Thursday, June 16, 2005

Bahamian Rhapsody - Part 2: A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Gate B-29

I enjoy airports. I especially like to check out ones I've never been in before when the opportunity presents itself. My latest travels took me through three: the large and well-appointed Minneapolis / St. Paul airport, the gigantic and extremely nice Atlanta airport, and Nassau International.

The first word that popped into my head upon leaving the jetway at Nassau's airport was "junta".

But the story I wish to tell takes place in Atlanta Hartsfield on the return trip. Since I was still recovering from a heroic effort to finish off a 750 ml bottle of duty free Cuervo Especial the night before to avoid having to sneak it through customs, some of the dialogue may be made up to fill in gaps in my memory. However, the most shocking event - the central thrust of the story - actually happened.

LearnedFoot: OK, or connecting flight is at gate B-29. Where are we?

Mrs.Foot: E-16.

LF: Looks like we've got a long haul...

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LF: Hey look! There's a train that can take us to the B concourse!

Mrs.F: Hun? I just spent four days sitting on my ass drinking foo foo drinks. I need the exercise.

LF: *sigh* Fine...

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Mrs.F: Here's the B concourse. Now which way... [her glance catches the Delta departure screens] Hey! There's a flight to Minneapolis that leaves an hour and a half before ours. I bet we could get on that one standby!

LF: Sounds great! Which gate?

Mrs.F: A-36

LF: It's in a different freaking concourse????

Mrs.F: Yep. Let's go.

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LF: Good thing I only have second-degree sunburn on the tops of my feet...

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Mrs.F: There's the gate.

LF: There's no gate attendant.

Mrs.F: [To a passing employee sporting a Delta uniform] Excuse me? Can you help us?

Delta Employee: No. Your gate attendant is in the jetway. She'll be with you shortly.

[Both LF and Mrs. F peer down the jetway, seeing the gate attendant standing there, watching people disembark. For 5 minutes. Finally she comes to the counter.]

Gate Attendant: Can I help you?

Mrs. F: Yes. We're on a later flight to -

GA: We're full. Can't help you.

LF: Ooooookaaaaaay. Back to the B concourse for dinner and beer!

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LF: [digging through his pocket, he pulls out some change] Check it out honey! I got a Minnesota quarter in Nassau! I haven't gotten one of these yet!

Mrs.F: Wow! That sure has an attractive design. Does the beauty of our lakes justice.

LF: Sure does! I'm glad it isn't one of those crappy designs that has a picture of some rock on it. I sure wish there was a way I could express my positive view of this quarter's design, while at the same time pissing off hicks in one of those sparsely populated rectangular states.

Mrs.F: Alas, since we have been out of touch with the world for the past few days, I know of no such outlet.

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LF: Here we are at the B concourse again. Now to find a watering hole for a beer and some grub. [Looks around] Ah. There's a sports bar. I'm sure that place will have a wide variety of cool, refreshing malted beverages which can slake my primal thirst.

Mrs.F: Let's boogie. I'm thirsty!

[Our protagonists find an open table and sit down]

Waitress: We're out of beer.

LF: Wha- fra- uh- er- WHAT????????

Waitress: We have no beer.

Mrs.F: You have got to be kidding me!

LF: What, is the manager a moron or something? A sports bar that has no beer?!

Waitress: Yeah, she's a pretty big doofus. You could try the TGI Friday's just over there, or there's another place like this at the opposite end of the concourse.

LF: Thank you. We'll try that.

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[Long story short: 30 minute wait at Friday's, and the "other restaurant" packed full. Our protagonists return to the "sports bar"]

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Mrs.F:[to waitress] OK we're back. We'll have two Absolut-tonics, please.

Waitress: You got it hun.

LF: I have to go to the john. I'll be right back.

[3 minutes later, LearnedFoot returns to the table to find a bloody mary sitting there]

LF: WTF? I don't want a bloody mary. I want something refreshing, like a V-T. Were they out of Absolut?

Mrs.F: No, they're out of tonic water.

[LearnedFoot downs the bloody mary in 5 seconds flat]

Waitress: Are you ready to order?

Mrs.F: Yes. I'll have the chicken Caesar salad.

LF: I'll have the chicken fingers with honey mustard.

Waitress: You're in luck. We have those.

LF: Thank God for small miracles. [glancing at the bar, LF notices a solitary bottle of Smirnoff Ice just behind the bartender] Say, do you have any Smirnoff Ice?

Waitress: Yeah, we got tons of it. Nobody ever drinks that shit.

LF: I'll have four, please.

Waitress: You got it.

LF: [noticing the large, expensive-looking and idle HDTV behind the bar] How come you don't have ESPN or something on? Isn't this a "sports bar"?

Waitress: It doesn't work.

Mrs.F: I'm not surprised.

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