flying

I flew Delta from LAX to Minneapolis to Hartford . Red eye special . Good arrival time for my friend to pick me up , except that I got confused on the day . The day I flew in he had a gig and had to pick me up a little later . I waited in an airport bar and had a couple of expensive airport beers ,  local Connecticut stuff .

Now I’m home again . Same flight in reverse , except that this time it wasn’t a red eye .

Three hours in Minneapolis . Coming in from L.A. , I saw snow covering the parking structures outside . On the return trip , two weeks later ,  no snow . The airport is stretched out along endless concourses . Concourses . When do you walk concourses  outside of airports ? Am I missing something ? There are moving sidewalks and a tram .  Endless concourses . Food courts . Shops .  WiFi access .

I had a few mini-bottles of Scotch in my carry-on bag . They’re allowed . My friend Willie told me that last year . He gave me a couple of them to test his statement . No problem .  I showed them to the snoops , thinking that they might confiscate them . No . Willie was right .scotch

To order the same shot of Scotch during the flight would have cost me seven dollars , I think . Drinking one of the bottles during the flight I felt as if I were now out of the red , outsmarting Delta , pushing the envelope . The little bottles cost only 99 cents in Connecticut .  If I had had a few more mini-bottles I’d be sitting pretty , ahead of the game , actually beginning to show a profit . Well , almost   .

I once went from Berlin to London on Ryan Airlines . Ryan , if I remember correctly ,was the airline that seriously considered charging a fee to use the restroom . Nice .I would have gone broke .  I got to the Berlin Airport , Freuninggulingen ……., no Shaeuftshaffen ……. no Sheinifeld ? , Shoenefeld ? , at six in the morning . I had come from Poland by taxi that morning . Got there overly early , as is my way .WWI air ambulance

I was second in line . We were the only two customers to have arrived so early for the flight .  I had one bag to check . There were two conveyor belts moving luggage along : to London  and to  Ankara . I didn’t see the clerk put my lonely bag on the Ankara belt . I should have been watching , I guess . When I got to London I had no clothes . 10 days in England and no  clothes other than what I was wearing . I won’t tell you the whole sad story . My bag met me in London on the 10th day , having , I assume , enjoyed its own vacation in Turkey . We flew back to Berlin together , but we didn’t talk to each other the entire flight .

Another Berlin to London flight on British Airways was exciting after the pilot announced  over the scratchy PA system that he thought the landing gear was stuck . We were going to have to go in on our shiney sleek aluminum belly . The pilot’s voice was almost inaudible and he had a heavy English accent . One of the many . Dorset , maybe . Rs everywhere . Like old movie pirates :  Aarrh , matey ! Wharr yer headin’ ? Shiver me timbers !  Emarrgency vehicles aarrh be preparrhin’ fer arrh landin’  . Aarh.sign el monte airport

The plane was full of Germans . I , a native English speaker , was barely getting what the pilot was saying . I didn’t think that many of the Germans got much of it . But , on the other hand , maybe they had learned English from the English . Good possibility that they understood a lot more than I did , now that I think of it .

When we approached Gatwick , or was it Heathrow ? , the emergency vehicles were lined up along the runway . There were plenty of them : fire trucks , ambulances , police , hearses . Well , maybe not hearses .   I had confidence in the pilot and the plane . I don’t think anyone else in the plane could say the same , judging by their panicked expressions . Those pilots , highly trained ,  could slide it in on its fusilage belly .

Buckle your seat belt ; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride . airplane seat belt

But the landing gear came down and we all rolled to a stop .  Anticlimatic . I’m not complaining .  Billy Bob Thornton said ,” I’m not afraid of flying . I’m afraid of crashing . ”   That about sums it up .

About these English accents :

Ada and I flew from LAX to London once and I had arranged , in advance ,a rental car from the airport . I never sleep on flights and by the time we reached the car rental desk in London I was exhausted . I couldn’t , for the life of me , understand what the English girl at the counter was telling me . It was a Friday . I thought that she was telling me that my car wouldn’t be available until Monday . She wasn’t , of course . She was trying to tell me that my car would be a Mondeo .  I was losing my temper .

” Not Monday !” I said . ” Now “england

Ada had to translate . Mediate . Ada grew up in Poland .

” Tell him…” the English girl would say .

” Tell her ….” I would say .

Oh.  The car is called Mondeo. Nothing about Monday . It’s waiting for us . Oh . O.K. Why didn’t she say so ?mondeo

I don’t mind flying much . Once in awhile . It’s quick once you leave the ground .  Gets you places you might not otherwise go . Somewhat uncomfortable . Never enough leg room . And they always remind you how a seat belt works ; they show you ; give a demonstration . That comes in handy because sometimes , if you haven’t used one in a few hours , you might have forgotten .

Sometimes you should bring along an English-American dictionary , or , at least a phrase book . Several English speakers from various corners of the earth learned English English from the English . Beware .  And consider bringing  some little bottles of booze . If nothing else , it gives you a sense that you’re getting away with something .  Even if you’re not a drinker bring some  —– trade one  for a few more tiny bags of peanuts or pretzels . If you ride Ryan Air , bribe the stewardess to use the head without paying the fee . Endless possibilities . Endless.illustration 3

14 Comments

Filed under uncategorized

adventitious

girls on ladder

Volunteer 1899

architects 1931 dressed as NY buildings

blog stuff garden house 042

spring and 3rd 1905

pendant viking

Br. Lib leap frogs

Berwyn car spindle

4 Comments

Filed under humor

cows , boy , & indians

 

 

cow mask person cow sign cow skull sawhorse longhorn johnson city texas

 

 

 

boy on a pine tree

 

buffalo head carved indian face Indian little native american mural

2 Comments

Filed under humor

pooling

billiards cartoon

Did I tell you that the pool place is closing at the end of March and that it was sold to a church ? It’ll be a church . clock 16th C  I know: time marches on .

