So...now we're landing in Atlanta. By the way...for those on the flight with me that stayed awake, please tell me how you enjoyed 'The Royal Tennenbaums' it looked like a real snoozer to me. Which I ironically slept thru anyway.
Now, my flight (leg 1) was to land in Atlanta and 40 minutes later, I was to depart for Asheville. 40 minutes between two planes. How bad could it be? The flight landed at gate A1, the next flight departed from D38. Anyone who has ever been in any airport anywhere in the world knows that A1 and D38 are exactly OH FUCK from each other.
Now, here comes another universal secret, not meant to be shared. If a connection is under 45 minutes and on the other end of the airport...The flight will be delayed an equal proportion to the OH FUCK you muster to sprint like O.J. Simpson (not fleeing a murder case) across the airport. If you're really lucky, you can set up this temporal paradox, and watch it in actions as you glance departing flights as you sprint.
Important: You must muster "OH FUCK" or like Schroedinger's cat...It won't work. Saunter off the plane, assuming it will delay and you'll be paying for a later flight.
So... 90 minutes later...I am getting onto the twin-prop, rubber-band powered, puddle jumper. (I've seen the "dancing hamster page", I know how these planes work) The attendants (both of them) are very nice. (Now, there's another note.... This one is smaller... if you're flying through Atlanta to Asheville... Don't check any bags ;)
We taxi for a while in Atlanta. See, little planes can't take off from the same runways as big planes. So they have to taxi to the little-plane place. This pretty much feels like you're riding to the destination as it's the first and last 15 minutes of the flight.
We go up. The seat-belt light goes off. I take out my laptop. They give me a drink. The light goes on... I turn off my laptop, and proceed to sip my drink. 5 minutes later, they take the cup...And then we land. No kidding. Just like that....Oh yeah... 15 minutes to drive from Weaverville to Asheville by plane. Well, that's what it felt like.
I emerge into the Greater Metropolitan Asheville International Concourse A. Okay, let me rephrase, I walked off the plane into 1/4 of the gates. 4 folks. There were only 4. By the time we made our way, the 30 feet to the baggage thingee... we had an almost immediate treat of "BZZZZZ" Cool, no waiting....
After about 15 minutes of not seeing my bag, someone walked over and said, "That's all of them" Whee.
Whee-la. la la la.
I have no luggage. La la-la la-la. Fine. We go over to the invisible person at the ticket counter. We know this becuase as we approach she says, "Oh, no. I'm not here. I'm actually invisible."
I of course respond, "Apparently, so is my luggage."
She explains, that the problem is that I came in from Atlanta, this happens all the time....much like feeding dairy to a person who's asked for no dairy. (Note, Delta is now 0/2 with me. I don't count landing alive...) She writes it up and gives me a printout with a phone number and some codes circled and....
The travel kit: One toothbrush (Beige..and the bristles come out when you use it), one bic razor (No shave cream/gel), one travel bottle conditioner (No shampoo), one spring fresh deodorant roll-on (Which snags underarm hair like you never want to experience) and my favorite, one clothes wash rinse formula. Now this one impressed me the most. I'm not sure what it was...Something like Woolite I guess. Which is really strange being as though the clothes I'd wash with it, were the clothes they lost. I am informed now by Ari, that it's for the clothes you wore to the airport. I am informed, I will see said rogue luggage tomorrow morning.
I am reminded of a Tom and Jerry cartoon the exchange goes thus:
"We repeat the white mouse will not explode."
"DONNNNNN'T YOOOUUUUU BEEELLIIIIEEEEVVVEEEE IIIIIIITTTTTT."
NEXT....DAY 2: THE LUGGAGE