It is 2117 hours and I have finally been able to connect my wi-fi signal to the Ajo La Siesta Motel. I’m in my room, where someone has punched out the on-off button for the air conditioner and the man who handed me my key, and led me on a circuitous route through the dark to this cozy cabin warned me the entire way, while randomly poking his flashlight into the bushes, about rattlesnakes.
Modern air travel isn’t what it used to be. Our original flight out of Redmond was delayed two hours for the lack of an oil-filter, or a spark plug, or something which caused us to miss our original connection in Portland, which caused us to not arrive in Phoenix until about 1830, which caused us to make the long drive into the Sonoran desert in the dark.
But I had a double whammy bacon burger in a corner booth of roadside Carl’s Jr., which was not a pleasure enjoyed the Apaches.
I’m afraid that this air travel experiment has run its civilized course. And I think it is a symptom of something else going on in our culture. Maybe we are all just becoming each day smaller and tighter and without manners or decorum.
The flight from Redmond to Portland was fine, except for the oil filter bit, but the arc from Portland to Phoenix was a grind. The lady with the window seat slammed the blinds down so I lost a potentially great view of Zion. The woman across the aisle snored. I had a movie moment while I saw a woman with her baby coming down the aisle, and all I could think was “No, please, no, please God, not the baby.” I said this because I had the aisle seat and the two beside me were initially empty. She didn’t sit beside me, but rather behind me, which was nearly as bad, once the kid got fired up and began ripping the airplane apart with variations on the art of screaming I have never heard before. Fortunately, my hearing aids have two channels, and I was able to switch over to Channel 2, which is fantastic for reducing noise coming from my 6 o’clock position. Not entirely, but it helps.
There were other signs and symptoms of the coming apocalypse, but I’m too tired to relate them all now. Suffice it to say that when we finally landed in Phoenix an older gentlemen repeatedly whacked my head and shoulders with the cane he had stuffed in the overhead bin, without so much as a cursory nod of apology. A woman in front of me, who was for some reason carrying a basket of flowers, saw the whole thing, and formed her mouth into a perfect, OMG position, and held it.
The world takes all kinds. In the meantime, I am having fun, and much good has already come of this foray. I’m just too tired to say much about it now. So long as my wi-fi holds up, I’ll be back tomorrow evening with an update on the day’s adventures on the border.
Hasta mañana, amigos.