The first sign that things are going to go smoothly occurs when I step up to the United counter to get my boarding pass and check my luggage, which I weighed that morning to make sure it wouldn’t be overweight, as I believe the airlines now charge something like $89 and your firstborn for each pound the bag is over.
I heft the bag onto the platform, and wait, breathlessly…….waiting… ……50.0 exactly!!
I immediately lift my hands over my head in the V-for-victory sign. “Woo hoo!” I proclaim. “Am I awesome or WHAT?” I’m about to do my little “uh-huh, Miss Tasha’s got skilz” dance, when I notice the check-in guy looking at me a little strangely, so I decide to not press my luck. Especially since he’s now looking at my passport, then at me – up, down, up down. Uh oh, now what??
Shit, here it comes.
He continues, “Miss, you forgot to sign your passport. Would you mind doing that now?”
Whew! Disaster averted.
The next exciting moment comes as I’m going through the metal detector, and it beeps. Sweet! Could this mean my titanium collarbone has finally gotten the attention it deserves? Could it be, could it…..
“Please take off your hat.”
Sigh, my Sox hat. I take it off, go through again, no beep. Maybe next time, titanium collarbone, maybe next time…….
* * * * * * *
I’m trying to kill time on the endless, interminable flight, as there’s just so much book reading and napping one can do. I idly start flipping through the in-flight magazine, when something extraordinary catches my eye.
“Exercise in exactly 4 minutes per day!”
What fresh hell is this? Someone is trying to steal my patented uber-efficient workout methodology?? I read on. “Expensive but fantastic!” it proclaims. “Total disbelief of a cardio workout done in only 4 minutes!”
Yes, the ROM machine (it doesn’t say what ROM stands for) can be yours as you astound and amaze your friends and family with your newly toned and muscular physique, from using this weird-looking machine for just the aforementioned 4 minutes. The cost for such a marvel? A mere $14,615.
Why the hell didn’t I think of something like this?
* * * * * * * *
We finally land at Heathrow, and I briskly stride off the plane and towards customs. And stride. And stride. Good god, just how big IS this damn airport? After a while it brings to mind a Monty Python skit, where you keep turning a corner and lo, there’s another walkway! More stairs! Another long hallway! Personally I think it’s a test, to see if you really want to arrive in London or not, or just decide it’s too much bother and get on the next plane going back. I persevere. Finally, customs.
And as a note, lest you fourteens of readers think I’m making this up, some astute fellow traveler friends informed me on Facebook that yes indeed, the Heathrow Half-Marathon as they call it is quite a hike – 1.8 miles, to be exact. Hmm, so much for my Big Taper Day. Hmph. Heathrow, if this screws up my carefully designed Alps Training Regimen, I’ll know who to blame……
And while I thought that my initial perfect bag-weighing-in might have been a harbinger of smooth sailing to come, I was disabused of this notion when my driver got hopelessly lost taking me to Stacey, who lives in Chelsea, which is the equivalent of Lincoln Park in Chicago. His Garmin stopped working, so he had no idea about anything. 2 calls to Stacey, 3 calls to his dispatcher, and 6 pull-overs so he could study the map later, we arrive. Whee, let the adventure begin!
(Next up: how Stacey tries to kill me on Day One, by sending me off on a bike in heavy London traffic. In the rain. With nighttime approaching. And oh yeah, then there were the police officers who pulled us over and threatened to make us show up in court the next day. Whee! Also, why Shimano should be boycotted…….)