Travel Ninja Part II

A few years ago I wrote a piece called “The Travel Ninja”.  Oddly enough I had occasion to re-read this post just a few days ago.  I’ve been subbing a lot of classes at work.  In those periods I’ve taken to going through all of my blog posts starting at the very beginning.  It’s like a trip through my memory for me.  I’m quite proud of the work I put forth.  That’s a good feeling.  Anyway, this piece was about my knack for stealthily getting in and getting out when it comes to larger-than-life travel escapades.  Monday night I flew to NJ to see my mom.  This morning I flew home to Texas.  Today, for the record, is the busiest airline travel day of the year.  I was not phased.

At 3:44 this morning I awoke to find my brother-in-law standing over the couch where I was sleeping.  He had come to wake me so I didn’t miss my flight which was booked for 6AM.  Although I appreciate his kindness he scared the hell out of me.  So startled was I that as I was opening my eyes my right leg jerked high in the air and came down square on the coffee table.  This might have been funny except that several items bounced right onto the floor.  Fortunately everything was OK.  My niece Katie had also stayed over so that she could drive me.  I grabbed my things and we went to the car.  I instructed her to go first to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts so we could get some coffee.  I know that at 4 in the morning most people sound strange but at the DD on Broadway in Newark, NJ things sounded downright bizarre.  We placed our order at the drive-thru.  Then we heard the following in a deep, almost meddlesome voice: “You come to window.”  No please, no total.  Katie and I started laughing and then supplying what we imagined his follow-up phrases would be.  “Then I kill you” topped our list.

We made it to the airport in good time and as I was getting out of the car I handed her a five dollar bill.  “Buy yourself something pretty,” I said.  We both laughed at this one.  It was intended to go toward a pack of cigarettes as her driver’s fee.  I walked in, checked in, and headed to security.  The good folks at Terminal B at EWR decided to play a practical joke on me.  Used to be that passengers could see the magnetometers and nudie-scanners because they were out in the open right on the concourse level.  Being able to see them meant that passengers could also see how long the lines were.  Now, instead passengers walk through a first checkpoint for ID.  I did this in no time and continued down a hall thinking I had beaten the long lines that are the nightmare of this travel day.  When I rounded the corner I realized that I was now in some kind of humongous hall with a snaking rope line.  Twenty minutes later I was stepping into a glass tube machine and giving some TSA worker the show of his or her life.  Needless to say I got my plane.

And it didn’t take me to Texas.  What do you expect for a dirt cheap fare purchased the day before?  An hour and a half later we were descending into Minneapolis.  I have a brother who lives in the Twin Cities and yet we could not meet up because my layover was only 40 minutes.  So sad.  But I did text him and say “I’m twenty minutes away from you.  Enjoy your life day.”.  I boarded my flight to DFW and headed home.  My wonderful wife and kids met me at the terminal and we headed home for our last minute preparations.  We had family coming over for a Thanksgiving Eve game night.

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