Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cancel Cancel Cancel Mayday!


Lame Disclaimer: Anything I type may be compromised owing to the influence and confluence and after-effects of traveling from Berlin to Frankfurt to Chicago to Syracuse, then staying up, too jazzed to sleep, resulting in 23 or so hours of uninterrupted wakefulness, give or take the odd feline quasi-nap on a jet, here or there.

The trip almost never happened. Why say that now? Because it has now happened, that's why. Two days before embarking, Spousal Unit was sitting by the computer and simultaneously shouting words into the phone, obviously talking to one of those voice-recognition-robot-fucko-dorko computers. This computer happened to be Brainiac Machine No. 5569032254 of United Airlines. SU was trying to arrange meals to accommodate a child (our child) and her own special dietary needs.

I had objected to her earlier attempt at this because: a) I was nervous it would somehow screw the whole itinerary up [move the word "up" up in the sentence]; b) I felt we truly did not need this special meal stuff, certainly not the McDonaldsization of our aloft dining experience.

Her shouting into the phone, repeatedly, triggered all my lower-nature hair-trigger impulses.

I walked by, wiseguy, and muttered, "Cancel trip."

"They heard it!" Spousal Unit shouted.

She hung up.

"You've got to talk to a real human."

"No kidding."

(I'm leaving out some of the more colorful adjectives and participles English employs for such lively dialogue.)

"What did they say?"

"It said, 'cancel trip,' and I hung up."

Good.

My hands were shaking with fear by now.

First lose a job and now this? Yikes, what is it? Do I have advanced Tourette's Syndrome? Or merely onset Kokonuts Kamikaze Malaise?

She reached a human.

Trip saved.

But I knew I couldn't relax until completing every leg of the trip. I had visions of an airline factotum looking up from his or her computer screen in Brussels or Nairobi or wherever, saying, in very broken English, "Monsieur le Kokonuts? We have, how do you say, no record of ze itinerary for ze Mr. Pawlie Kokonuts or anyone by zat name."

Oh, it's a long, strange trip, I'm on, all right.

Perhap, just perhaps, it's a sign of mental health that "cancel trip" became a humorous mantra while actually on the trip. Hey, we kid, we laugh! We're freakin' Laughorists!

(Once I felt at least sort of kind of certain that things were ironed out, after SU talked with the United Airlines Human Being de Customer Service, I texted her (Spousal Unit), declaring, "I'm an asshole." Hey, it's progress! But . . . [always the dangerous"but"] don't you think United Airlines' computer thingy should have better defaults? Hunh?)



7 comments:

Christy said...

I'm sorry, I shouldn't laugh but your post is so colorful. I don't know you or know what you sound like but somehow I can hear you freaking out.

Patti said...

glad you had a safe voyage

sleep well, PK

Ralph said...

The few times I have flown, I always have to speak to a live person to be sure the travel details are well known...

The first time I flew, I ended up having my wheelchair transferred to my final destination. It was not fun changing planes in Cleveland without my wheelchair. Computers, y'know!

azgoddess said...

this post was hilarious...too funny....

http://www9.earthhourus.org/

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