Instead of hiking this weekend, I traveled to Iowa and entered what I'm calling *do do do do do do do do doooo* THE TIMELIGHT ZONE.
You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead — your next stop, the Timelight Zone
Really though, my flights were ridiculous, uncomfortable, and the flight attendents were just plain weird.
My first flight from DC was delayed and my layover in Chicago was only an hour. I was anxious because I already have a hard enough time figuring out if the "departure time" is the time they stop boarding or the time they take-off. I've experienced both and it's very confusing. The fact that my 7:20 flight didn't start boarding until 7:20 tipped me off that no matter how American Airlines calculates their itinerary, we were running late and I was at risk of missing my connector. I voiced my concern to the flight attendant, hoping she'd offer to like, hold the plane for my royal visit to Dubuque, or something. I explained that my connector in Chicago takes off at 9:30, and by the look of things we were clearly going to be landing later than our 8:30 arrival time. I'm not sure if this will be as funny in writing as it was in my real life, but picture this: the flight attendant stared at me blankly and said, "But Chicago is in a different time zone, so when it's 8:30 here...." She then officially confused herself and she passed out. Not really. But as she trailed off I said, "OK, our arrival time is already adjusted on this boarding pass, so when it's 8:30 in Chicago...it's really 8:30 in Chicago..." I can't even think about it. Neither could Flighty. She said she would come back with more information. Obviously, she didn't. I have to assume something super important was on her mind, like the status of her application to Mensa. You never know.
I had officially entered the Timelight Zone - which if you haven't figured it out yet, is my mixture of the Time Zone Twilight Zone. See, I'm really funny like that.
Tonight's episode is a double feature, "Flighty 2: The Sequal." Unlike other sequels I tend to think this one is just as good as the original.
During the same flight my cell phone was off per FAA regulations and no one around me was wearing a watch. (See how spooky this sequel is getting?) I was starting to get antsy about my flight stati, so I called over flight attendant number 2 who WAS wearing a watch to ask the time and give her a rundown of my sitch. Well - this lady is of course wearing a broken watch. I can't make this up - we're officially in the Zone. As I explained my angst over potentially missing the last flight for the night to the glamorous destination of Dubuque, she continued to check her watch - which we already established is broken - and kept telling me we'd be landing in about 20 minutes. To be fair, I understand that her point was we were "almost there," but it didn't really matter how soon we were landing if it was, let's say, 9:10. Get where I'm going with this? Good, you're already exponentially more capable of being a flight attendant than this lady.
We landed at B21 and I had to hike it to L4.
I made it - no thanks to the Earhart Twins.
The thrilling conclusion of this saga is that both flights were about a thousand degrees. Not just because there was no air on, but because the vents were blowing hot air. It was like the rainforest at 32,000 feet. People in the back were complaining (and let's be honest, by people, I mean me) and Flighty kept saying something - which I still haven't figured out - like, "It's a *Something* Cockpit." The gist of it was though, that the air flow was controlled by the pilot, and the pilot was in a sealed cockpit and there was no way for the flight attendants to communicate with him. I found that weird...and then I realized, maybe the terrorists have won. Ugh.
The irony about all of this was that I was praying I would miss my connector in Chicago so that I could race over to my brother's house and give a big hug to my niece and nephew!! Alas, the Timelight Zone had other plans for me. And in the words of Rod Serling, Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas; you've just crossed over into... Iowa.