shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


welcome to Hell-ta

John Ney Rieber's vision of hell as an aiport (filled with brightly colored demons pushing brightly colored junk food like Happy Crisps!) in Issue #17 of Books of Magic, "Deformative Years," always resonated with me. So much so that I riff on it whenever I'm writing a script scene that takes place in an airport. I always set the scene as describing the airport as hell and then characterizing it, i.e. "It was hell, but with soy lattes and sprouts on demand" (SFO) or "It was a hell where cardboard danish and USA Today were king" (LEX), etc. (The actual lines are better than this, I promise--memory is weak.) Anyway, it's a concept that amuses me.
But it's not amusing, friends. Not when your hell is as specific and damned as Terminal A of National. Where I spent ten hours last night.
The only bar closed hours before we were actually airborne, and didn't even have decent wine anyway. (I did manage two passable glasses at a California Pizza Kitchen outside security. Oh the humanity.) Also, I'm apparently pre-flagged for screening (Hi, Mr. Ashcroft!) and had to listen to the inane discussion of the screeners about how to play paper rock scissors and who would rifle half-heartedly through which of my bags. (The real irony be that I was traveling for my day job, on the government's dime.)
James Carville flitted by, flight on time, forked tongue exiting his lizard lips. Martha Stewart, likewise, seemed unscathed by bad fortune, though pursed in every possible way.
All restaurants closed. The magazine selection was such that I was forced to actually READ Glamour magazine, along with a couple that Shall Go Unnamed. I held out on the last chapter of Andrea Seigel's funny and depressing LIKE THE RED PANDA, because it was the only book I had with and there was no bookstore (again, the humanity!).
We were there for Ten. Hours.
They told us nothing.
A plane finally came from Boston. The crew disclosed that they'd time out halfway to Lexington and couldn't fly there. This was at 1:30 in the morning. A man next to me who was that rarest of creatures the nice and non-irritating businessman (loaned me a New Yorker to read) kept nearly slitting his wrists over the fact that he had to be back at the airport at 6 a.m. for a trip to Chicago. Christopher broke down when he thought I wouldn't make it in last night and informed me that Tyler Hamilton's elderly golden retriever Tugboat had been put down with cancer. (about which more later) I was thisclose to crying with frustration. Very sad. They brought another crew.
We got home at four a.m.
I have been a zombie creature all day, but have now vanquished the evil demon of conquering hell through the power of birthday presents. Wonder Woman Underoos, no less.
Bring it, Hell-ta.
worm "The Rat," The Walkmen
namecheck Tyler "Kick Ass for Tugboat" Hamilton


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