My toe is still bleeding.
I assume it will stop doing so eventually.
But until then allow me to detail the crap fest that was my day of traveling from my home to the 45th Safari Club International Convention.
The day began at 5:30 this morning with my scrambling to finish packing and get out the door and on my way to the airport by six.
I made it to the airport around eight only to find no ticket agent at the counter of the uber-discount airline my travel agent booked me on.
I call the company direct only to find that the 10:30 AM flight my agent booked didn't actually take off until 10:30 PM.
Note to self: Fire travel agent.
This meant I can either drive two hours home then two hours back to the airport, hang around the airport for 14 hours, or book another flight.
Out comes my laptop.
I find a flight to Vegas with a layover in Salt Lake City that's leaving in a mere four hours.
I give Delta my miles info, book that puppy, and head to the mess that is the TSA checkpoint.
I'm in luck.
Despite the angry woman in front of me who refuses to take off her shoes because she “Ain’t got no socks on and dis floor look cold,” I make it through the checkpoint in a mere 20 minutes.
I get dressed on the other side and look for a place to eat.
I find Earl Campbell's Sports Bar.
I take a seat and am quickly greeted by a portly young woman who admits when I ask her that she has no idea who Earl Campbell is.
She then explains that she has no idea why I can't have a Bloody Mary for another half hour.
“It's like a Texas law or a Austin airport law or something,” she speculates.
Rather than argue, I order some breakfast tacos.
They arrive 10 minutes later, cold as my late stepmother's heart.
The shredded cheese feels like it just came out of the fridge and the tortillas are stiff at room temperature.
I eat them anyway finding comfort in the fact that Earl would plow through the cook for making such a travesty if he was on the premises.
I finish my tacos and countdown the 15 minutes until I can have a Bloody Mary.
I tell the waitress again that I want one.
She replies that I can't put the order in until 10 o'clock.
“Ok,” I reply. “Please come back in five minutes.”
She does and I order my Bloody Mary.
It comes in a few minutes and all I can say about it is that it was slightly better than my tacos.
Come on Earl!
Get on the ball man!
You’re a better man than this!
I down my drink and head out to find a better place to drink, wait, and write.
I find the Saxon Pub.
I order a beer.
“You gotta have food with that,” the bartender informs me. “State law. No drink without food until noon.”
“How about some fries?” the bartender offers. “Cheapest thing on the menu.”
“Ok, can you keep them in the kitchen or at least give them to the next person that orders them?”
“You want to buy food for someone else?”
“No. I don't want any food at all but if you bring me a basket of fries I’ll end up eating them. And a basket of fries is the last thing my ever-expanding writer-living lifestyle gut needs.”
“Sorry man, you gotta have them on the table in order to drink.”
The fries come.
I eat them.
And drink a few beers.
I cash out a few hours later and head to my gate only to find that my flight has been delayed a half-hour.
I wait the good wait, get on the plane, and take a nap.
I awake during final descent.
The plane lands and I rush to catch my next flight.
I'm in luck.
They have yet to board.
They do 10 minutes later and I'm on my way.
Not so fast.
The captain announces that Delta is experiencing a system outage of some kind and that we have to wait another half hour to depart.
A half hour later the pilot announces that we have another 15-minute wait. That 15 minutes runs its course and the pilot returns to announce that we are waiting for the system to reboot and that will happen God knows when so everyone is welcome to get off the plane.
I do and find the nearest bar.
I down two beers then return to the gate.
A cute young blonde gal informs me that I have time to have a few more beers as the system is still down.
I return to the bar to have a few more beers.
Through random bar conversation, I find out that the guy next to me is on the same flight. He offers to go back to the gate to check on our status. He returns to tell me we have time for at least two more beers. I have them then we return to the gate just in time to find out that the system is up and running and I'm on my way to Vegas.
Not so fast again.
They have to de-ice the plane and there are a few planes ahead of us that need to have the same thing done.
A half-hour later we're on our way.
I land in Vegas, grab my bags, and have an Ethiopian cabbie drive me to the Luxor.
He asks about my flight en route.
I tell him of my delays.
“Are jew Syrian?” he asks in broken English. “Cuz I hear they to have trouble at airport today. Is Mr. Trump say no more Syrian.”
“Yes, I'm a green-eyed Syrian who just so happens to have the white boy-extreme lineage features of a high forehead, hair that stands straight up on end in a Pictish manner, and a nose so sharp it can be used instead of a protractor to measure angles.”
My cabbie doesn't understand any of this but smiles as he drops me at the black pyramid hotel on the Vegas strip.
It takes me 25 minutes to check in.
I make my way through the casino, grab a few extremely-overpriced beers for the road and head up to my room.
I take a shower and drink a few beers in the shower while washing my hair.
I get out of the shower then quickly run my toe with the force of a battering ram into the bed.
I take a picture of my just relieved of its toenail appendage and sit down to write this tirade.
I hope you appreciate it.