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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SDCC 2009 – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the ComicCon – A Tragic Comedy – Part 5 of 8

Part V – the dominoes fall
Recap – x-ray machine clogged. Flight missed. God hates me.
So I missed my flight.  I will admit that my heart was beating faster than normal and I had a little acid indigestion.
I know the flights to San Diego get overbooked for SDCC.  The only thing in my favor was that I flying out a day early.  Not as many people fly out on Tuesday. I know if this was Wednesday or Thursday, I could call it quits now.  Still there was a definite possibly this trip was over before it even started.
I found an agent as quickly as possible and we discussed my options.  Not many.  Everything was booked through the weekend and I’m flying stand by.
 The next flight would leave in an hour. Ugh.
As I finally had a second to breathe, I called the Wife and updated her.  She asked about my other plans.  Other plans…? Oh crud.
Remember when I talked about over planning?  Remember I mentioned dominoes falling? The sins of my over planning were about to be reaped. I had a car rental. I had a friend to visit.  I had tickets to a Dodgers’ game.  I had a hotel reservation in LA. I had another friend I planned on seeing on the way up to LA.
The world swirled.  I sat and thought things out.  I watched the stand by for the next flight board and my name was not moving closer to the top.
Final boarding was called and my name wasn’t included. I was moved to the next flight. That’s in 2 hours.
Wow, how the cookie crumbled.  I called my friend in San Diego and let him know what happened.  I told him we might not see the Dodger’s game.  He told me to cancel the car rental and we could take his car. I’m hesitant. He had a small car. I’m a tall guy. 3 hours in a small car is not what I call fun.
But I cancelled the car. I called my other buddy, the one I was to drop in on on the drive up to LA, and he didn’t know who I was. Really? Could this really be happening?  I backtracked with him. I told him my screen name on the message board that we both belong to.  Then he remembered.  We both collect Schmidt baseball cards.  We’ve know each other for years but we think of each other by our handles. 
I told him my woes and he said come by anytime.
Car rental cancelled. Friends were updated. I sat and waited. I only pretended to read.  People watching wasn’t even fun. I felt pretty low.  Laid off.  Stuck in an airport. About to miss ComicCon.

I could have really used time to be  TICKTOCK lightening fast now instead of an hour ago. But time was crawling like  molasses on a winter’s day.
Time did manage to pass though. I watched my name move from 1st of the standby down to 4th as higher priority passengers were added to the list. Standby names were called. I moved to 3rd and then to 2nd.  And after a long wait I’m number one.  The boarding was almost done. Then no one was in line to board. I saw a lot of activity from the counter agents and I thought I was out of luck.
I got up to talk to them before they scurried off.  I wanted to make sure I’m on the wait list for the next flight. Then the choral music started as I heard my name called.  For those that thought I skipped with joy are mistaken. I ran to the counter.
The agent told me I made the flight.
Wow, the room became brighter. My brand new backpack became lighter. I was now hungry. I even smiled for the first time since I parked my car.
I boarded and of course some idiot thought the empty sit was his too as he had piled a bunch of his stuff it in. As I sat I make a quick call to the love of my life. Then my friends to let them know I’m on my way.  Maybe God didn’t hate me after all.
The flight was uneventful and as I land it occurs to me to wonder if my suitcase would be there for me.
My luggage was there but lonely.  It's been hours since we had seen it each other. It was all alone in a strange airport with no one to talk to.  Thankfully, it didn't hold a grudge and we were able to leave together. 
No worries now. I was in San Diego. Behind the fumes of Jet A fuel, I caught a whiff of the saltwater from the bay. I was in California. A place I fall in love with every time I visit.
My friend Ess found me and we walked to his car. Yes, it was still as small as I remembered. We squeezed my suitcase into his trunk. I squeezed my body into the passage seat…with a few moans and groans. He gave me permission to slide the seat back.  And as is all too often the case, the seat was already as far back as it goes.
But I was in San Diego and SDCC was around the corner and I was with one of my best friends.
I pull out the maps I printed from the internet and we left.
We were behind schedule. (Remember I’m an over planner).  So we discussed our options.
We decided to still visit my other friend. He owned a pizza shop and the thought of good pizza drove my decision making process.  We got there without problems and we had a great time. He fed us. We talked baseball cards. We talked and talked. We left with doggy bags.
The original plan was to check into the hotel and then relax and head to the game. Traffic was now an issue. It was rush hour. We could not get to the hotel and then to the game.  So the new plan was to go straight to the game and check into the hotel  afterward.
Great plan. My over planning wasn’t as good though.  I didn’t have a map from the pizza shop to the ball park. My friend, Ess, didn’t have a map. We had to wing it.  We ended up lost.  We were close. At times we could see the ballpark.  As with any city, the trick was how to get 'there' from 'here'.
After driving around for an hour we were good and lost.  We stopped for directions.

To be continued...


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