Well, we made it back from Dallas yesterday evening. A one and a half day conference turned into five days! In the morning, it didn’t look like we were going to make it back yet again.
We got to the airport around 7:00 a.m. and there was a mammoth line of people who were trying to rebook flights that had been cancelled. You should have seen all the people who were exhausted from their ordeal. Many of them having to have slept in the airport, some with little children.
After some shifting around, we got in line and waited and waited. We had a flight we were supposed to catch from Dallas to Cincinnati and then in Cincinnati one to Chicago. The flight was to leave at 8:30 a.m. So we waited and waited. We waited in line so long we missed our flight at 8:30 (it turned out to be a good thing because the flight from Cincinnati to Chicago was cancelledand we would have been stuck in Cincinnati). We finally got to the ticket counter and there was no tickets available back to Chicago. So the dude placed us on standby for a flight leaving from Dallas to Chicago (direct!) at 10:15 a.m. We rushed to the gate; waited and…no avail.
Then we got transferred to a new gate – A16 – with a flight to Chicago leaving at 11:00 a.m. Again, we were on standby. Here was our main problem…Jim Counts (whose dad is also Jim Counts and is a Platinum card holder with American Airlines) automatically gets placed on the top of the standby list (because they think Jim Counts, Jr. is Jim Counts, Sr. – I didn’t ruined the gig). Sam Barrington (who does not have a dad by the same name; nor a dad who is a Platinum card holder with American Airlines) is placed at the bottom of the standby list. So Jim could fly out, but I would be stuck (and at the moment Jim had the family in Dallas, the van keys, and no guarantee that I would even be getting to Chicago that day). We talked to the lady at the counter and said that we were together (not in a gay sort of way … but I might have resorted to kissing Jim in front of her if she would have got us on the flight!…O.K. maybe not…I’m sure a church in Dallas could use a pastor) and one couldn’t leave without the other. She said there was nothing she could do and gave us little hope that I would make it on.
I left the ticket counter doubting we would be leaving that day (again). I headed off to the bathroom, when I got a cell phone call from David Kneip who had placed me on speaker phone so the Living Stones Church could say “Good Morning Sam!” That was a highlight in the otherwise miserable morning. If David had called ten seconds later I would have been standing at a urinal and would have answered because the phone said “David Kneip” on the caller I.D. What I didn’t know was David had put me on speaker with the whole church. That could have been one embarrassing moment. If he had called 30 seconds earlier he could have heard us plead with the ticket counter lady to let me on the plane!
Now get this God thing. When I came out of the bathroom – my name had been cleared to fly off the standby list! In fact, I was the first one cleared! Debbie, who worked at gate A16 for American Airlines, while saying there was nothing she could do – actually placed me on the top of that list!!! So – I don’t know who she is – but if you do – tell her I love her!
We made it back! Just by the hair of my chinny chin chin… which by the way seems longer…I need to go manscape.