Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Journey: A Journal Part 2


  My flight to pick up the Corvette in Wisconsin that I had found a great deal on AutoTrader.com (at a suspicious half-price or thereabouts with a "lemon title") was to leave from Denver International Airport Saturday morning at 6am which required the 70 mile journey northward.  Back-calculate TSA, check-in, travelling to the actual gate, driving time, showering, etc. and we ended up getting up at 3:30am and driving forth at 4am.



  I wasn't too concerned with the "lemon title".  I did a little research on it and the DMV of the state in-question is required to document the reason it was bought-back by General Motors.  According to the DMV and CarFax the owner "didn't like the setup" which looking at the picture of the seat I suspect he was a rather obese fellow who may soon die of the clinical official term, "fat-ism".  The driver's seat outward leather panel was utterly crushed from pure, unadulterated fat.  The car was originally constructed at Bowling Green, Kentucky and purchased in Oregon, then shipped to Michigan and bought by Van Horn Chevrolet in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, some 60 miles north of Milwaukee.



  Upon arrival at DIA at about 4:45am I verified my tickets through an automated system (it scanned my passport incorrectly as some other dude, but my driver's license was good-to-go).  I walked down to the security checkpoint where TSA was in-force, though there wasn't much of a line, it was moving slowly.  The fellow in front of me looked like a professional of sorts with no less than THREE laptop computers.  As most folks know, you have to remove these from their respective cases when being scanned through the X-Ray conveyor belt.  Everyone knows this by now.  The man had no less than 7 trays which contained laptop accouterments and other odds and ends.  I noticed one of the laptops was an IBM "Thinkpad" which looked stupid like it was one of the early 1990's models with no-K RAM and a 1MHz processor that you can find in a Dora-The-Explorer wristwatch.  Why he was lugging the behemoth for some odd reason was beyond me.  He fussed a lot as there was a hold-up in front of the line for some unknown reason.  TSA was scanning very slowly and we waited about 10 minutes at the conveyor belt as we were next in line.  He started waving his arms in disgust and making a bit of a scene, trying to confide in me that this was ridiculous, etc.  I shrugged and said it was average.  He's not getting any compassion from me on this case.  I'd rather TSA dissect us than be blown-up at 30k feet.  He kept oddly asking me questions about what a pain this was but I would give no quarter for his woes.  Eventually we moved ahead with no other fuss and I took the goofy "Comin' Round the Mountain"-jingled tram to Concourse B "United Airlines" and boarded my flight with no wait.  Right on-time.

  I had chosen the back seat in row 40 on the Boeing 757 online and I was not crammed-in, though a hyper-fat old man took the aisle in the row of 3.  His massive fatness disallowed him to actually stand.  Grabbing the seat in front of him each maneuver with extreme shaking to the non-plus of the girl in front of him being rattled like a Californian quake in 1997 (now).    I mentioned amusingly that the seats are getting smaller than from when we were kids.  He didn't quite get the joke, as his mind was replaced with fat, though I'm thankful for him there as he'd be a good shield for cushioning and helped weigh the tail down for liftoff.  Takeoff and landing was expertly executed (for a change) and I silently applauded golf-clap style.  I think the old man had a few bouts of violently-explosive diarrhea in his brown 1970's polyester pants.  The seat he used was mashed into a Flatland (1884) main-character, never-more to dream of a 3-dimensional world.


  We land at the only stop, Chicago's infamous O'Hare International Airport right on-time.  I manage my way to the Milwaukee gate which has apparently been delayed 20 minutes because the crew called in and "didn't feel like showing up".  They got a substitute crew coming-in so I took the opportunity to look around the gate area and found a Quizno's (now all but dead in their home-state of Colorado) and waited way too long in line to some Hispanic failures and I got impatient after a while as they ignored me for 15 minutes so I hopped over and down-the-way to a rather serendipitous Pizzeria Uno's which boasts Chicago-style pepperoni-for-one.  The Asian girl behind the counter said, "Cokes are cool."  It took me a second to understand that the 16oz bottles had been chilling long enough such that they were now a cool temperature and that perhaps earlier they were not.  I got a Coke.  Decent enough I munched and the crew finally showed-up. 


  This time we had to walk down what seemed to be a dark alley outside, exposed, and up some wheeled-stairs like the 1960's which I found amusing and smirked, wind forced from jet-exhaust disheveling Chicago-women's hair with brick-a-brack.  I counted several umbrellas and combs scattered about the makeshift walkway crafted with Jersey-barriers which I found odd being a USAF veteran: was there no FOD-check?  Certainly not!  I was merely mildly concerned until I discovered the name of the Canadian Air Jet was, "Bombardier" class.  So we're barnstorming Milwaukee?  Neet. United Airlines bought a lot of these and they're pretty okay but aging and tiny.  This time I sat next to a guy with girl-thickness legs.  Very twiggy.  I realized I could murder him with my toes, but I restrained myself as we took-off to the home of the TV show Happy Days.

  I survive the 11 minute flight and vacate the plane to discover Milwaukee's "General Mitchell Airport" is very VERY suspiciously like Colorado Springs' airport and I'm creeped-out quite a bit.  The exact same design made me feel like I was in some sort of Time Warp.
 
I was instructed by Van Horn Chevrolet to meet "Elrond the Wise Elf" at Baggage-Claim 1 (there was only 4 or so) and I had explained I would have a green backpack, blue sunglasses, and holding up a Corvette book over my head.  Pretty easy to see I think.  I had forgotten my sunglasses so in Chicago's airport I found some blue ones for $14 at a kiosk and snatched 'em up, avoiding the $200 Oakley's (they're really over-rated for polarized, plastic shades).  USAA Debit Card didn't balk for the purchase which sometimes it does when I travel in case of fraudulent out-of-town charges.  WIN! 
 
  Elrond approached me.  He was a 73 year old man that indeed looked like Elrond of Lord of the Rings.  He was glad to see me and we frisked out the door and oddly we jumped over some Jersey barriers (which he needed no help to my shock and commented so) to a new Chevy Impala.  He had explained he normally is a pilot instructor in Sheboygan but when the weather's too nasty for beginners he drives for Van Horn to pick up folks like myself buying cars online for some extra cash.  Turned out he was stationed in the Navy on the SS.Wasp during the Korean War as a pilot and had his license for dual-jets and often flew Gulfstreams and owned quite a few classic cars such as a Pontiac Chieftan and a Chevy Bel-Aire.  Very cool.  He drove us pretty slowly through the city of Milwaukee and I had a strange childlike sense of de-ja vous as we approached the skyscrapers over the river with the roads being pretty messed-up as we chatted about foreign countries we've been to and how America ('Mer'ca) is numbah one! 



Here ends Part 2 of the Journey.

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