Sunday, October 28, 2018


If you read Adam's Ale, you know that I have been away from the computer for a little spell due to being on the St. Sebastian 90th Anniversary Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  I had to leave the pilgrimage a day early however due to an emergency at the parish and so had to say goodbye to the group and fend for myself navigating taxis and airports.  (Part of my deal in going was that I would not have to think at all - so much for that.)

Anyway, Tel Aviv Airport was navigated - the airport in Paris was a bit of a blur having to run from one end to the other but all was well.  Then we were to land at JFK.  For this I was grateful.  If I was going to be delayed, lost, whatever - I would rather it occur in the good ole U.S. than in a place where I don't speak their language or have their currency.

I was soooooo looking to getting out of the ONE position in which I could sit.  Airplanes were not built for 6'3" people.
So there was no relief and that extra hour made my backside apply for succession from the union.  But we eventually made it to a gate.  A poor young lady behind me was trying to force her way to the front of the plane because she was going to be late for her connection.  Her connection was a half hour AFTER mine.

According to my watch, I had about 10 minutes left before my plane started boarding (I was supposed to have about an hour and half.)  The first step was to go through passport control.  I showed the guy my ticket and asked if there was any way that I was going to make it.
So I said a Hail Mary and gave it the old seminary try.  First, since I was switching from international to domestic travel, the first step was to claim my baggage.  That alone could take a half an hour.  My bag ALWAYS comes 10 minutes  AFTER I think, "How could there possibly be any more luggage on this plane?  There aren't that many people in Akron."  But guess what!  My bag was like the 3rd one to drop out of the baggage thingy!  FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE.
Now I had to check it again.  A very harried but infinitely patient and kind attendant took my bag, drew me a map, told me about an ancient oracle that said that one day there would be a bald priest who would one day have no chance of catching his plane but would be brought to the promised plane miraculously by his guardian angle and that I just might be that priest.  Then she yelled, "Now,
So I ran.  I ran up and down stairs, out of the terminal and into another attendant who showed me the terminal to which I needed to go.  "It's a four minute walk," he said.  But I ran with all of my might, humming the tune to Chariots on Fire and made it 3 minutes and 45 seconds!
That's when I found out that I would have to go though security again.
A kind attendant ushered me to a short line when I showed my ticket and time table.  So that mess was got through and then I had to run to the end of THAT terminal and go outside to catch a bus which, of course, I had just missed.  

Another bus showed up and because I was the only one on it, we sat there for what seemed like a half an hour but was probably much closer to 10 minutes.

A very kind off duty flight attendant took a look at my ticket and said, "Oh honey, there's still hope.  I've seen worse situations than this.  Now, here's what you do . . ."  God bless her.

So the bus finally arrives at my terminal - I dash off according to her instructions - up stairs and down hallways until I reach my empty gate - but the doors are still open!  I make my way to my seat!  The person in the seat next to me had already strapped himself in and started making himself at home in both of our seats since he was sure that I wasn't going to make it.  He let me in, I squeezed myself in with a shoe horn, click the buckle and was READY TO GO WITH 30 SECONDS TO SPARE!!!!


Anonymous said...

Glad you made it back safely, Father, and sorry you had to leave early. It's rare that I don't face some kind of "ordeal" when flying. And as a tall male myself, you are right - the seats on airplane are designed for men who are no taller than 5'9".

Stephen Stone said...

Dear Father,
Welcome home. You need to see your Chiropractor A.S.A.P!

Also, there is an old saying:
Welcome to Heaven, here's your harp.
Welcome to Hell, here's you airline ticket!