my adventures at the airport

In my family I am known as Tonja Adventure – it seems like life has a way of throwing me little quirks that end up being little adventures.  Yesterday was no exception.  I arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare.  Good thing too because the security line was way long – I mean it was one of the longest security lines I’ve seen at O’Hare.  Now, the last time I flew out of O’Hare and was standing in the security line, they (the infamous “they”) decided to break the line and send those of us at the end to another check point.  When we got to the new check point they tried to send us back because we were in the wrong spot – it took some convincing and several angry passengers to convince the security person that we should be let in.  So yesterday when they tried to pull that same trick, I refused to go.  So I stood in line for 45 minutes.  But that wasn’t the adventurous thing.

I have a general rule that anytime I enter a public bathroom stall the first thing I do is grab the toilet paper.  This way I’m never left….well, indisposed.  Yesterday, I entered the public bathroom stall.  I grabbed the toilet paper and then proceeded to unzip my pants. (Don’t worry, this is not going anyplace raunchy….keep reading)  Unfortunately the toilet paper got caught in the zipper and when I went to zip back up it wouldn’t go.  So I’m standing in the stall with my big, heavy coat on, with my backpack on my back and pants that won’t zip.  (Just for clarification, I have perfected over the years the art of peeing with my coat on and backpack on and squatting….I know this is not a picture that you would choose to have in your head, but trust me, it is a useful trick.  It makes the stall time minimum as there is no toilet paper seat thing to do, I don’t have to take anything off and then put them back on and…and it makes me feel less “germy” by not having to set anything on the floor.  There you have it – my public bathroom trick)  Now, back to the main storyline, I refused to unload my backpack and coat so that I could take a better look at my zipper, so imagine me standing there jiggling my zipper until I could get it back up.  It was a close call, but I prevailed in the end.  The rest of the trip was uneventful.

I do, however have one question for you all and then I’ll announce the winner (this is a rhetorical question, so please don’t feel free to answer).  I realize that airlines people get raked across the coals sometimes because of the perceived lousy “on-time” record.  I have been a partaker in the cruelty to be had when my pane has been late.  So I understand that there is some “cushion” time built into the estimates that we are given.  Usually, my flight between Atlanta and O’Hare takes about 2 hours.  That’s what my ticket said as well.  We took off (literally wheels off the ground) at 5:22 PM and we landed at 6:42 PM in Atlanta (this is Chicago time) which means that the flight took 1 hour and 20 minutes.  That’s a discrepancy of 40 minutes.  40.  Unbelievable.  I was so amazed that when the flight attendant announced our initial approach I tried to “correct” her – we’ve only been in the air for an hour, I said.  Yes, she said, and we are now about to begin our approach and we’ll be landing in 20 minutes.  How can this be, I said, when the flight usually takes 2 hours?  There’s a cushion, she said and then turned and walked off.  A cushion of 40 minutes?  Unbelievable.

So now for that announcement you’ve all been waiting for:  the winner of the poll is:

TERYN!!!! Yeh Teryn.

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