A more complete discussion swill come later about how I failed the City of New Orleans on my current trip, but I wanted to take a brief moment to discuss something that happened in the airport on the way back.
For reasons best known to Delta Airlines my journey home from New Orleans to Minneapolis involved a couple of hours hanging out in Atlanta. And by Atlanta, I mean the sprawling and vaguely smelly monolith that is the Atlanta Airport. And by Hanging Out I of course mean slouching over a slightly average than normal airport waiting chair while feeling so hung over that I was actively anticipating my own demise. And not without some welcome anticipation. I was also charging my cell phone*
*Seriously. The Atlanta airport has power points like everywhere to plug in a recharge your cell. With both plug in and USB plug options. So on that front at least I have to give mad props to Atlanta. This does not however excuse the crystal meth-inspired layout of the place or the smell. Or the 1998 NFC Championship game.
Over the PA system (that's 'Tannoy' for you British types. And speaking of, David Q - I did in fact find that Earthcam in front of the Kat's Meow Karaoke Club. Another Story for Another Time.) came an announcement. The Speaker (whoever they were) was looking for the final passenger for a flight to Capetown, South Africa.(which was the third or fourth time that South Africa came up over the weekend. Must investigate that coincidence further when time allows).
The message as spoken over the PA (Tannoy) was -
'Will the last passenger for Flight blahblahblah to Capetown, Mr. Rhino Wilhelm... um... <brief pause as she stumbled over a vaguely Afrikaans sounding last name.> please report to the gate so that the flight can depart.'
Now, there are a few obvious thoughts that immediately come up upon hearing this announcement-
1: Flights to South Africa are apparently more courteous than flights on Continental Airlines from Salt Lake City to Minneapolis, as they are perfectly happy to just leave your ass behind despite the fact that you were clearly at the gate waiting to be allowed to board. Not that I'm still bitter.
2: Rhino - possibly the greatest first name I have ever heard. A young Mother in South Africa's only dream was that one day her little boy would grow up to be an An American Gladiator. Bless.
3: If the first two names are 'Rhino Wilhelm', you are probably not waiting around to hear the last name just to make sure they're talking about you. I can guarantee he did not perk up one ear and then think, 'hold back... might be a different Rhino Wilhelm...'
I'm just saying.