If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either. Joseph Wood Krutch

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Well, our vacation is finally here. And this year it is going to be much more relaxing and slower paced. And that is not just because I am getting old. I can still keep up with the young guys. I just don't want to anymore.

Our normal vacation usually begins with a long list of things to pack, followed by days of packing, repacking, adding and eliminating, then finally bundling it all up, putting it by the front door, rechecking to make sure we have everything, worry a little that we forgot something, and then on the day before leaving retire to bed late for the long travel day ahead.

The morning we leave,in order to avoid the exorbitant parking fees at the airport, we usually drag all of our stuff to the corner and wait for a bus. The bus then takes us to the light rail, which takes us to the airport where we ride the escalator, walk down a super long corridor,find a check-in line, check the bags and then deliver them to a gruff TSA person who sizes up whether our bags should get the mini-nuke treatment or the full service. We then wander off to wait, have our socks sniffed and our carrion checked by the vultures at the security checkpoint and if we are lucky we won't have to strip to our altogether in the little booth while the dentist wannabe checks our cavities. (I've been lucky so far and have only had the mini-nuke treatment and never the full service.)

Once through security we relax a bit and would not even consider leaving back to the real world again. The airport people make this easy since the corridors are lined with shops and restaurants galore. They are all overpriced and lousy but hey, what else is there to do except watch a bunch of tired people. I think it is important to mention here that to have a proper vacation one must first suffer. This is the reason vacation sentences must be served a long way from home. The further the better.

Watching people at the airport gets boring fast because no one is really themselves. If you act normal at an airport you might draw the attention of someone important and then you would need to explain why you stopped looking at your carrion for a few seconds and answer questions about people you don't know. This is why we usually make the cursory wander through the magazine shop to pick up the latest copy of AdBusters and then settle into a seat at the gate and quietly wait, peering above the magazine from time to time and take sucks off our $2.99 bottle of water. When the plane arrives we watch all the people get off to see if they are still breathing or look particularly nauseous. I also try to check out the flight crew to see if they actually look old enough to fly, or conversely...are they over the hill and should I bone up on my CPR skills.

Anyhow, we always buy the cheap tickets so we end up watching everyone else get on before us. When we are finally able to shuffle down the jetway, we try to smile innocently at the flight attendant who is smiling back but really just wondering if we have any contraband shampoo or creme rinse in our carrion. We slide down the aisle to find our seats and hope this time we are not next to someone with flatulence or wearing cheap perfume. We fit ourselves into our seats, properly stow our knees under our chins and then triple check to make sure the tray table is in the upright position. We don't want problems with he flight attendant. We must rely on her for the next few hours for our food and drink. Then we watch the flight attendant give a five minute speech on the proper clicking of seat belts, how to breath through a tube should one side or the other of the plane disappear at 35,000 feet and the proper method of flotation on a seat cushion. I believe you are supposed to throw your arms over the top and look skyward. Have you ever heard of a person being rescued in a plane crash that was floating on their seat cushion in some lake somewhere? We feign attention to the speech but since it is a rerun, we just get out our neck pillows and brace ourselves firmly in the reading position for the long three hours of sitting perfectly still while holding out hope our legs don't thrombose before the plane touches down. I don't want some doc on vacation removing a clot from my leg with a ball point pen at 35,000 feet, do you? I didn't think so. This is fun!

After reaching our destination, the process works exactly in reverse with the exception that the TSA vultures no longer consider us dead meat and pretty much ignore us unless we running through the airport talking about how great the jihad convention was. Once we finally arrive at our room, we flip on the TV and fall asleep weary from the first long day of our vacation. Tomorrow we attack our vacation with all we have left.

I think I have pretty much had it with that type of vacation. This year we are vacationing much closer to home and using our own vehicle. No stress, just a leisurely drive east of the mountains where we can hide from the rain, do a little walking, ride a horse, raft a river,get some rest, read a few books and probably watch a few videos. Carbon footprint for this vacation, about 20 gallons of gas and the same amount of electricity we would use at home. Expenditure for the jet vacation. TONS of fuel. Literally! There is also rumor that jets flying in the upper atmosphere are having an egg beater effect and affecting weather patterns. Who knows what the outcome of that is.

Anyway, I won't be writing any posts over the next week or so, but I don't think too many people are reading my blog yet anyhow. As soon as I can figure out a good hook like "No Impact Man" who has given up toilet paper I should garner a lot more attention. Until then, I am happy just to write to myself and pretend.

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