Saturday, March 12, 2004
What idiot decided that every flight leaving Anchorage would be at 1:00 am in the morning?!? So now a person must run the gauntlet of grueling airline travel totally exhausted. What sense does this make?
To make matters worse, the first leg of the flight was an atrocious disaster. I like to sit in a window seat on the way home so I can lean up against the wall and sleep. Guess what sat beside me? Yes, a gargantuan man. As he sat down he commented, "Boy these airplane seats are so small!" He then wiggled his rump so as to force his way down between the arm rests. His right shoulder pushed into the side of my left shoulder which then crushed me against the body of the airplane. His body mass flowed over top of the armrests and came to rest against me. He was unable to sit with his legs together so he let them drop open with his right knee and leg taking up a third of my leg room. As we took off, I fumed silently, wondering why the airline lets such travesties occur. Although it sounds like discrimination forcing obese people to pay for wider first class sitting, it is also a violation of my rights to have them also taking up part of my area too. And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, the gargantuan man fell asleep. For the next three hours he snored and sweated. Unfortunately, my clothes became an unwilling sponge for his body fluids. When the stewardess came around and gave me a bag of peanuts, I was so wedged into the seat that I could not even open the bag. When I finally got off the plane, my entire left side was damp. I made my mind up that when traveling alone, I would only fly first class.
The next flight was much better and I was even able to partake of a 2-3 hour nap. The last leg was the best with the seat next to me being left unoccupied.
The best part of the trip by far was the hugs I got from my family upon my return. There was more sincerity in those four hugs then in any handshake I had ever received. My dogs, the faithful souls that they are, went berserk when I got home. Dickens, who is now almost totally blind, kept running in my leg in an attempt to stay by my side.
We spent some time swapping stories and I gave the kids their presents. We then went into the living room for one of our favorite pastimes, eating Pizza Hut stuffed crust pepperoni pizza and watching our MASH DVD collection. I was so exhausted that I went to bed at 9:17 pm, something I haven't done since I was ten years old. I then slept for 13 straight hours, something I have never done in my life.
My first week back
Monday was a fairly typical work day. Tuesday morning had an early morning blizzard which blanketed the area with 5-6 inches of snow. My employer, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base closed for the day, something they haven't done for many years. Friends told me I brought this snowstorm back from Alaska. Wednesday morning had a great deal of fog, probably caused by the melting snow. My employer, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base called for a two hour delay, something they have never done in my life. I called in sick on Friday due to a stomach virus. All told I worked only about half of my first 40-hour work week. My friends told me to be careful and ease my way back into the work place after a vacation. I guess I did all right then!
Chapter 10 | Index | Epilogue