When we last saw our hero, he was stuck at the Atlanta airport with a canceled flight and the prospects of having to spend the night at the terminal (and sleeping with his contact lenses, which would result in a headache!). Will he be able to get on another flight? Will his trip have to be canceled? Will he just get on with it already? These questions and more will be in this exciting (?) conclusion.
“If I had the ability to control people’s minds, I would make you punch yourself in the face.” I didn’t actually say this to the very unhelpful Delta employee whose incompetence led me to only be able to obtain a standby ticket to Chicago later that evening, but I thought it. I think she could tell what I was thinking, though. At one point, she actually said, “Please don’t take control of my mind and make me punch myself in the face.” My, “I’m sure I have no idea what you are talking about” response was, thankfully, very convincing. However, I’m afraid my smile did give it away. But I digress.
Faced with the reality that I was unlikely to be able to get on that later flight to Chicago, I called my dad. He travels all the time for work. And since he had a Delta Skymiles account, I used it when booking my original (now canceled) flight so he could get the airline miles. I hoped (HOPED!) he could call Delta and somehow help me since, to Delta, it was his account going through all this craziness.
So, I called my dad. I told him the situation. I told him my preferred list of alternatives, in order of preference, and hoped for the best. He told me he would call Delta and see what he could do. Ten minutes later, he calls me back:
Dad: “Okay, you are on a flight to Chicago that leaves (in about an hour). You have been bumped up to first class.”
I don’t recall my exact words to him, but think it was something along the lines of, “did that really just happen?” In the span of just a few short minutes, I went from pondering what it will be like to sleep in an airport terminal like a common hobo to pondering “I wonder what drinks they serve in first class?”
In other words, thing were looking up for ol’ Kev. Sure, there was still the chance THIS flight would be canceled, too. Until the moment I boarded the plane and we took off, I braced myself for this possibility. But, thankfully, that didn’t happen. My flight took off on time. I was on my way to Chicago.
Once in Chicago, I immediately had flashbacks to my trip to Minnesota years earlier. I expected snow. I expected cold weather. I packed accordingly. What did I find in Chicago? Melting snow and a temperature barely warmer than what I had just left behind in Georgia.
I was not pleased. In my suitcase was a black scarf from Gap and suede gloves. These were items I had bought years earlier for the aforementioned trip to Minnesota. They had never been worn. They had never been used. They had been neglected. If cartoon characters, they would have fit comfortably into the plot of Toy Story 3.
Ah, but Chicago was just setting me up. Oh, I wouldn’t get to see any snow during my visit, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t get to use my scarf and gloves. I would. And I thanked the good Lord I had those items with me.
But before trying to freeze me, Chicago had another surprise for me: Blindness.
Wind might be a kite’s best friend, but to wearers of contact lenses wind is our mortal enemy. Before this trip to Chicago, I had never lost a contact lens. Never. Never, ever, ever, ever.
(You see where this is going, yes?)
While walking the streets of Chicago the evening of day two, it happened. My right contact lens jumped out of my eye. It committed Harey Carey.
“Surely you brought backup contacts for your trip to Chicago, right Kevin?”
Um, I mean, alas dear reader, I did not.
But you’ll have to wait until part three to read how I managed to survive my trip while half blind. Since I care, I’ll leave you with a teaser:
At one point, I found myself entering a room filled with women washing their hands and, potentially, doing other things I am thankful I was not capable of seeing.
Yes, I’m serious.
Will Kevin be able to survive Chicago with only one contact lens? Exactly how cold did it get during his trip? What “room” is he talking about? To find the answer to these questions and more, stay tuned for Part Three.