Not long ago, I was obligated to drive to Tampa and retrieve my younger brother at the big ass coliseum of an airport in Tampa. Bro was down visiting me from Georgia because we‘re brothers and one of the regulations in life is that you have to visit your sibling throughout your lifetime, or until one of you goes senile or liberal, then it won’t make any different anyway. I don’t like airports, don’t go to them and usually don’t even like to blog about them. That said, I continue....
I had rather get a full body massage in a biker bar than go to any airport. You see, I hate the ritual of going through security and getting my body ravished by an under paid, 250 pound Puerto Rican woman with thick glasses. As a rule, I have always enjoyed playing ‘find the salami’, but, at least there was some kissing evolved. At the terminal it’s more like ‘find the bomb’, no kissing involved. Not that these folks would recognize one even with a lit fuse!
Anyway, I started my ordeal by parking my car in Lot ‘Green-22-level 3'. On my walk from my car to the terminal, I had enough time to compose a six movement symphony in my head and then review all 180 episodes of Seinfeld. When I finally reached the termina, in the next county, I was willing to pay the five dollars for a beer at the preflight courage lounge inside. Then I started my mile long trek down the corridor of hell until I finally reached the security violators. I squeezed my 300+ pound carcass through their ‘Zircon Molecular Ray Booth’ and then, as soon as my bone screws set off the 'INVADER ALERT BUZZER', they directed me to a holding area where Gabriela awaited with her electronic prodder. Taking into account my size, it took a while....my ass alone required three passes of the device. I removed my well worn Dockers and they were hurriedly searched for napalm. Old Dockers tend to emit vaporous years of foot fatigue and rubber gloves are not a guarantee from flipper fungus.
I was told to raise my arms in the event I may have hand grenades hidden under my arm pits. As Gabriela smacked on her worn out chewing gum, I knew she was staying alert to the fact that she may have to take me down at any moment and at least that possibility was a turn on for me! Once she had given me the once over and declared me IED safe, I was then free to put on my fondled Dockers and continue my journey to gate #44, another three miles away! I rode for a few blocks on a moving sidewalk that groaned and whinned under my weight like a dogpound puppy. It also gave me motion sickness. Then, along with a gyrating school of tourist sardines, I poured into a mini transit train that propelled us closer to our gate destinations like a high velocity speeding bullet.
After I jumped off the Kamikaze express, I ran into a McDonalds, (yes, in the airport!) to use their restroom to throw up. Ungirgitated....I continued to walk. I then passed gate #40, I was almost to my destination. Unfortunately, gate #42 had just unloaded a Delta 747 from Cancun. The sunburned and hung-over passengers passed me like a herd of bewildered survivors. I stood against the corridor wall and allowed them all to pass with their bundles of souvenirs, sombreros and AK47’s with Welcome To Mexico, carved on the stocks.
I finally reached gate #44 only to see the overhead monitor showing my brother’s flight was 30 minutes late, (that’s 90 minutes in real time). I turned and headed to Ruby Tuesdays, (yes, in the airport!), for another beer or two or whatever, I don’t remember now. Later, only by luck, I saw my brother staggering pass the restaurant and I ran out to meet him. He had already consumed a few mini bottles of flight courage. I embraced him and then took him back into the establishment to down a few. We then wandered around this human fishbowl looking for the hidden exits when we stopped at Pizza Hut for pint and a bread stick. In time, we finally found a way out and then proceeded to the wasteland known as temporary parking. As we sought out my car on the green level, we had to stop twice to take a whiz. Once on the tires of a Fiat, and then on the license plate of a BMW from the District of Columbia. Both accounts brought back fond and pleasant memories of our youth and Dad's car. Finally, after locating my car, I paid the parking ransom and then drove us to Hooters for a pitcher of beer and a pile of wings. Later, after a few pitchers, or whatever....we got back into my car and I swerved us home. As soon as we staggered in, we kicked back with a couple of brews and started to debate about immigration and extraterrestrials. All of a sudden, my brother bolted upright like something was gnawing out his sphincter and shouted.......“My friggin suitcase!!”