Long And Grueling


Wednesday February 23rd, 2011 – Grand Cayman Island/Atlanta, GA/Houston, TX

Another long grueling day in transit, and it was everything I’d expected –  especially the long and grueling part. I knew it was coming so I put my brain on cruise control and let it all play out without fighting it. I knew I’d be waiting in lines all day and dealing with any number of various imbeciles, morons, halfwits and dingle berries. I was prepared for war.

This is the part of the business nobody ever expects, and it becomes bigger as time goes on because it’s a constant part of every day. The lines I waited in today I’ve waited in lots of times before on lots of different trips, but they don’t mean anything today. That’s what makes it so frustrating. I know I’m not a terrorist, but they insist on checking me anyway.

There was a port change this week due to foggy weather, and I ended up having to get a flight out of Grand Cayman rather than the originally scheduled Montego Bay, Jamaica. It came on short notice, and the office had to change not only my flight but several others as well. That has to be a nightmare, but they always come through and work it out somehow.

I give them major props for pulling it off, but the ship’s office accidentally printed out a travel itinerary from Montego Bay. Honest mistake, easy to do. Too bad the Immigration officer in Grand Cayman didn’t see it that way. He must have taken twenty minutes to get my paperwork done, then quizzed me numerous times as to why I was flying from there.

There were people behind me in line, and they weren’t thrilled to have to wait, but I did everything the guy asked including opening my bag three different times for a plethora of agents to ransack my soiled funky grundies looking for weapons grade plutonium, animal porn, subversive documents or whatever else they were scouring for. They found nothing.

Then it was to the cab, and it got stuck in traffic just as the air conditioner blew. We sat for half an hour sucking exhaust fumes and getting soaked, but there was no alternative so why bitch? It’s freezing in Chicago, so that’s what I focused on as my genitals stewed in a hot humid tropical trouser gravy that made me want to jump out of the cab and hoof it.

The rest of the day consisted of  typical dealings with the security apes measuring all of my liquids to make sure I wasn’t going to shaving cream somebody to death and fondling my inner thighs looking for either a bazooka or the financial records of Hosni Mubarek.

And, on three flights I didn’t have anything close to an attractive woman sit within five rows of me. I got a snoring grandma, a surfer dude and an Asian lady with her baby but at least it didn’t scream. It did fill a diaper, but it only smelled bad for a few minutes before she politely went into the bathroom and changed it. I gave her a wide smile of gratitude.

I don’t have my cell phone this week so I had to find first a change machine, then a pay phone and call the hotel to send the shuttle, which they miraculously did considering their phone person spoke little English. All in all, not a horrible day. I was mentally ready for it and now it’s over, but not really. I have to be up for a 7am shuttle to start it all over again.

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