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You don’t have to wear that dress tonight

August 1, 2008

Or any other night for the next 4 days.

I just made it home from a crazy night of flying. There will be no avoiding sleep today. I’ve closed my dark curtains in my room and in a minute I’m going to sleep as long as I feel like it.

I knew last night was going to be rough when, at about 4pm, we were in the middle of our third torrential downpour for the day. My flight at 8:30pm was already delayed. When I got to work it was delayed further because we were waiting for the plane to come in from Syracuse. It finally arrived around 10:30 and I went out to get the plane ready. A ramper comes up and tells me he thinks our flight is canceled. This seems too good to be true – not that I want to strand anyone in Atlanta – but I’d like to sleep in my bed. Turns out, there was a bad storm in Jacksonville, NC where we were headed and their weather system and runway lights were down. Flight canceled.

The captain and I get on the bus to go to our cars around 11 and about halfway there he gets the call that we have to go to Augusta. Their crew timed out. Fair enough. I knew it was too good to be true. Augusta is only about a 30 minute flight and I had just had a cup of coffee before we got canceled, so I was going to be awake for a few hours. Turns out, that flight was supposed to leave at 6:35pm. Whenever it finally left it was waiting in line to take off and the crew timed out. Sucks for them. We eventually landed in Augusta a little after 1am. Everyone was nice because they had been told we had returned to the airport to take them to Augusta, and they were just happy to get there.

We got in the taxi to go home and our driver started complaining immediately because there isn’t another flight coming in all night and he hasn’t made any money (it’s 1:30am dude. Sorry). As we drive to the hotel my ever so polite captain asks him if the van is stuck in overdrive or does he just want waste gas… My captain is one of those guys that talks constantly about anything. They talk about that for a while and within a few minutes my captain has figured out that based on an 8% fuel savings by not using overdrive, the cab driver could save at least $1000 a year. Greeeaaaat. It’s 1:30am. Who cares?

Then as the first officer and I are sitting in the back looking at each other in amazement at the ridiculousness of the conversation, the driver starts telling us how dangerous Augusta is. He said he had a passenger once who asked him to pull into an alley. The driver said “I reached down like I was scratching my leg and pulled out my .38. I turned to him and told him, get out of my van or I’ll blow your head off.” He proceeds to explain how he told him he had just gotten back from killing people in Iraq and this guy wasn’t any different to him. If he didn’t get out of the van he’d kill him. He said “I know you have a gun in your belt. If you want to live get out of my van.” The guy evidently didn’t believe him so he said he’d give him 5 seconds to find out if he was bluffing or not. It’s now 1:45am, and I can’t believe I’m hearing this story. It’s time for bed. It’s time to get out of this crazy man’s taxi. Thankfully we didn’t ask him to pull into an alley, and none of us had pistols in our belts so we made it out alive. The world is full of all kinds of strange people.

Three hours later we were loading up to go back to the airport, and now I’m home. Sleepy time.

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