As you might imagine, after 1.5 years of campaigning, I’m physically and mentally exhausted. That means they’ll be no column today!
And even though I’m thrilled that our new Kane County States Attorney will finally set that office straight, I’m equally saddened by Tom Hartwell’s, Terry Hunt’s losses, and Dave Rickert’s likely loss. Their “replacements” are going to be a collective nightmare because they can’t even begin to handle those jobs.
Given that fascinating combination, we’ll get to The First Ward’s eagerly awaited election recap on Tuesday. But fear not dear reader! Here’s the August 27 passage from ‘The Diary of a Curmudgeon’ to keep you entertained until then!
August 27, 2020
One of my favorite people (we curmudgeons have our favorites), and dance teacher extraordinaire, queried her social media posse as to the efficacy of flying in the plague era. Unable to resist the opportunity to launch into one of my favorite rants, I proceeded to explain exactly why flying sucks thusly!
You see, I refuse to fly under almost any circumstance because it’s become an absolutely miserable experience from start to finish. To put that vast loathing in perspective, I’d rather have to clean 50 Porta-Potties after a three-day outdoor bean and onion burrito fest than darken the doorway of a Boeing 737.
The fun starts with those always accommodating TSA agents eagerly awaiting the opportunity to pull out the latex gloves at the slightest perceived provocation. You don’t dare even sneeze loudly. And I can only begin to imagine how often those male agents direct my friend with her well-honed dancer’s physique into one of those full body scanners.
Having survived that ordeal, now, it’s time to head to the most distant and overly crowded gate at the airport where the flight you arrived two hours early for is now running two hours late. And let me tell you, there’s nothing I’d rather do in this life than sit on a hard terminal seat for four grueling hours with 140 of my new best sweaty friends and their ill-manner progeny who’ve never been taught how to behave in public.
When you finally get to board the aircraft, now you’re forced to contend with the beyond bitchy sky waitresses who firmly believe they’re the latest iteration of the second coming. And when I say, “sky waitresses,” I particularly mean the male variety who couldn’t spell the word “hospitality” if you spotted them ten letters.
The last label you can hang on a curmudgeon is “sexist” because we view both genders with an abundantly equal amount of disdain.
BTW, I would not refer to them as “sky waitress” to their face unless you want half a pot of hot decaf coffee “accidentally” poured on a rather delicate area. Sky waitresses don’t have anything remotely resembling a sense of humor.
Once the battle for overhead bin space that makes MMA cage mage carnage seem tame by comparison is mercifully over, and at least two or three passengers are caught trying to sneak their support porcupine on board, we now sit motionless on the tarmac for another 38 minutes with absolutely no explanation for the delay. Perhaps the co-pilot couldn’t miss his afternoon nap.
Then you suddenly realize if you’re anything over four-foot, three-inches tall, there’s no possible way to get comfortable with your knees sitting squarely under your chin. And if your forward seatmate decides to recline theirs, now you’ll have to hold your breath for the rest of the flight.
If you’re in a window seat and looking for real entertainment, you can watch the baggage handlers purposely switch luggage trains with the adjoining plane as they proceed to hurl that gear into the cargo hold like an angry drunk Irishman trying to win a hammer throw competition.
If there isn’t an plane-wide brawl over a passenger’s refusal to wear a mask, the plane gets unceremoniously jerked out of the gate only to inexplicably taxi through 98 percent of the airport as the pilot seems to insist on taking the scenic route to the runway. Three hours and forty-eight minutes after the flight was supposed to depart, you’re finally airborne.
It’s at this point that the general demeanor of my fellow passengers tends to instill the kind of confidence that makes me wonder what could possibly go wrong with overserving them Absolut in a thin aluminum tube hurtling at barely subsonic speeds through the upper reaches of the atmosphere.
Let’s not forget the inevitably howling infant, or better yet, infants, who’s already-half-in-the-bag parents are totally oblivious to their ear pain while the rest of us slowly develop a rather fascinating case of PTSD and a hearing deficit.
Once the plane reaches cruising altitude, the pilot does his damndest to hit every last patch of turbulence the co-pilot can possibly point out, and no matter which direction you’re travelling, a serious headwind further delays your already four-hour-and-twenty-six minute late arrival.
If you aren’t diverted to another city by a slow-moving squall sitting directly over your destination airport, you’ll circle that field for at least thirty-six minutes as they feverishly try to find an open gate. It’s as if they’re surprised the plane just dropped in unannounced.
And no flight would be complete without a harrowing crosswind descent culminating in a bone jarring touchdown where the pilot clearly bet the crew he could set off every device in the local earthquake monitoring facility.
Despite the sky waitresses’ stern admonition to stay seated until they open the exit door, the rabble rises up in a tangled frenzied mass setting off the kind of luggage avalanche that knocks out two old ladies and at least three small children. Now it’s the dash to the door where the jockeying for inches makes the mosh pit at a Sex Pistols concert look like breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Finally freed from the accursed aircraft, it’s time to find the appropriate baggage claim belt that’s invariably buried in the bowels of the basement prefaced by a large sign reading “Abandon hope all ye who enter.” And if they do manage to come up with the correct flight’s luggage, your now badly battered valise will surely be that last one out of the chute.
So, as you might imagine, my advice to my favorite dance teacher was, “Don’t fly!