Horace, Plane Crash

Hi Everybody!
	have i got another story to tell you today! a warning though, i do
have a habit of slightly overstating things in the subject line, so don't
worry: no trauma, no injuries.

as many of you know, i'm busy bopping all around the country for my
internship interviews. on sunday, i hit the road again. i was flying to
the lovely little Greenville/Spartanburg airport in SC (South Carolina)
for my interview in Johnson City, TN. 

the first leg of my journey was uneventful. i flew from Los Angeles to
Dallas, and easily made my connecting flight. it seemed like everything 
was fine. hey, the plane was even a mini-jet, not one of those
puddle-jumper propeller planes i was expecting! it was kind of small
though, my seat was both an aisle seat and a window seat. it gave me a
nice view of the wing while allowing me to chime in to random
conversations with other passengers.

the trouble didn't start until we all got on the plane. first, it took
them an extra half hour for them to start the plane's engines. they had to
air-start them, which i assume is kind of like push-starting a car with
manual transmission. after a while (long enough for me to thoroughly read
the front section of the sunday paper), the plane was able to start
moving. 

since i'm usually in an aisle seat, i thought that it would be fun to look
out of the window this time. i watched the ground crew guy, since i found
it interesting how he dealt with his boredom while doing those little
ground crew motions. trust me, he was bored.

the airplane began backing up a bit. then, it turned to the right and 
began pulling forward. suddenly, the ground guy began crossing
his sticks and thrusting them forward in the "stop" motion. nothing
happened.

CRASH!

ok, ok. there was no huge crash. i didn't feel anything. i didn't hear
anything. but there was a collision. it didn't really occur to me what had
happened until the plane came to a complete stop and the ground crew guy
looked really upset. he threw down his light saber things and stomped
around. i'm sure that i could have heard some really expressive language
if i was outside. another ground crew guy came into view too, he didn't
look as pissed, but somewhat bugged.

what had happened was that the plane's wing had clipped some big storage
bin-sized thing on the ground (i later learned that it was a mobile ground
power unit). the tip of the wing was resting on top of it when the plane
stopped. it didn't look bad, it kind of reminded me of someone who had
just tapped someone's bumper while trying to parallel park. the usual
course of action? back up and try again.

nope. the plane had be to taken in to be checked. so, all of us passengers
had to be taken back to the terminal. they had to find a new plane to put
us on. 

after a while (and after being shuffled between several different gates),
they found another flight that we could swipe the plane from, but then
they couldn't find a complete crew. so they sent us towards McDonalds with
$10 vouchers (20 nuggets and a big mac meal = $9.94. i think that i
managed to get closest to the limit). after we got back from our chow,
they announced that the flight had been cancelled. the little mishap was
being investigated and the crew had to be a part of it. there was no one
else to take their place.

as i said repeatedly that night and the next day, "it's so stupid that
you've just got to laugh about it"

so, they offered free lodging, free breakfast, a $200 voucher, and
the first flight out the next morning. given that that would would get me
into town way too late for my interview, i chose to stay in dallas a
little longer, arrange for a phone interview, and fly back to LA a day
early. 

given that i never made it to my interview, and that i could have easily
had a phone interview back at home, i think that i deserve a refund of my
airfare (i won't let them know just how hilarious it was for me). don't
you agree?

Bye everybody!
hck