It’s a strange phenomenon, really—when you really want to be sleeping, you simply can’t. And, when you’re trying to lie still and not move a muscle, suddenly everything itches and you’ll probably die a slow and painful death if you don’t scratch those itches in places you didn’t know existed.
Such is the case with me tonight. And, for the sake of my poor husband, getting up at the crack of dawn, I removed myself to the living room and settled myself there to scratch away and ponder life.
After successfully dragging Tucker off of our cozy, super-sized Lovesac (which has basically become the most overpriced dog bed in the world) and spending an hour battling him in his unsuccessful attempt to win back his sleeping quarters, I finally decided to do something useful.
Life, as usual, has been crazy. For the last week, I’ve been catching up on all of the
work I missed while on vacation the previous week in sunny Southern California, where I caught up with family and saw my younger brother graduate from college. Upon my arrival back to the office, one of the receptionists quipped, “You know, you never really ‘take time off’, you just borrow time from someplace else.”
Oh, how true she is.
Nevertheless, I did have a great trip to California—that is, after I was done dealing with the airports. One could go on and on, bemoaning the world of air travel…but there’s no sense in giving myself premature ulcers.
I did have an excellent idea while standing behind a clueless middle-aged man, shuffling along in what appeared to be shoes that were popular before I was born.
After standing in the security line for over half an hour and listening to the same message drone over the loudspeaker roughly nine thousand times (you know the one–something to the effects of, “All liquids must be 3 ounces or less and in a clear container, all metal and cell phones must be removed from your body, and all dynamite must be stowed in your checked baggage”), we finally inched our way up to the security conveyor.
No stranger to travel (I’ve been flying solo since age 12), I whipped off my shoes, tossed my cell phone and watch into the basket, and had my purse onto the table before you could say, “Frequent flyer miles!” The security guard even raised one eyebrow, he was so impressed by my efficiency.
However, my lightning-fast maneuvers were to no avail. I was still second in line, behind Mr. I’ve-Only-Flown-Once-And-It-Was-About-One-Hundred-Twenty-Three-Years-Ago.
With pure, incredulous shock, I watched this nearly extinct Travel Dinosaur crack open his suitcase right there, on the actual conveyor. Deaf to the promptings of the security guards all around him, he slowly peeled back his piles of clothing to reveal—I kid you not—full bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, and a razor.
A razor. At the airport. Did he forget what century he’s in? Did he think this was the Wild West?
On the spot, I decided that the airline world needs a makeover. For too long, passengers have been jumbled together and expected to put up with each other’s foibles—even the things beyond stupid, like those people who still think they can bring full-sized snow globes in their carry-on luggage.
We need a highly efficient organization system—one that sorts people into categories, based on their proficiency at air travel.
Those who fly on a weekly basis can earn a level 1 card, which entitles them to no-nonsense treatment at the airport—they can fly through check-in and security, and board the plane first since they don’t need three hours to find their seat and stow their carry-on bags in the overhead compartments. Another name for this particular level would be “I brought my brain with me to the airport today.”
Those who fly pretty regularly can earn a level 2 card, and cards would progressively continue down the line. At any time, someone who demonstrates consistent speed and efficiency in their airline travel experience can obtain a higher level card. And, conversely, anytime you do something stupid—like try to sneak a machete into your purse—your card drops down to a lower level, and you have to earn back your elite status.
It’s genius. Admit it.
Now that I’ve shared my revolutionary, world-impacting plan, there’s really not much to say about my vacation. It was blissful. I always enjoy people-watching in Southern California, the land where most people wear shoes more expensive than my monthly rent payment.
I did get attacked by a bird at an outdoor mall—I suppose that’s noteworthy. And when I say attacked, I mean malicious and repeated dive-bombing and subsequent entanglement in my hair.
I hate birds. I may be one of the only people in the world who can claim to have been pooped on 4 times—3 times on the head, and 1 time in my armpit.
I know, the inevitable, “How is that possible?!”
I’ll tell you how: I sat under a tree for two hours last summer, reading a book. Upon completing a chapter, I leaned up and stretched my arms above my head for a fleeting second. Instantly, I felt the warm spatter hit my underarm, and heard a blackbird cackling with glee and soaring away.
I hate birds, and clearly birds hate me, too.
Well, in retrospect, it could be worse. I could have nearly cooked my pet ferret to death in a hot car.
Yep. That’s precisely what Tyler and I saw this weekend, after popping out of a Walgreen’s.
A woman wearing a cowboy hat and dragging on a cigarette climbed into the gigantic pickup parked next to us, and sat smoking her cigarette and drinking her Diet Coke (a true picture of contradictions). We were looking up directions, so it took us a few minutes to catch on to what she was doing.
When we finally looked up, we noticed her absolutely bizarre behavior. After being in the store for quite a while, she had apparently cranked on the air conditioning (it was about 90 degrees out), and was holding her albino ferret up to the air vent.
It’s one thing to leave your pet ferret in a car.
It’s a whole different thing to leave your pet ferret in the car when it’s 90 degrees out.
And it’s complete lunacy to think you can re-freeze your poor pet ferret after leaving him in the car to cook to death, like a pint of ice cream you can just pop back in the freezer after it got just a little too melty.
I don’t know how that woman can sleep at night, with animal cruelty like that on her conscience.
(Please, draw no conclusions between my insomnia and Melted Ferret Lady…)
Well, after recounting these odd-but-true stories, I think it’s about time for me to try this sleep thing again. I’m thinking I might have better luck now—I removed the half-destroyed plastic Nyla bone that I’ve been laying on for half of the night now, and the Lovesac feels much more comfortable.
Maybe I’ll dream happy fantasies involving efficient security lines, birdless skies, and well-cared-for ferrets….
But, I must be honest here, Melted Ferret Lady wouldn’t get a Level 1 Air Travel Card from me.