll get gas, Really, what kind of rookie does he think I am?

I took my time getting ready this morning. I had a two mile drive to the airport, my flight was at 10:00, all the time in the world, easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

8:50 I pull the behemoth Expedition into the Avis lot and jump out. I have enough time to get a latte’ before the flight

As soon as the attendant got into the car to check the mileage, it hit me. I never filled up the Expedition.

A couple of choice words filled my head. “I forgot to fill it up,” I said to the attendant, “how much do you charge for gas?”

“$7.50 a gallon.”

This time I murmured my choice words. It was 8:55, I had an hour, could I do it? I couldn’t turn in a receipt for $200 in gas, I just couldn’t.

I zoomed back out of the Columbus Airport, the Expedition in full speed, searching for a gas station. 20 gallons later, I triumphantly hit the button for a receipt.

The machine mocked me “Please see attendant for receipt.”

NOOOOOOOO. I became one of those rude, business travel people barging into the Conoco, requesting a reciept. I needed an ass pass. Sorry World

9:10, back in Avis lot. “Hello Miss. You made it back!”

I grinned at the attendant and rushed to Security.

I’ve heard a lot about the new scanners at Security and haven’t given them a whole lot of thought. I now think they are awful. You stand in front of the machine for 70 seconds with your hands above your head while your body is being scanned. You are then escorted to a ‘holding area’ while they review the scan.

You can only imagine what this does to the security line.

My precious minutes slipped away. What would be worse, I didn’t get gas or I missed my flight because I did get gas? Neither option was appealing.

I made it to the plane, boots still in hand as they were loading seating section 4. I thanked the travel gods for giving this rusty flyer a break.

In the plane, I asked a man if I could move his jacket over a bit to fit my bag. He didn’t say a word looked at me like he would rather kick me in shins and took his jacket out of the overhead.

“Oh thank you so very much sir. I really appreciate your help.” I said to him giving him my best syrupy smile.

He said nothing but continued to glare at me, perhaps hoping I would self-combust.

I gave him a wink and thought bite me.

I sat back and felt the plane heaving into the air, catapulting 120 souls off to Chicago.

What a funny, funny world.

5 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Your good humor is admirable. The whole travel thing is a joke --

Deana said...

This was just the funny read I needed today! Happy travels! You'll be back to a pro in no time!

Jim said...

I meant to send you directions to the nearest gas stations around the Columbus rental car return. It can be a little tricky especially in bad weather or during construction. Sorry. Travel is like riding a bike, a few more trips and you will be on top of your game again. Among other things you will check for the nearest gas station as you start out from the rental car lot. Washington Dulles, Kansas City, Dallas and even La Guardia are easy because you practically drive through the gas station to get out of the lot. Columbus, Atlanta and Seattle are tricky but not bad once you have done it. San Francisco, Baltimore, Newark and Boston require planning.

Lowrie said...

Oh yeah, fun, fun, fun!! Last Saturday 12 hours in a plane. Four hours sleep in 48. Fighting for overhead space. Seat changes when we are ready to walk down the jetway. Customs. Immigration. Video monitor that keeps losing its color. 212 mph headwinds. Gotta love traveling!! But, getting to see family and shopping at Target makes it all worthwhile!! lol Stay safe, Heather!!

Amanda said...

The damn Midwest...sugar I am happy you made it home. Best part was helping send you off :)