Sunday, August 31, 2008

Don't want al qaeda; give me al cohol!

From 38,000 feet over Tennessee, possibly Kentucky; wherever it is, it sure looks fluffy.

It’s not easy being a terrorist.

I had a hard time checking in at the United desk at JAX at 5:30 this morning. I had my e-ticket and everything. (Fortunately, I am tall enough to ride this ride.) But it wasn’t going through, and a United rep had to call… somebody. United or the TSA or Korean Air. Possibly Commisoner Gordon.

Anyway, it turns out that the school rep in Daegu who booked my flight, in the seeming misapprehension that I’m Korean, entered CORNMAN as my first name and STEPHEN as my last. Since the computer’s looking for CORNMAN STEPHEN and my passport says STEPHEN CORNMAN, my boarding pass got stamped (in threatening-looking red) for special handling.

The small inconvenience is that I have to listen for announcements for “Mr. Steffen”; the rather bigger deal is that I had to go through a whole special level of scrutiny to get to the gate: shunted aside to the “look at that big bushy mustache, he’s probably a ay-rab” line, placing my feet on the printed prints in a little booth while little puffs of air blew me (maybe I should rephrase that), every item in my carry-ons gone over meticulously with a wand.

I get to do it again in Chicago, too. Happy happy joy joy.

Finally I was cleared by the alert and cheerful security people and here I am, cruising along toward O’Hare. The little drop-down monitors are showing The Office and some E! behind-the-scenes show (apparently Owen Wilson had some little emotional problem, but the sound doesn’t work at my seat, so I may never know), and The Big Bang Theory, a title that doesn’t really bear thinking about at this altitude.

I finished the Times Sunday puzzle, and then I got bored with reading Gore Vidal’s Lincoln and the Florida Times-Union (remember, you can’t spell “flatulent” without “Fla. T-U”) and playing Diner Dash and Mah Jongg Quest and Chess Titans on the laptop and, trying desperately to not just sit here thinking about how I’m going 38,000 miles per hour in a little metal tube 600 feet above the ground'

So I'm dedicating this time to entertaining you, my beloved readers. You know you’re my first priority. I hope that someday my readership rises to the double digits. In number, that is; in IQ, we’re already there, some of us higher.

At any rate, did you know that clouds are really, really bright on their tops? Maybe somebody should flip them over, then we’d have sunshine every day! Just a thought.

Later, dudes; I need to recharge my laptop. (Hey! I just thought of a good slogan for Viagra!)

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