Saturday, March 12, 2005

Mass wasting

The 19 Minutes staff is heading off tomorrow morning, at an ungodly hour, for a few days in Massachusetts. This leaves the staff somewhat conflicted. After around 120 inches of snow, Spring is legitimately underway in Flagstaff. Today, for example, it's a day of the variety that people in the northeast are lucky to encounter three times a year -- sunny and 65 with a sky so improbably blue that you'd think the Crayola folks modeled the "cornflower" crayon on it. We had one of those days yesterday, too, and the day before that, and there's one in the forecast for tomorrow. God invented sunroofs for such days (though, perhaps, maybe He/She/Whatever should have thought of that before also inventing male pattern baldness).

On the other hand, as Dennis Miller once said (before he became completely objectionable), it's a little like life in Hef's jacuzzi. Arizonans get so inured by the 300+ days of sunshine a year that they sprout invisible, but nevertheless real, bubbles around themselves, a little like wearing a Walkman while walking through a congested subway station. This leads to ridiculous situations like cars turning the wrong way up one way streets, triggering a response unheard of in Massachusetts: Other cars pulling over and getting out of the way. I always make sure to lean on my horn for an extra few seconds, both to let the driver of the first car know what an idiot he is, and also to remind the drivers of the other cars that they should be, perhaps, a little more possessive about the lanes they're driving in. (And also to remind them that they're idiots.)

And it's maple sugar season in western Massachusetts, and if I'm lucky, I'll drive by a maple sugar shack with its unbelievably intoxicating aroma. Or at least score some maple syrup.

The other downside to this trip is that I'm booked on Southwest Airlines. It's not a huge problem -- the fare is good, the schedule (except for the leaving Flagstaff at 4:30 am to get to Phoenix part) was the best of any of the airlines that fly between Phoenix and Hartford-Springfield, and I'm sure they'll be perky across all three time zones. But we leave Phoenix at 10:30 am and stop twice before we get to Bradley International at 7:30 pm. That means I have to either buy lunch and dinner at Sky Harbor Airport of the variety that it can withstand six hours on a 737, or I have to concede that I'll eat nothing but those annoying Ritz Cracker sandwiches, fruit snacks, and reverse Oreos that Southwest insists on including in its snack-packs. (I'll save the diatribe about reverse Oreos for the return trip.)

But modern-day travel is wonderful enough that I'm sure there's a third option awaiting me as I set out early tomorrow morning. I'm thinking, perhaps, of reverting to my early eating habits. That cornflower crayon sounds pretty good to me.

No comments: