Friday, July 18, 2008

Pack Heavy

Actually, that phrase doesn’t really come close to describing what I am about to inflict on my back and shoulders via The Overloaded Duffel Bag. The journey from my Queens apartment to my Manhattan office this morning was a warning. The kind of warning that brings to mind the scene in a horror movie when the heroine hears a really spooky thud and crunch coming from the attic. And of course, instead of getting away from the noise and out of the house like a normal person, the heroine beats a path to the attic stairs like an Olympic sprinter. And all the while you’re rolling your eyes at the heroine and thinking, “Well, sure, go right on up there, you dumbshit. That’s a brilliant idea! Obviously whatever’s up there wants to make friends! You’re so screwed.”

Am I going to heed that well-phrased warning? Of course not. Not only am I not going to remove anything from my bag, I am going to carry my bag on the plane if I can. Since my bag's weight class is somewhere between “kangaroo” and “Smartcar,” they may not allow this. I have to be prepared to accept this distressing possibility, which will naturally mean that I might as well have left my bag home to begin with and spared my lumbar system; now I’ll never see it again.

This is the dilemma in which airlines leave us in regards to bags.

Rock: They tack on some ridiculous surcharge ($420, isn’t it?) to check a bag that they won’t let us carry on even if it is a perfectly acceptable size and checking it means that it’s just as likely to end up in Egypt as not. This is great if Egypt is your destination, but it isn't mine tonight.

Hard Place: You can carry it on if you like, but if you’ve stuffed all your earthly possessions in there, good luck shoving it into the overhead compartment in a timely manner. (“Timely manner,” in this case, refers to the golden period of time before the people behind you in the aisle grow exasperated and resort to violence. Usually girls can count on about six seconds of golden time, but because I carry bribe money, I have on occasion been known to score ten.)

Harder Place: Oh, you might think you’re being clever by not packing anything, just setting out for a nice month-long sojourn in Disneyworld, expecting that you’ll buy a Mickey Mouse T-shirt when you arrive and everything will be fine. However, you are wrong. Upon arrival you will be presented with a bag that you did not check. It contains clothing. A charge of $2,300 will automatically be applied to your credit card, but hey, you’ve got threads! Really ugly ones! That you’d never wear under any other circumstances! Should’ve just packed your own bag in the first place! That is the message here from your friendly neighborhood airline! This is their idea of a “public service.” Little known fact.

So what is in this lovely bag of mine that’s causing it to bear a distinct resemblance to bricks both in weight and in effect of being dashed against my back over and over? Um, not that much. Enough to cause me sorrow, though.

-Some clothing. Not that much; it’s only a bloody week.

-Little Book of Everything (record of my life which I keep in a black journal and update daily). Last time, I was smart and left this monstrosity at home, electing to write the entries on a few sheets of paper and transcribe them later. This time, I forgot.

-External hard drive, iPod, phone charger, and two laptops. Obviously, the weight distribution favors the last item on that list the way a seesaw favors a chubby child. Why do I need both of my laptops? Because I am a technological idiot. I need my dad to help me sort out the mysteries of Transferring Old Laptop Stuff Onto New Laptop. Woe unto me if I do not get this finished while I’m in California.

-Gifts for my mother and sister, both of whom are celebrating another year of me in their lives. Or, you know, their birthday.

-Flight pillow. Only as necessary as cabin pressurization.

Speaking of that, I am exhausted. I deliberately stayed up late last night so as to make myself sleepy. The idea was that I would board the plane, pass out, and wake up five hours later on the opposite coast completely refreshed and ready to party like a rock star.

What was I thinking? First of all, I never sleep on planes. Second of all, I managed to catch an earlier flight which, assuming I make it, will contain large numbers of people who are not at all sleepy, since it’s the middle of the afternoon and all. Third of all, only if you were blind, deaf, and had never heard the term "rock star" could you mistake me for being one.

I am stupid, and I’m cranky, and I’m virtually guaranteed to wake up tomorrow in agony. On the plus side, I’m almost on vacation! The magic words that wash away all hurts and pains.

Posting might be a bit light for the week; I’ll try to write as much as possible, but I will be busy (see previous entry). According to some blogging websites I’ve read, when you have a blog and you miss even one day it is the worst sin you can ever commit out of all the sins in the world, especially if your blog is new. And to my four regular readers, three of whom I’ll be seeing this week, I do deeply apologize.

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