Ahhhhh. It's good to be back. It was touch and go for a while there. I don't have internet access until the 14th, since there was a small gap between when my satellite internet ended and my DSL begins, so I'm going through information withdrawal. I had to use an actual paper phone book yesterday, for god's sake. I watched the news on television. I called a store on the telephone and asked them for directions. I felt like a caveman. Or my dad. I was about a second away from digging through my garbage and trying to find an AOL free trial disk, that's how bad it was.
I was in Cleveland for a few days, and I'm not sure exactly what was going on in that city, but there was not a hotel to be had. Every hotel I called, from the Ritz Carlton to the Crackwhore Inn, was booked solid. Because of this, a guy on my team tells me to book a room at a hotel in the suburbs, and he'd drop me off and pick me up. He dropped me off after work on the first night, and was supposed to pick me up at 7 the next morning. I was waiting for him at 7 sharp, but he didn't show. At 7:30, I started calling him at his desk and trying to page him, but my pages were failing. At about 8, I went back into the hotel and asked them if they had a fresh battery for my pager. They did, and as soon as I popped it in, 3 pages came down. One of them said, "I have a 102 fever, and I'm not going to work. The bus into downtown stops right behind your hotel."
Great. I walk behind the hotel, and see the bus stop, and a bus is just pulling in. I start running and catch the bus with no problem, even though I didn't have exact change and a $1.75 ride cost me five bucks. Cheaper than a taxi. I drop into a front seat. It's one of those that has another bench seat facing backward directly across from me. A second after I sit down, a black guy sits down across from me.
I do a double take because the black guy has a smaller, additional black guy growing out of the side of his face. OK, it's not a whole black guy. It's actually a mole, but the mole itself has a mole, which seems to have vestigal arm lumps and the beginnings of a head. It was coming out of his left sideburn, and it was almost impossible not to stare at it. It looked like a small brown penis was attached to the side of his cheek, and it was practically waving at me. It was tough to ignore and I was trying to look everywhere but directly at it, and failing miserably. I could even see its reflection in the the window. Seriously, I don't know how he didn't bang this thing on doorjambs or knock pedestrians off the sidewalk by mistake.
After a bit of thought, I concluded that the guy either didn't do anything about his face growth because he didn't have the money, or because he didn't care. The thing is, this little man didn't spring from his sideburn overnight. It had to start slow, giving him ample time to get it taken care of. Of course, as I said, not having money is a problem. That's understandable, I suppose, but had it been me, all I can tell you is that a bottle of vodka and a utility knife are pretty damn cheap. Even if that level of self-surgery was out of reach, I would have been at that thing with a broken bottle if it came down to it. All I'm saying is that there's no way I would walk around with a small brown penis growing on my face, because one small white penis on my body is more than enough.
So anyway, that was my bus trip to the office. That night I came down with whatever creeping crud my co-worker had and I sweated off about 20 lbs and dreamed I got stabbed. I woke up with a fever, took some tylenol and then fell asleep again, whereupon I immediately dreamed I got shot. I don't know what's in the water in Cleveland, but I think it wants me dead.
I finally got to sleep around 5:30 and my coworker pages me at 6 am and says he's working today and is going to pick me up at 7. Fortunately for me, it was the day I was going to be flying home. Unfortunately for me, it was also the day a bunch of fucking Islamic morons in England decided to try to blow up some planes with some kind of two-part explosive. From what I gather, there was supposed to some sort of boy-on-boy mile-high club meeting where the guy with the Diet Coke would meet up in the bathroom with the guy with the Mentos and then all hell would break loose.
So after shipping all my liquid shit to myself via interoffice, I made it through security no problem, but they did take away my mountain dew.
Pretty soon the only way people are going to be allowed on planes is if they're buck naked. Of course the fares will double, because there will be another plane following behind with everyone's luggage. Once everyone is on board and strapped in, the pilot will pump the cabin full of knockout gas and keep everyone asleep until they reach their destination. You'll wake up with drool all over you, from both yourself and the guy next to you, since most likely they'll be lots of head-lolling going on.
It's not going to pretty -- especially if the guy sitting next to you has a small brown penis on his face.