Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2006 20:45:09 +0100 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: (void) 16 hours in JFK From: Simon Wistow
On Fri, Sep 01, 2006 at 02:42:46AM +0100, I said: > JFK is not the greatest airport to be stuck in overnight but details > will have to wait till tomorrow ... 4:30pm Am still stuck in traffic with no signs to JFK yet ... ooh, tell a lie, there's the first one. May still make this yet. 4:45pm WTF! The frickin *off ramp* to the Terminal is bumper to bumper. Consider jumping out of cab and running up side of road. Decide not to since it is bucketing down with rain. 4.50pm Run to harpy faced harridan at self check-in desk and explain situation. Am told I am 5 minutes too late. Swear that she is actually smirking when she says this. 4.55pm Finish conflicting emotional spiral of disbelief, anger, shame and morbid fatality. Remind self that one is British and should therefore keep stiff upper lip. Prepare body for inevitable forthcoming booze. 4.56pm Queue at American Airlines desk. Whistle jaunty tune. Make first attempt to phone San Fran. 5.05pm Still queuing. Stopped whistling. Try phoning again. 5.15pm Still queuing. Still no answer. Phone making sad pre-death noises. Shut it off. 5.20pm Lady at desk tells me next flight is at 7am and that there are "plenty of seats" but I can reserve one for $25. Decide that, given last few days travel woes that this is a good idea. Ask if there is anywhere I can stash bags. Am told no and given look that clearly indicates that woman at desk now believes that I am probably a terrorist. She types something on her computer - begin to get distinct feeling that breakfast tomorrow morning will probably consist of anal cavity search, over easy. 5:25pm Begin heading in direction of Terminal 4 which apparently has "all the shops". Am accosted by Joradian family who want to go there "Because we are Jordanian". Errm, ok. Tell them to follow me which they do nervously. Speculate that this is not helping me avoid Senor Assprobe tomorrow morning, especially when the husband pulls out a video camera. 5:35pm Begin to survey my home for the next 13 hours. 5:37pm Finish surveying. After careful consideration choose the bar. 5:38pm Order first drink 5:42pm Finish first pint. Order another. Begin talking to elderly gentleman en route to Ireland. 5:44pm Young guy returning to Ireland also joins in. 5:50pm Order next round. 6:05pm Woman at table over joins in. She has a flame red hair, a southern accent, nails that can only be described as talons and a smile that can only be described as knowing. Elderly guy buys next round. 8:00pm Am now what we professionals call "pissed". Wave goodbye to new friends. Contemplate own mortality. Or getting some food. I forget. 8:05pm Meander unsteadily around concourse inventorying food stands. 8:06pm Wonder if "inventorying" is actually a word. 8:07pm Crave pizza. Lurch towards S Barro. 8:08pm Change mind. Decide on "Wok and Roll!" Am a sucker for punny names. 8:10pm Order noodles with General Tso's Chicken and Bourbon Chicken. everything else looked ... underwhelming. 8:12pm Wok and Roll's slogan is "fine chinese dining". This, I can comfortably say, is a prime example of false advertising. 8:20pm 9 hours to go until check-in. Realise I should have paced myself. 8:35pm Book on the mathematics of PageRank[*] is not exactly light airport reading. Decide to buy another book. 8:36pm Book store closed 5 minutes ago. 8:45pm Sitting and staring vacantly seems to have passed 10 whole minutes. Contemplate early death as solution to current boredom. 8:52pm Planning own extravagant funeral seems to have wasted another 7 minutes. Congratulate self. 8:58pm Writing imaginary newspaper headlines (random examples - "British man found hung by inedible noodles", "Rancid meat used to spell out curse aimed at hapless airport eatery owner" etc etc) has wasted another 6 minutes. 9:06pm Find "Fun Zone" 9:07pm "Fun" zone is not 9:45pm Estimate have wasted 20 dollars playing "Need for Speed" arcade game. It is not what I would call a classic. 10:05pm Have wasted another 10 dollars. 10:07pm Realisation slowly dawns that JFK terminal 4 has no seats which aren't curved. 10:09pm Find abandoned newspaper. 10:25pm Finish reading newspaper. Am consumed with loathing for world. 10:35pm Waste another 10 minutes staring vacantly into space. Go to look for somewhere to sleep. 10:42pm Find one gate with vaguely straight benches. Unfortunately these are made out of concrete. Decide JFK was designed by a sadist. A sadist with strongly harboured desires to inflict woes on as many people as possible. 