Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Delta Delta Delta, Can I help Ya Help Ya Help Ya or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Being "Off the Grid"

Let's start this blog off the way my sister Melissa would start off EVERY school paper and or speech during her entire scholastic career:

"Webster's Dictionary defines a jackass as a male donkey or a stupid person. I can certainly think of another way to define jackass, Del LeFevre. Throughout this essay I will compare and contrast..."

Killer opening! Thanks Melissa.

On to the blog. I've managed to be quite less of a jackass of late. Sure it's taken a lot of work and it has required me to throw a bit less caution to the wind. The end result being less blogs. I've been quite neglectful. Some blame would certainly have to go to my purchase of Rockband. It's kind of a big deal in the 621 Strand Studio. Mind you I'm God awful. Let's chalk that up to my gypsy lifestyle over the past two months. Ok I'm throwing excuses on top of excuses here, let's move on.

I, and the God damn airlines, must have subconsciously realized my blog laziness and rewarded my sloth-like behavior.

As I've stated in the past I'm a kick ass traveler. I haven't gotten up out of my seat on an airplane since August of 2001. That's an amazing feat in and of itself. During that time period I've cultivated a zen approach to flying. Nothing bothers me. Kids screaming? Fine. Fat people pouring over the seat? I'm okay. Old foreign married couple about to dig into two week old foreign leftovers? Enjoy. Nothing rattles me.

On December 30th, I realized I was living a lie. You see all those flights I'd been as healthy as a horse. This flight not so much. Since coming back to NY, I'd been going out more and drinking for longer periods of time (old friends and later last calls = Drunk Del). This had my immune system on the ropes and of course the day before my flight I got trashed for the Giants game. I headed to the terminal with my customary 2 hour window of prep time. All good. I had a layover in Cincy. No big deal. One hour in Cincy wouldn't kill me. In Cincy, the gate announced that the flight was oversold and they'd offer a $400 voucher for anyone who changed their flight to a morning flight. Obviously, a free hotel would be included in the deal. Seemed like a good deal but I had two concerns...
  1. Hmm, if I didn't stay the course I thought my luggage would end up lost for sure.
  2. My pals John and Annie were preparing to pick me up from the airport after they landed. They were currently on a plane of their own so I could not call off the airport pickup. (Compounding point two was the fact that my blackberry was on its last legs for battery...so there was no guarantee of getting a call off when I landed.
I had to pass. It seemed like the most logical thing. What occurred next was the perfect storm of traveling fiascoes.
  • The flight was delayed.
  • I was a middle seat between an old fat man, and a younger fat man. Said younger fat man may or may not have had some form of tourette's and LOVED death metal. The only thing he loved more was air drumming to the death metal...while sweating. A LOT!
  • Hairspray was the in-flight movie.
  • The old man had an old man bladder. He was the inside seat. That meant a lot of up and downs for me. This required me to interrupt my neighbor's killer drum solo. Even more troublesome was the constant up and down. It was like Satan tempting Jesus in the desert. Getting up and into the aisle. Normally this wouldn't have an effect on me but...
  • Due to turbulence they were not serving drinks for the ENTIRE fucking flight. I was sick and hungover and my throat was torn to shit. I just needed a little water. I cracked and went into the bathroom and splashed water into my mouth from the low pressure sink. It was a low point. That is till I forgot to lock the door while i was urinating. I blindly slammed the door back shut when someone tried to come in mid stream. Sadly the invader was a tiny toddler with his dad. I crushed the toddler's hand. I had officially lost my zen. Thank God that kid and his angry father were not sitting near me.
All and all a terrible experience. My ipod and my book were little to no solace. Chubby's death metal was overpowering them. I made it through the flight in one piece but I think I looked like Walken at the end of "The Deer Hunter." It seemed as if the worst was over.

I was wrong.

My friends got delayed and would not be able to pick me up at the airport. Worse things could happen I thought as i waited for my luggage.

and waited.
and waited.
and waited.

After sitting at the baggage carousal for an embarrassing amount of time I went in and reported my baggage missing.

So lets go back to Cincy. Remember I passed on getting a free flight voucher and a hotel room because I was concerned about losing my luggage and screwing up my pals. Now I was in San Francisco with no ride and no luggage. Freaking sweet. I headed out to the Super Shuttle and waited to get to The Marina. While waiting, my friends called and said they'd be ordering pizza. I was beyond excited as all that I had during the day was some dirty ass airplane tap water. I literally had nothing else. Sure enough I was the last person to be dropped off. As the van began to approach the apartment I started to text my pal to buzz me in. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the pizza guy getting buzzed in and like a ravenous third world peasant I ran for him. All dignity was officially out the window. I shared my miserable story with John and Annie over some pizza and then went to go charge my phone.

"Hmm...I was kind of in a daze when I came here. I definetly had it though. I wonder where i put it." I said this over and over until I realized I was so excited about the pizza that I bolted out of the Super Shuttle mid text and left my blackberry on the seat.

My name is Del LeFevre, King of the Jackasses.

It was now 3am EST and I was without clothes, a toothbrush, or a phone. Good times. I called the shuttle dispatch office and gave them a timeline of the events and my buddy's number where they could reach me. At this point all I wanted to do was sleep but my buddy INSISTED he show me how sweet "Mario Galaxy" was for the wii. For the record, watching someone play Wii while you're dying of misery is "sweet!" He finally gave up and went to bed and I was able to hit the couch and do the same.

Not 15 minutes later his phone rang. This is what I heard:

John: Hello
Mystery caller: rlkrmkmrk korjgorjnmro
John: Hello
Mystery Caller: gmklrmgrkl lrmfklgmrkl
John Who is this?

Mind you it CLEARLY says "Del LeFevre" on his caller id. It could've really only been one person, my old friend the shuttle driver. I have to take some blame as in my tired haze I forgot to prep my buddy on the driver's thick African/Chinese accent in the off chance that he called.

At this point I felt like George Costanza yelling "Vandelay Industries!" because I was powerless to save the call. I knew it was the driver trying to do the right thing but having a hard time with the language and my friend's lack of help. "Hello. Hello, Who is this" could easily be translated into "Don't ever call here this late ever again or I will have your ass deported!. "

The driver hung up. I got the phone from John and tried calling it back but it was now going to voice mail. The driver was terrified. Rightfully so.

Good times. I did get my luggage the next day so it wasn't a total lost cause. The phone is still missing in action. I'm currently suffering through the early stages of withdrawal from text deprivation - Heightened by my choice to stop smoking cigarettes. (I really embraced the smoker lifestyle in the last few months of 2007. Classy!)

NYE was real solid. The band, which consisted of members of Vertical Horizon and Stroke 9, did a killer cover of the theme song to "National Lampoon's Vacation." I know, I know. Reading that sentence it doesn't add up, but you had to be there. The place went nuts.



note: My one hour flight on Jan 1st was delayed four hours. No phone and a dead laptop forced me to use a pay phone. I now have ear herpes.

note II: I saw this down in "The Mission". Genius really. Who wouldn't want to order some spicy chicken and broccoli with a few glazed donuts on the side

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