Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve flown commercial. Traveling through Tampa International quickly reminded me why I drive everywhere.
First of all, it was a good thing I arrived ninety minutes before takeoff, what with line after endless line. I counted five different times within a twenty minute timespan that I had to pull my driver’s license out of my wallet, why I kept putting it back in there, I don’t know. I should have just duct taped it to my forehead for convenience.
Then the airlines charged me $25 just to check my suitcase. Really? And entrust some baggage-handler with my lucky, and atrociously stinky, golf shoes? Best of luck to you, sir. I barely touch them myself but if you feel the need, have at it. I’m quite surprised they didn’t ask for my firstborn when I tried to access the internet at the terminal. I feared what a bagel and coffee might cost. Best to stay hungry.
De-robing while passing through security is also such a pleasant experience. I contemplated side-stepping into one of Delta’s special assistance lanes to expedite the boarding process. I figured, since I hadn’t slept in 36 hours, the bags under my eyes (I’m surprised they didn’t want me to check those too!) would qualify me. I reconsidered, figuring having to explain to friends and family that I missed my trip to the Masters because I was wrestled to the ground by the heavy-set Puerto Rican lady working security would be difficult to explain, yet somehow not all that surprising.
Upon pulling my laptop out of its case to check it through the scanner (for some reason, the x-rays can’t see through my computer bag), I wondered if a security agent would demand to sift through my yet-to-be-published files for further inspection. I could tell people I was frisked for literary brilliance. Mr. Airport Security, sir. Are you a sports fan? Have you ever heard of sportschump.net? Here, take a business card and tell all your friends. Have I mentioned I’m going to the Masters?
Oh, and did you know they now have internet on airplanes? I was half-tempted to dump the $5.95 for the hour flight just to Tweet from 30,000 miles up. Remember, I come from the old school, when the passengers in the last four rows were allowed to chain smoke, as if that fifth row from the back contained some magical barrier that would prevent unwelcome carcinogens from spreading throughout the plane. Ah, the good old days. And what’s with the pre-flight fasten your seatbelt instructions? Are there still people out there that don’t know how to do this?
But this is, after all, a sports website, so enough travel talk. The next 72 hours would bring the national championship game (I liked Kentucky minus the six), Major League Baseball’s opening day (who cares?) and most importantly two rounds of golf with Liar North, who defeated me last time we played.