10:45pm Plot revenge on JFK architect. 10:46pm Expand revenge fantasy to include check-in harridan. 10:47pm Experience mild remorse that she was probably following airline rules. 10:48pm Get over remorse, muse on mechanics of Rube Goldberg esque device for crushing harridan using two Rhinosceri mounted onto bungee cords. 10:53pm Mentally sketch grisly death machine intended for everyone else on Freeway this afternoon. 10:57pm Realise that have been chuckling out loud and that people are staring. 10:59pm Include stary people. 11:00pm Decide that 11pm is an acceptable time to go to "bed" 11:15pm Naively felt that, even though I often have problems getting to sleep in an actual "bed", getting to sleep on an abrasive concrete surface underneath flickering neon tubes would somehow be easier. Mock self from 15 minutes ago. 11:25pm That book is not getting any easier to read. 11:45pm Fall asleep. 01:00am Wake up. Snores of Hassidic guy on bench opposite are comparable to a large yet inexplicably ill maintained aircraft carrier. 01:02am Populated by ADHD monkeys. 01:03am With maracas. 01:04am With maracas made out of wrenches which they are constantly bashing against large bells. 01:10am HE'S GOT LOUDER! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? 01:11am Include Hassidic Guy. 01:30am Fall asleep again. 02:30am Wake up again. Decide to play NfS that is situated on its own in corner, seperated from its "Fun" Zone friends. 02:31am Am horrified to find that whilst game in dedicated game zone has had speaker disconnected, one in checkin gate has not. Earn wrathful stares of fellow refugees. Experience cringeing embarassment - perhaps the most painful experience and Englishman can have. 02:35am Realise have not had a cup of tea for 4 days. Conclude that previous most painful experience has been supplanted. Marvel that is easier to get decent cup of tea up side of mountain in Scotland than in whole of United States. 02:36am Realise same can be said for decent mobile phone coverage. 02:50am Fall asleep 03:30am Cleaning crew come to, err clean. Their mini scooter cleaning thingy looks like a cross betweena a Segway and ED-209 from the film Robocop. It sounds like a million angry vacumns rising up in anger against their human masters. 03:40am Am now faced with Soloman-esque decision - try and sleep for another hour or try and stay awake for same. Opt for sleep. 03:55am CURSE YOU BODY! FOR ONCE WILL YOU JUST FRICKING FALL ASLEEP WHEN I WANT YOU TO. 04:15am Fall asleep. 04:30am Wake up panicking that have missed flight again. 04:45am Wash armpits and change tshirt in toilets. Fellow traveller remarks that there are "The nicest airport toilets I've ever been in". Shoot him stare of scorn filled pity. 04:49am Trek back to Terminal 2. Find it oddly bustling. 05:00am Automatic checkin machine refuses to accept my new ticket. Women behind luggage check desk refuse to speak to me until automatic checkin machine has issued a number. 05:01am Go on bloody rampage. Slaughter American Airlines staff and fellow travellers alike in a Woo-esque tableau of balletic carnage. A symphony of death for Machete and fragmentation grenade. 05:05am Awake from reverie and stomp towards main AA desk. 05:08am Queue. 05:17am Still queuing. 05:22am Checkin 05:27am Queue for security 05:35am Still queuing 05:42am Suddenly remembering possibility of impending date with anally fixated rubber glove wearer. Begin cold sweat. 05:44am Realisation that presence of cold sweat will only encourage The Fistinator brings on further cold sweat. 05:52am I'm through! All holes previously classified as "outholes" still retain said status. 06:07am ENOCOFFEESHOP 06:13am Consider Starbucks in leiu of coffee shop. Realise am delirious from lack of sleep. 06:18am Am engaged in conversation by large man who almost certainly goes by the name of "Bubba" who ask if I'm Australian. When I reply that I am English he nods thoughtfully and comments that "Man you have some fucked up shit with hammers there". 06:19am Blink slowly. 06:20am According to Bubba hammers are banned in the UK unless you can prove you need one. 06:21am Blink slowly again. 06:22am Posit that he may be referring to the law of "Going equipped [to burgle]". 06:23am Bubba opines that England is now practically a communist country and that we should "get [our]selves a consitution". 06:24am Smart Arsed remark that we have the Magna Carta has not gone down well. 06:30am Boarding called. There is a God. [*] Available here http://www.amazon.com/Googles-PageRank-Beyond-Science-Rankings/dp/0691122024/ When did Amazon change their url format?