'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
UNEXPECTED PRAISE FROM A CRANKY COMPLAINER
This is very embarrassing. I’ll probably be censured by the W.H.I.N.E.R. organization (World Headquarters of Internet and Newspaper Editorial Reporters). As everyone knows, people who write opinion columns nowadays are required to complain constantly. Our whole mission in life is to pick out one small aspect of the human condition and then devote 600 to 800 words criticizing it. It is simply what we do, and for those of us gifted with the sarcasm gene, whining and moaning are as natural as breathing.
However, this week I do not have a complaint. This week I am compelled to offer praise and heartfelt thanks to a particular organization. And not just any organization, but a commercial airline! Yes, you heard me right. (I mean, as well as you can hear thru your eyes while reading the newspaper.)
Recently I traveled to Kansas City on business. Since there are no direct flights from KC to Hartford, I was scheduled to connect thru Minneapolis on my journey back home. When I arrived at the airport in Kansas City, I discovered that bad weather had delayed my flight three hours. Which meant by the time my first flight was cruising north over Iowa, my second flight already would be gone from Minnesota and cruising east over Wisconsin. (I had to consult a map to compose that last sentence. Not being too strong on geography, I first wrote that I’d be cruising west over New Mexico while my second flight was cruising north over Guam. Good thing those pilots are better than I am at geography.)
As soon as I learned I would miss my connecting flight, I had a flashback of a nightmare business trip last year, when I missed a flight home due to bad weather and got stuck in Philadelphia. At midnight on a Saturday I had to scramble around to find the last available hotel room in the city; it cost me $200 for the hotel and another $100 in cab fare; and worst of all, by then I was completely out of clean underwear.
My mind raced as I stood in the KC airport terminal. Should I try to find a hotel here? Should I fly to Minneapolis late and then try to find a hotel there? Should I lay on the floor in the fetal position and start sobbing? (I was leaning toward this last option.) Instead, I went over to the Delta counter to see if they had any advice on which was the more preferable city to be stranded in. It dawned on me that once again I was out of clean underwear.
Before I could tell the young lady my tale of woe, she said, “Mr. Dunn, we’ve already re-routed you onto flight 6120, connecting in Detroit. But unfortunately, you’ll be arriving in Hartford about 20 minutes later than originally planned.”
“Huh?” I said. “You mean you’re going to get me home TONIGHT?” She smiled and nodded.
I said, “You mean I’ll be sleeping in my OWN bed tonight?” She smiled and nodded.
I said, “You mean tomorrow I’ll be wearing CLEAN underwear?” She frowned and whispered, “Too much information, sir.”
So, to the good folks at Delta, who knew I had a problem even before I knew it (two problems, if you count the underwear thing), and solved my problem in a spectacular way, I want to say thank you very much.
I may get in trouble with my fellow cranky-pants writers for offering a positive column, but I don’t care. The airline brought me safely home, and that deserves a round of applause.
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