Willie and I have been playing pool over there every Thursday for the last twenty years . Bill joined us , at some point ; and then Daniel . Victor has been the bartender all of that time . Victor knows how to pour a Guinness . Willie claims to have taught him how . Maybe he did .

Tim , the owner , is always there , sometimes practicing his golf putt in the back , or wandering around shaking hands and smiling . Tim , by the way , pours a lousy Guinness. You have to let the frothy dark liquid  settle , and then fill the glass a little more ; and , then , do that again .  Victor can pour it to the rim . But not Tim .

As it happens, Tim has two silent partners who have had enough . They’re the ones who insisted on selling . The church what bought the place , it seems , is now located on the new Metro tracks and , therefore, needs to get out .Time marches on .

No more Guinnesses or games of cutthroat or 8-ball . No more masse shots . We’ve been brushing flakes of ceiling plaster from the table for years ; but there will be no more wondering when the whole roof will come down . It’s all coming to another end .

uncertain city sign e. texas

The building was built as a J.C. Penny store in the 1920s . It’s a huge space . But , it’s is bad shape . Crumbling . I can’t picture a church in there . Maybe the whole thing will be torn down and rebuilt . If only a a few cosmetic repairs are done before the congregation takes over —– Good luck ! It’ll truly be in God’s hands at that point .swan dive sign

6 Comments

Filed under humor

5 edisons and a dickens

Edison 1911

Edison 1914

Edison 1920

Edison and Ford 1930

Edison 1925Dickens

Oh , and a metal chicken :metal chicken

5 Comments

Filed under humor

3 coifs and a gutenberg

big hair shop sign

femail frizzer caricature

woman hair skeleton caricature

gutenberg

………………oh , and a flying pig.flying pig

2 Comments

Filed under humor

cartoons

Sometimes you’re the rat catcher , ferreting out your prey .rat catcher and ferret

And sometimes ……..

2 mice cartoon

I once drew a cartoon of a conference table ; various faces around the table ; a mouse walking away from the table . Above the mouse was a dialog balloon : ” Well , Dan , you’re out of here .”

I was experimenting with drawing cartoons at the time . The faces around the table were all of the faces that I could draw . I’m not sure about the mouse ; not sure it made any sense . Maybe Freud or one of those guys could figure it out . Drawn on a piece of cardboard cut from a box , I put it up high on the wall  in the teacher’s conference room at the grammar school where I was teaching at the time . My idea was to , possibly , stimulate some interest in cartooning . Maybe some of my colleagues and I could get the kids interested and we could develop a school-wide project . Could be fun .

I hadn’t mentioned my plan to anyone . Somehow I imagined that curiosity would slowly develop . Where’d that cartoon come from ? What’s it all about ? There’d be buzz around it . Then , at some appropriate point ,when enough interest had developed ,  I’d spring my plan .

But , inexplicably , my cartoon drawn on the piece of cardboard vanished from the wall . I asked the school secretary about it . She was the person who spent her days near the room where the cartoon had been . No , she knew nothing about the disappearance .

The next day the principal sent me a  ” See me ” note . So , I showed up to her office after school .

” Close the door , ” she said . I heard the ominous tone of her voice and wondered . Something serious . ” Sit down ,” she said , with a cold stare , and pointed to a chair . I did . There was only one choice of chair . There was no bright light shining down on it ; but there could have been , by the look of how it was placed . She slowly sat down behind her heavy desk . Suddenly I was the nail waiting for the hammer . But , why ? I felt like  the mouse noticing  just a moment too late the trap springing shut  .

There were then a few choreographed  moments of silence as the principal  stood . From behind her back she suddenly took my cartoon and raised it above her head . Her voice had risen in volume : ” What is this ? ” she demanded . She held the cardboard high in both hands .

How should one react ? I didn’t have any idea . I suspected that had I unwittingly taken that bait a swinging metal arm would have  swiftly snapped my neck .

” A cartoon ,” I said . What else would one say ? It was a cartoon .

” I know some of the people but I don’t know everyone , ” she said . Had she hissed those words out from between clenched teeth ?   I think so . She was trying to control her rage  .

All that I could think to say , in my astonishment , was , calmly as I could : ” Who are they ?”

” There’s me !”, she said , pointing to one of the faces . ” And there’s Reynold .”     Reynold was the vice-principal of the school .

” They’re  nobody ,” I said , as soothingly as I could . ” They’re just faces .”  Unless you count the mouse , I thought , which had my name written all over it  ; but I kept quiet about that .

” And I’m not sure of some of the others , ” she said .

If she were a cartoon , I suppose smoke would have been coming out of her ears at that point  . I sat there wondering how best not to provoke any more paranoia . Should I tell her about my idea for a school project ?  I guess I did . Maybe I didn’t . I don’t remember . I remember the feeling I had at that moment , though .  It was like talking to a patient in a mental ward , trying to sound calm and reassuring in the face of a breakdown . Trying to sound like : It’ll be alright . It’ll be alright . Just take a deep breath .

I still have that cartoon cardboard somewhere in my garage , I think . I gave up my plans for a cartooning project at school , though .

Be careful of cartoons . gentleman reading cartoon

6 Comments

Filed under humor

3 signs and Disraeli

viper crossing

cow sign

Angelus Oaks Nov. 2014 029

disreali

5 Comments

Filed under humor