As I stood in line in the LAX restroom listening to the continuous, synchronous, automatic flushing of dozens of toilets, I marveled at the efficiency of airport management. Notwithstanding:
- Southwest Airlines’ canceling my return flight three hours before departure, after I’d declined a drive back from L.A. to San Francisco with Luenna—so I could get home faster,
- The airline rebooking me in one of five remaining seats on a flight that “should” leave “only” two hours later,
- Standing, standing, in line for two hours before the flight, in boarding group C, to protect my stake,
- Hearing the chirpy attendant sing out over the speaker system that they had overbooked and would offer $100 and extra peanuts to ticketed passengers who would (willingly) forfeit their seat,
- My increased anxiety, there in boarding group C, as they upped the ante to $300 fifteen minutes before boarding which had already been bumped back an hour—not because the plane wasn’t ready to take off.
Luenna beat me home.
I think the curse that follows people born under a technology-crossed star extends to travel. How else to explain my pumping gas into Luenna’s car midway into our drive and advising her that, yes, we were ready to sprint to L.A.…with the gas pump nozzle still attached?
Well, weren’t we just the most exciting thing that ever happened at that 7-11 store? And didn’t we provide entertainment for all those hairy men in their muscle shirts lined up to buy beer? Which is probably why the store owner didn’t charge me to reconnect the hose to the pump. Or maybe her jaw was just locked open.
Ah, if only travel to and from NSNC conferences would go half as smoothly as our events. Which flow as smoothly as the plumbing at LAX.