Saturday, April 19, 2008

Spring Colors and Sounds

With cheerful colors finally appearing along the Vermont roadsides it is officially spring. Kubota orange, John Deere green and the the dusty rose of the occasional aging Ford or Massey Ferguson dot the hillsides with the promise of summer. We dragged all the attachments out of the barn yesterday and I took inventory of the broken and missing parts I needed to get everything to work. Lynch pins, shackles, top links and zerks -- a lovely list of alliterative parts my son and I went to fetch this morning. Soon I'll be able to york rake the road, bush hog the buckthorn, and stack the brush. I think what I like best about spring -- besides the weather and flowers if you're into that sort of thing -- is simply talking about it. A person can not say bush hog the buckthorn too many times.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Witness to Catastrophe

According to CNN and other authorities, I am trapped inside of a national nightmare. I'm at O'Hare airport in Chicago in the midst of the airline meltdown, which according to CNN and other authorities, has created a refugee camp of surly passengers desperate to go somewhere, anywhere. I keep looking around for the horror so that I can bear witness to this headline catastrophe. I am in the B Concourse -- United territory -- and it looks like every other Friday morning I've sat here waiting for my ride home. I thought I heard small arms fire coming from the American terminal, but it turned out to be the popcorn machine over by the Starbucks across from the Hudson News stand. You know the one I mean.

A woman over by the window at B3 is reading People. I can tell by the "who are these people?" look on her face that she is not a subscriber. She only reads it in airports and dentist offices. There is a slow but annoying drip coming from the ceiling by the pay phone kiosk eight feet to my right. A parade of people have settled into the seat for as long as it takes to get dripped on and then they move. I should warn them, I know, but I am but an observer here -- reporting on this nightmare. I decide I will warn older people with bad hips, but nobody else.

My flight is delayed 40 minutes. A nightmare? Somehow I can't muster my "Flight or Fight" response to this. I don't get too worked up about this stuff anyway. Travel is all about managing your expectations. Whenever I leave home for a trip -- no matter where I'm going -- I assume I will spend the night sleeping in the back of a rented Celica at a snowed-in truckstop in Erie, PA. These things happen. That way, even if I end up in the back of a Jeep Cherokee at a snowed-in truckstop in Erie I can say to myself, "At least it isn't a Celica". If the truckstop is in Wyoming? At least it isn't Erie. A Motel 6 in Boise? It could be much much worse. And if I actually get to where I intended to go more or less at the time and on the day I wanted to go there -- which is usually the case -- I feel a pleasurable swell of surprise and delight.

Our long national nightmare is over. Somebody call CNN.

© Current Tom Bodett
All Rights Reserved

Reproduction or distribution of any article or portion of this website - such as copying and
pasting into an email to send to all your crummy friends, or harrassing pregnant women,
or for implementation as a flotation device -- is strictly prohibited without written
permission from We mean it. Don't do it.
Steps will be taken. Oh yes. Steps will be taken.
(Unless you really want to, then go ahead. We don't care.)