Monday, April 21, 2014

A Wicked Trip Nahth…Paht I.

I had to go to Boston last week to negotiate a contract…In Manchester, New Hampshire. I stay in Boston even though Manchester is an hour away. I do this because even though the “commute” is an hour I get to stay in a bigger city and I sort of feel like a “normal” business person who drives to and from his place of work …as opposed to just the airport. I always like going to Boston because there is plenty to do. I also like it because of the “Famous” accent. You know the one…Pahk the Cah in the Hahvahd Yahd. Here’s the thing. This accent, while distinct, is not everywhere despite some movie depictions of this. If you want a great laugh watch the movie The Perfect Storm. Two things of note as they relate to the accent; first, notice how in the beginning of the film the accents are everywhere and constant. Then notice how later in the movie the same characters start losing the accent. It makes for a good laugh. Second, there is a scene in the weather center that always gets me because the accents of a couple of people are over the top. But like I said, in reality, the accent is not everywhere but when it shows up…you notice it.

My trip stahted on a bad note as I had to leave on Sunday. Sunday of The Masters no less. Leaving on Sunday always puts me in a foul mood and missing The Masters didn't help. The weather was nice though so that helped a bit…even if I was stuck in the car. I listened to the golf tournament on satellite radio and I have to say if you think golf is boring on TV you should listen to it on the radio. It is a miracle I did not fall asleep. But of course I never changed the station either.

I arrived after dahk around 9:30 PM and was greeted by a cheerful desk attendant. I handed her my credit card and license and she thanked me “For being a Platinum Member” This always starts things out on a nice note. She then said to me, after handing back my license, “Do you like living in Taylor Swift’s hometown?” Surprised, I said that I did and asked her how she knew where Taylor Swift had lived.. She explained that her boyfriend, wait, ex-boyfriend used to live in Reading and that she knew the area fairly well because he would take her to various places nearby when she visited…including the town where I live, Wyomissing. After she explained some of the places she visited I said “No wonder he is an ex-boyfriend”. The desk attendant didn't really get a kick out of this and  frowned as she handed me my room key.  On the elevator up to my room I noticed two rates. One for the first two nights and one for the second two nights. The rate nearly doubled. I made a note to try to get this fixed.

On my way into Boston I noticed the roads seemed to have a hangover from winter. There were a lot of potholes. In case you weren't paying attention, the Giant SUV died awhile back, or at least it started to so I traded it in while the trading was good. I ended up with a smaller SUV that was, well…too small. So I traded that out and got a bigger “car”. It isn't an SUV, it isn't a van, and it isn't a wagon. I don’t know what you call it but it is big and comfortable. It also “floats” a bit on the highway. Meaning the suspension is soft and when it encounters a bump you are nestled in comfort…but the car moves all over the road. As I got near Boston I was doing a lot of “Moving all over the road”. The next morning I headed Nahth to Manchester and discovered the roads were really bad…at least in Boston propah. The potholes and bad “patches” outnumbered the smooth patches two to one at least. It was a comfortable rough hour. On the way back the weather had started to turn and now it was getting a bit cooler and the wind was really ripping. Gusts were hitting 40 miles per hour and combine that with all the potholes and it became a two handed drive back down to the city. The closer I got to the city the rougher it became. At times I felt like Tom Hanks in Apollo 13 as he tried to steer their spacecraft manually to make sure they hit their orbit just right. Just keeping the “car” in my lane was a challenge...and I was probably talking to myself about how the state should expand their paving budget, etc. Eventually I made it back and I focused my thoughts on getting cold medicine.

You see when I arrived in Manchester and after shaking hands with my negotiation team I noticed something. One of them was sick. Yes, he had a cold…”Just started” he said. “No worries” he said. “Got it from my 5 year old.” NO WORRIES?? The colds from 5 year olds (and under) are usually the mutant kind. The kind that take near 50 year olds and toss them out back into a dumpster…or at least that is how you feel. Meanwhile, I had left my Purell bucket back at the hotel. I also had no vitamin C (which really is no match for a 5 year olds mutant virus) and we had to sit within close proximity to each other…and he was touching things. The table, the chairs, my things…papers, moved my computer. I could see the virus spreading before my eyes.

 A couple of hours in, I simply resigned myself that I would just get a mutant cold but that I would survive. About that time “He” got a call from his wife. His 5 year old had pink eye…in both eyes. I began to cry…somewhat out of fear but mostly because my eyes instantly began to itch…badly. That’s what I do…I assume I will get whatever illness is around me. I know this is not rational it is just simply what happens to me. Meaning…I almost always get the illnesses around me.

After my space ride back to Bahston, I found a local drug store and was able to find my miracle cure medicine (I actually got the last box) and then I stood in the checkout line…with loads of sick people. There was the coughing girl and the super nasally guy who just couldn't seem to “shake this nahsty cold” and frustrated mom with shivery girl…who probably had a fevah and a different mutant 5 year old virus. I became concerned the two viruses would combine and not throw me in a dumpster but perhaps out into the freezing bay instead. I left. Actually I left the line and hid in a corner contemplating my next move. I could come back, but this was the last box of my miracle cure. I could tough it out and end up in the bay. I could go elsewhere but I did not feel like more space travel at that point. Finally I noticed self-checkout lanes so I raced pahst the sick crew and checked out on my own. On the way back to the hotel I realized those touch screens were probably worse than the air I had been breathing. At the hotel I tried to figure out how to rig the shower to just spray Purell. I also had to do something about the “Wicked bahd” rate increase they handed me.

End Of Paht I…..

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The Middle Seat Volume II: Never Check a Bag You Want To Keep

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