On Monday it snowed.
Because of course it snowed.
I didn’t do much on my last full day in the UP. I had lunch with Kim, Dean, and Jourdan, then pretty much just sat around for the rest of the afternoon until Kim, Jourdan, and Jenni stopped by to bid me farewell.
Tuesday morning I went out to pick up some cigarettes so that I wouldn’t have to when I got home, and to gas up the rental, then I headed up to the airport earlier than I really needed to do so. It’s always difficult to determine how much in advance you should get to the airport there. It’s a tiny place, so it’s not like you have to do a lot of running around to get to your gate or anything. I mean, walking through the security area ends in you being at your gate, as there’s just the one.
However, sometimes it’s surprisingly busy. Such was not the case on Monday, but even so, they do tend to want you to go through security and wait at the gate well before your flight, so it was just as well.
It only took about an hour to get to Chicago, and, given that everything was on time, I had plenty of time to get to my gate.
While I was in Chicago I saw this guy who was dressed exactly like one of the preppy bad guys in some sort of college, the kind about lovable slackers who manage to pull together and win the big-whatever-it-is they need to stay in school/graduate/win back the girl while staying true to their quirky, non-conformist values.
That was the only notable thing that happened on my trip back, really.
We actually landed at Dulles 20 minutes early, but it took forever for us to actually get to our gate, and it took me even longer to get to baggage claim, since some dumbasses on the escalator decided to just stand there and block everyone, even though if they’d taken even just a few steps we all could have made it to the train back to the terminal before it left.
So I had to wait for the train to come back. That delay, and a million other little things – like how long it takes people to place their carry-on bags in the overhead bins – which I won’t list in detail, served to rekindle the spark of my hatred for my fellow man, and provide a title for this series of posts.
I mean, it’s not like the fire of my hatred for people ever goes out, but there are times when it just flares up beyond its usual slow burn. It’s kind of like how I know, at all times, that I love Black Sabbath, but it’s only when I’m actually listening to Sabbath that I remember how much I love their music.
So basically travel has that effect on me when it comes to how much I hate people. After all, while things like weather – as it did on my flight out of VA – can have an impact, as can mechanical failures and whatnot, the majority of the delays and frustrations associated with travel are caused by people.
From the stupidity of the people who run airlines and somehow are unable to make a profit while doing so, making them do stupid shit like charge you for luggage, which cascades down to the stupid people who try to cram everything they own into carry-on bags that have no chance of fitting into the bins*, and who then stand in the aisle, struggling in vain to force them to fit while holding up dozens of other people, who will turn around and do the same thing to the people behind them, to the dumbass terrorists who want to use planes as engines of destruction and lead to the stupid security requirements….basically, it’s human stupidity all the way down.
And the thing is, as Louis CK would point out, flying is amazing. It’s a testament to human ingenuity. Why can’t people be smart like that all of the time, or at least most of the time? Why is it that every brilliant thing we accomplish has to get buried under a pile of stupidity?
Anyway, that pretty much sums up my trip to the UP. When I returned to work on Thursday, people kept asking me “How was your trip?” I didn’t really know how to answer. The weather was mostly terrible, the travel itself was a huge pain in the ass…but it was good to see my family, I was very proud of my niece, and, despite it all, it was good to be away from work for a few days.
I think the best answer I could manage was “It was complicated.”
* Edited to add forgotten footnote: The thing that really gets me is the insistence on using the overhead bins, as though using the space under the seat in front of them would be a fate worse than death. I suppose it could be a comfort issue if you have longer legs than the stubby little stumps that carry me around - I tend to need more shoulder room than most people; leg room generally isn't an issue - but even so, there comes a point when you just have to acknowledge defeat.