Sunday, June 26, 2011

Back in Pittsburgh, with a New Outlook on Life

I finally made it to Pittsburgh yesterday around noon. All told, it took me about 44 hours to get from door to door, with roughly the last half of that getting from Detroit to Pittsburgh.

Yesterday did have one more dash of bad travel karma in store for me: a seatmate from Russia and/or Brazil (he was carrying both passports) who must have weighed about 500 pounds. You could see everyone at the gate eyeing him up, praying that they wouldn't be next to him, but I could have told them not to worry. Luckily, it was only about a 30-minute flight. I don't know how much longer I could have spent with my knees pressed together like a debutante's.

There was one upside to this whole Detroit ordeal, though: I got to share it with a party of four hilarious rednecks from Oklahoma who'd clearly never seen the inside of an airport and had never been off the Great Plains. All OU graduates about my age, they took everything the day threw at them with a sense of childlike wonder. The moving walkway, for instance, was a treat, as was the $6 dinner voucher for the cancelled flight and the free (!) hotel room provided by Delta. "Daggum," the ringleader said, without a hint of irony, "I thought we was gonna have to sleep on the floor."

Seriously, these guys provided of free entertainment. At one point they even told the gate agent that they'd take a standing-room-only ticket if they had to. I mean, how do you have a bachelor's degree and not know airlines don't sell standing-room-only tickets?

Then, when we finally took off, they were pumped it was cloudy. Apparently, they'd had clear skies all the way up from Oklahoma, so they'd still never flown through the clouds. Coming into Pittsburgh, they were amazed by the size of the Ohio river and all the big daggum hills.

The crowning glory, though, was when we flew over a Sheetz right before landing.

"Hey! Look! It's a Sheetz!"

"Bigger 'n any Sheetz I've ever seen."

What an inspiring outlook on life!

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