a christmas story (6 weeks late)

Smack-dab in the middle of our Beverage class was winter break.  Great timing, huh? Our 9-day class took the better part of 4 weeks to complete. Everything ended nicely at thanksgiving, and this term wraps up cleanly in 2 weeks (ack!) just in time for spring break, so I guess it can’t all work perfectly.

The last day of class before break was a university-wide deep clean, so we all spent a few hours scrubbing coolers, wiping down coffee machines, and organizing bottles and were sent on our way. A couple mimosas at a friend’s house and I was off to the great land of MILWAUKEE.

I have the fantastic ability to fall asleep absolutely anywhere, so as soon as my butt hit that seat I was out cold.  I wake up, expecting the beverage trolley to be rolling down the aisle, and wait. that’s concrete outside the window. We haven’t left yet. It’s been an hour. I have a connection in 60 minutes. In Atlanta–that’s 90 minutes from here. We finally take off, the pilot mumbles something about rain. We touch down in ATL as my connection is leaving. Cue mental rolodex: do i know anyone in a-town? Negative. Crap.

We get off the plane and I frantically ask the gate agent, “Did the milwaukee flight leave already?” (its now 20 minutes past scheduled departure) He points down the terminal and says one word: “GO!” I get (sprint) 3 gate down and I see another agent jumping up and down yelling “MILWAUKEE” and giving me the air-traffic-control TURN RIGHT arms. There are now 2 or 3 other women who also came sprinting into the gate and we breathlessly board the plane.  My seatmate says “Charlotte?” “Yep.” [flatly] “They held the plane for you guys.” [glare] Merry christmas to you too, wench.

I notice a guy in army fatigues from my first flight board right behind us (not the slightest bit out of breath) and the pilot comes on the intercom “We are pleased to welcome Private-Captain-So-and-So aboard, he is returning home to Wisconsin after his 1st tour in Iraq.” So THAT is why they held the plane. God bless the armed services. Seatmate X is now applauding so hard her whole body is vibrating. Wench.

This flight goes swimmingly (I’m asleep for most of it), and 24 hours later all is forgotten in favor of champagne and ornaments

t’was a lovely holiday, indeed.

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