This is why I celebrate Festivus

Anybody who’s spent time around me and my family know we are a bit crazy. We don’t do anything normally. We try and stay contained within our own walls if at all possible, not because we are afraid of pissing off and annoying other, more civilized people, but because trying to get all of us to a certain destination is like troop movements. If we’re supposed to be someplace at noon and we show up at 2, I’m actually proud of us.

That being said, when we were trying to fly down to South Carolina for Thanksgiving, my mom was working and Jeff was going to Oklahoma and my dad was, well, in South Carolina, which meant that I was Supreme Commander of Allied Goob Siblings for the day. And trust me, after being stranded in one of the busiest airport in the world on the busiest traveling day of the year for a few hours, it wasn’t a fun job.

I finally found a few open seats and promptly parked the traveling circus in the fixed location while I went to see if I could find an area of the airport that had more than one bar of cellular reception. Eventually I found such a spot, but it was right in front of a ground gate, which meant that every few minutes the door would burst open with a loud whoosing sound as a ground agent walked in. Also, right above me, there was a giant speaker for all the gate announcements. And finally, there was a small group of people behind me whose only common bond was that they were angry at “The Man” for not allowing them to smoke in an airport.

I mention all this because of who I was calling. United’s 800 employ listing number. It’s completely automated and one of the glitchiest pieces of software still in existence. With this software, you don’t punch keys on the phone, oh no. You fucking talk to the computer and it listens. This might be cool in theory or on Star Trek, but it’s horrible over a cell phone using 2005 technology. My mom used to go into the broom closet and make us all sit quietly on the couch while she used it and even then we’d get grounded if we talked or fought or sneezed. Yet here I was, standing underneath a speaker, next to a door, and behind a bunch of people who will one day die of cancer.

“What is your destination city?”

“Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina”

“click-click-click…did you say Seoul, Korea?”


“What is your destination city?”

“Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina”

“click-click-click….did you say Seoul, Korea?”


“What is your destination city?”

“Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina”

“click-click-click…did you say Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?”


“What is your destination city?”


It was about this time that the chick behind me turned and smirked that I shouldn’t yell at a ticket agent like that, even if it was over a phone. Now, under any other circumstance, I probably would have let it go. I mean, she was stressed about not being able to smoke and she was pretty hot, so normally I would have just smiled and walked to another location. But by this point I was tired from not having slept any the night before and frustrated from being stranded and annoyed from listening to her airhead comments behind me for the past 20 minutes.

“It’s an automated phone system, hun. I could call it’s mother a string of four letter words and it’d still want to book me on a fucking flight to Korea. Now fuck off, leave me alone, and go find a place to smoke your cancer stick.”

Ladies, they tell me my charm is irresistible.

After finally realizing we weren’t going to anywhere other than Asia via this route, I returned to Fort Goob to formulate a new strategy. Of course, by this point Juls and Clay had passed out to Dreamland and Colton was dancing around doing his “I really gotta pee but I don’t want to tell anybody” dance. I woke Juls to take sentry duty over our luggage and marched hand-in-hand with Colton to the bathroom and as we exited, an elderly lady looked at me with a level of scorn I’ve never seen before in my life. But I’ll admit, she had a giant pair of brass, because she leaned over to her husband and quite loudly proclaimed how America’s youth today were all going to hell since we all apparently are having kids at age 15. Thankfully, my tongue had already been loosened for the day and I proceeded to go off on her. As we walked back to Fort Goob, Colton asked me what a “bitchy, bitter hag” was.

I blame the Pilgrims.

Or Starbucks. It’s always fun to blame Starbucks for things.

5 replies on “This is why I celebrate Festivus”

  1. It is about time you got back to writting something whitty! If you want to be like “Kramer” I will sell you some of my drunk stories and you can pass them off as your own.

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