LJWorld.com weblogs At Random

Third Rock Labor Day Stockholm Experience


Boise, Idaho - City of Trees. I had no idea how beautiful Boise would be this time of year never having visited there before. I'm told it's even prettier in the Fall when the extensive varieties of trees put on their spectacular showing of Autumn colors. Small town atmosphere with big city amenities. The beauty of Boise and a chance to visit with relatives I've always wanted to get to know better made for an excellent Labor Day getaway. Well, there was that Stockholm airport experience.


John Lithgow as he boards a plane out of Salt Lake City. John, if you need a new manager, please give me a call. Did I tell you I have a great idea for a movie that would give you a starring role?


Traveling standby via buddy pass from Kansas City to Salt Lake City to Boise was a breeze. My cousin Janelle and I were put in first class and served a delightful breakfast of muffins, cereal, fruit cups, scrambled egg patty and choice of beverages - yeah, even the hard stuff. Our flights were on time and we scarcely needed to freshen up once we arrived at our hotel room in Boise. But the trip back became a twilight zone experience of one missed flight after another.

Airport personnel decided to kidnap us (I know better than to use the word hijack) before we left the Boise airport. Our plane was delayed by several hours which caused us to miss any and all connecting flights leaving Salt Lake City. I was headed back to KC and Janelle home to Tampa, Florida.

STOCKHOLM technique: First sleep deprive your victims, next offer a variety of high caloric foods to make them feel as though they are well cared for. Give them the false hope that they can get a seat on an outgoing flight. Then strip all hope. Their mouths drop open in disbelief as their names, once high on the list of standby hopefuls, drop and dive into the pits of hell. We, the victims, move like zombies attempting to find any seats in the freezing terminal that don't have an arm rest so we can lie down and sleep for even a short period of time. Enter the spies who begin to descend upon us - they vacuum around our legs, lifting my belongings to get a clear shot at some perceived crumb beneath me. I fear they are trying to steal my computer and iPhone - my only means of communication with the outside world. Then loud voices in speakers tell all 'other' people to begin boarding their flights.

Now food again - Krispie Kreams are buy one get one free and a fresh batch of Cinnabons has just come out of the oven. We are being treated so well. More spies to test and torture us. George from New York is actually leaving on a flight out of the airport even though he was on the same flight to Salt Lake City we were on. He wants to hug us goodbye as though we were his long lost mother. At this point he looks familiar enough that he very well could be. Then Zakhttp://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/sep... - who tells us he is the 7th child out of nine - from Alaska tracks us down and begins talking about how much he hates President Obama and that he has just bought a three million dollar home on the hillside of Los Vegas for a half million dollars. We are wondering why he doesn't own his own plane.

Janelle and I are desperate now and discuss how we should fly from Salt Lake City to San Diego, California so we have a lengthy flight and a place of comfort to sleep. We come to our senses after we buy a buddy pass to do just that. Janelle spots a flight to Atlanta that looks like a winner for me to get an open seat to KC around eight the next morning and one for her to Tampa. We decide to do that instead.

Sitting in the terminal, our last chance out of Salt Lake City and watching for our names on the standby list to clear. Some fast talking businessman decides we are trapped clientele and he begins a lengthy hyper speech about a new, healthy form of coffee that he is selling. He pulls sixty dollars out of his pocket and continues to scream into Janelle's face.

" What does J. O. B. stand for? What does J. O. B stand for. You can have this money if you can tell me what J. O. B. stands for!"

Janelle is obviously in better form than I and replies, " job, job!" Then he turns to me (did I mention I have been laughing hysterically for the past fifteen minutes - sleep deprivation and sugar do that to me) and I say, "Jovial Opportunity for Business, " or some such nonsense. The answer btw in case you're ever cornered by this psycho and need some fast cash is 'just over broke'.

His name is called and he is forced to board the airplane. Janelle's name is called and she declines because she won't leave me behind (I can't say I would do the same for her). With seconds remaining the attendants tell us both to get on board and we run to the back of the loaded plane and take seats - very close to Mr. Coffee.

KCI is a small, beautiful airport. I know my way around there so well. I take a shuttle to my car and begin driving freely down the open highway, long hair blowing in the wind, and an apple turnover tucked beside me. I begin to wonder where Janelle and I'll go on our next trip. The airlines really treated us nicely!


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.