First of all, the big talk around my town today is this national news story: 7 Year-old Kid Drives Geo Tracker around Muncie, Indiana. He stopped at the mall, by the way. Probably needed to pick up some power tools at Sears or something. One of the kids in our youth group is this kid's cousin, and when he told us the story, he did not seem surprised by the event at all. I'm going to stop right there.
Because you didn't come here for national news, anyway, did you? You came here for Conference Story, Picked Up Again at Part 3, starring Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw.
Let's return to Sunday after the conference. I was to wait in the hotel lobby for Lotus Limousines to pick me up as Jorge had planned. I waited and waited, and there was no Lotus Man.
Another woman was waiting, too, so I struck up a conversation and shared why I was standing there. We chatted. A few minutes later, a large black sedan pulled up, but the driver just sat there.
I waited, but he wasn't budging. I couldn't decide whether to wait longer inside or go out and ask if he was from Lotus. The lady and I decided I should ask, and she said she'd watch my luggage. So I went out and approached the driver, who was slumped down in his seat, almost napping. The window was down.
And then, people, I actually said these exact words to him:
"Are you here to pick up a woman? Because I need to be picked up."
And then I died right there in front of that hotel of embarrassment.
He was not the Lotus man. But he did seem to perk up after my question.
Finally, Lotus man arrived and whisked me off to Satan's "Fantasy Island" (the airport) where I'm sure all of the "Tattoos" (airline employees) stand beside the Devil who is wearing a white suit and an impish grin when I'm on the guest list.
I made one stupid mistake, which I shall not divulge here, because there's a limit on how many completely humiliating confessions a blogger can make in any one post; it's a rule.
Once again, I boarded the tube of death, a jet the aeronautic equivalent of the Chevette.
We taxied out and stopped, engines running. We sat there one full hour when the pilot announced, "We're having a weather event in Dayton, so I'm waiting to hear how we'll re-route. We're sorry for the delay. We'll get you to Dayton ASAP."
More time passed. He spoke again, "Ladies and gentlemen, we are now low on fuel, so we're going to have to go back to the gate to re-fuel, and then we'll be off soon."
We sat there another hour.
They would not let anyone off. They would not bring food or drinks on board. They would not give us air to breathe, let alone food or water.
Then another message: "Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to have to de-board two guests. Medics will be assisting them off the plane." No, I wasn't one of them, but at that point, I wished I was.
Then the attendant told us that we needed another tank of oxygen because they're not allowed to fly with only one. Also, whenever medics take people off, the pilot must de-board and fill out paper work.
More time passed. The guy behind me bellowed, "I'm giving them one more hour, and then I'm calling 911." I couldn't decide if he was nuts or a genius. What if we all had to pick sides at some point, the pro-911's versus the con-911's? Who would I side with? Which side was less likely to be cannibalized by the other?
We were hot and thirsty. The attendant suggested that if anyone wanted anything to drink, we should press our call button, as they would not be bringing the cart but would be bringing each drink individually, for some reason. Immediately, about 100 call button bells dinged simultaneously, and that attendant was not happy.
So she poured our drinks and walked them back to us saying, "OK, this is all the ice we have, so when we're in the air, you're not going to get a cold drink. Just room temperature sodas, that's all."
I wanted to say, "You hear that, people? The warden-matron here says we ain't a gettin' no cold sody pop in the air! Are we gonna stand for that?! No we ain't!" but I didn't. I just texted my daughter and friends begging them to send ice or chocolate.
I want you to know I read an entire book that I was given at the conference on the plane, with time to spare. Finally, after three hours, we took off. We had some turbulence, but at that point, I kind of liked it because it meant that although I was still a prisoner, I was a prisoner who was actually on the move somewhere, like I was being let out of solitary and moved to another cell. It didn't matter where we were headed anymore. It was just kind of exciting to be non-stationary. And it confirmed that I still had feeling in my butt, which I was starting to doubt after my stint as hostage.
My husband picked me up, and I almost cried when I saw him. He took me to Bob Evans and made me want to live again.
Then I came home, patted Zoe, went to sleep, and started my SERVE week at church bright and early Monday morning. I've been on the go every waking hour since.
Sigh. And tomorra, is anotha day!