"This is the way the world ends," to quote a favorite comic book /
movie (Southland Tales) referencing the Book of Revelations (weird,
oft-ignored, apocalyptic section of Christianity´s New Testament). I
haven´t experienced porn stars with a talk show releasing "Teen
Horniness Is Not A Crime" as a hit single, but I have come across my
own version of what "the end of the world" is likely to be.
In a nutshell, it´s that other people start to suck more frequently than not. Today is an example of this symptom and its attendant effects. Specifically:
-Super-bitch check-in lady refuses to accept our bicycles as checked baggage packed in a pallet-based container I spent 4 hours constructing the previous evening.
-Aforementioned dame OK´s cardboard containers that I buy from airport business center for a highway-robbery $29 to repack bike.
-Same lady watches as I repack bikes in the containers, only to veto the final result: "You´re going to Nicaragua? If this was domestic I could make an exception, but you didn´t tell me you were going to Nicaragua..."
So, we miss our San Antonio - Fort Lauderdale flight, after being assured that the flight´s delay would ensure we miss our FLL - Managua leg and rescheduling to that evening´s identical flight.
But the flight check-in lady wasn´t a clear winner for least-worth-dealing-with-individual-of-the-day: rent-a-cops are a force to be reckoned with. Repacking the bikes in an area 3 feet from the spot a $7-an-hour trooper wanted twice earns me his wraith. The second time, I´m even cautioned that "just one call" is all he need make to summon the (real) airport police upon me. Power trip is an understatement. I try to ignore memories of my soiree with ignorant cops at a Critical Mass ride less than a week ago.
The waste disposal guy summoned to dispose of my pallet-based bike carrier tells Amanda in Spanish that he plans to use is as a planter. He finds extra cardboard for our failed bike-wrapping attempt and says he´ll file a complaint against the security guy with the airport director. Shallow solace; the best intentions of the powerless in the face of the empowered´s legislation of whim. I hope he doesn´t get fired if he complains, and I wish we´d motorcycled down to Nicaragua.
Of course, nice guys at the bike shop give us official bike boxes for our packing. Plus pedal removal and duct tape, we´re indisputable to the airport baggage fucker.
Before takeoff, a maintenance lady tries to dispose of my Wired magazine. Amanda gets it back from her, plus a scolding: "don´t leave anything on the floor in our airport."
Layover´s eventless, but for some more rudely shitty service including a 2-hours-early closing of the only reasonable restaurant in the terminal and "cash only" for fun from the low-quality tuna sandwich stand.
Meaningless nitpicking but for the realization doday triggers. I haven´t noted in this narrative the shittiness induced between Amanda and I. Considering her importance to me, a little bit goes a long way. Ignore your personal analysis of it: net net, for me, I lost out through continued engagement with society. Even if you factor in time to refine my own biodiesel for a motorcycle / car and (falsely) assume I get no utility from spending 2 days driving or 2 weeks bicycling Texas to Nicaragua, society has been a liability for me today.
With a cabbie bragging about dangers of Managua, we get to an altogether typical second-world budget hotel room.