Tag Archives: surprise

Delta Surprise!

It took hours to absorb enough light for this photo

At the airport in Oklahoma City, I munched on a third Major Milk Makin’ Lactation cookie while contemplating the news of an unexpected 29 hour layover in Amsterdam. “That is a long layover,” I thought. Actually, I was a little angry at the time, so I believe my thoughts may have had some more descriptive words that connoted my irritation.

Apparently something had gone horribly, horribly wrong. I had been so excited about the future just an hour beforehand, gushing about the beauty of life like a simpleton. But now the beginning to my spring semester was darkened, and the shininess of the attending Delta employee’s bald head did nothing to ease my dread, and the fact he implied that this predicament was my fault only served to incense me. “Who made the reservation?” he said. “Does it matter?” I half snapped, half asked politely. A Muppet friend could have made the reservation, but that didn’t alter the fact that Delta had confirmed it and then changed the flight without notifying me. Someone was going to pay for this.

As it turns out, Delta/KLM agreed with me. In Atlanta, I learned that my flight from Amsterdam was no longer scheduled for Jan. 24th at 5:25 pm, but for Jan. 25th at 5:25, and that since it was not my fault, I would be taken care of in Amsterdam by nice people who would put me in a hotel and feed me.

At the airport in Amsterdam, I talked to some truly wonderful KLM representatives, one of which had a voice like the Swedish chef, and eventually wound up in a hotel nicer than one I would ever be able to afford (as an Arabic fellow making $520/mo.) and confronted with a lunch buffet of my wildest imaginings.

Bread! Butter!  Prosciutto! Little things of jam I could steal! Oh happy day! I even got a toiletry bag from KLM filled with, among other things, spray on deodorant with man-smell (the cooling sensation on the pits is quite nice), and a European size XXL white t-shirt, which translates to an American medium. This was perfect, since I didn’t have pajamas in my carry-on.

bunny bunny bunny!

Later that day, I chased and took pictures of bunnies in the hotel parking lot, went to Amsterdam, and ate a 3 course meal by myself while reading A Confederacy of Dunces and watching happy dinner parties in a lovely dining room lit by hundreds of votive candles and decorated with roses. It has been a most wonderful paid vacation.

A word on Amsterdam: at one moment I thought to myself, “If you’ve never considered suicide, try going to Amsterdam in the winter. There are many lovely bridges to contemplate jumping off of after tying a stone to your foot.” I had been to that city once before, in the summer, when it was sunny. I now realize that it may have been the one sunny day they’d had all year. While wandering around Amsterdam, I felt like I was in the surreal, dark world of one of the characters from a Rembrandt painting, surrounded by people who were hurrying to get home to the light and remember a reason for living. But that’s just my impression. The windows of the city are quite lovely though.

Hopefully I will arrive to Cairo for real-sies today.

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Message From the Ants: You Are Powerless Against Us


Though we love our new apartment, one of its only flaws is the continual potential for an ant infestation.  The potential was realized this afternoon, when I heard a scream in the roommate’s room. Concerned, I rushed in and happened upon my roommate being held down by a giant masked ant with a knife at her throat. “Man,” I chuckled, “this infestation is both exceedingly ugly and worse than I thought.”

But really, there was a literal river of ants flowing from the balcony door, around the corner, and into a crack in the wall. I’m not great with numbers, but there must have been at least one or two, maybe millions, or something like thousands of ants endlessly streaming into the wall, carrying an unknown substance to their queen for her to feast on. Powerless to stop the flood, we left the apartment and discovered upon our return that they had vanished, only one or two unpopular ones left behind. As we commented on how bizarre the experience was, I found a tiny note in the corner of the room near the ants’ escape crack. It was typed out very clearly and left little to the imagination, except for picturing the tiny ant computer. Here is the note, as it was written but slightly larger and edited for profanity.

Dear pathetic human scum,

I assume by now you’ve noticed we have no regard whatsoever for your existence. It matters very little to us the arbitrary barriers you have placed on our earth, or the packaging in which you wrap our food. You cannot keep us out. We are tiny and there are millions of us. You are large, pasty, gangly, and one. You can’t even crawl up the sides of tile wall or build tunnels into the earth. Did you really think your two opposable thumbs would be a match for us? The thought is laughable. Between us, we have billions of limbs. In one hour, we could make a statue of President Obama  the height of the Empire State building out of our severed limbs and then dismantle it. You could write three emails.

Do you know how many possible entrances there are in your room alone? What about just the area surrounding your bed? Thousands. There are thousands of ways for us to invade in the middle of the night, swarming across your face, tickling your nostrils until you wake up and begin screaming. As you thrash about clumsily you might take some of us, but you can’t actually believe this will affect anything. You might be bigger than us, but our combined weight is a number your puny brain is incapable of comprehending both because of its size and because it is rendered in kilos, so I’m not even going to waste my ant breathe. The trick we performed earlier was meant to send a message: you are weak and powerless. Your degrees mean nothing to us. Bam! We’re there. We’re a river. We’re a thick, writhing mass that makes the carpet look alive. Boom! We’re gone. You have no idea what happened. You’re in the dark. You’re drooling, clueless, as you will remain.

We are in the walls. We are in the ceiling. We have this entire place surrounded and if we ever have the cause to investigate a sugar or pie situation, there will be no mercy. We will throng and our queen will feast. Bring chemicals if you must, just know that where one falls three rise to take his place, each a little crazier than the last.

Best regards,

Patrix “7 leg” O’Norkle, ant representative and part-time gym attendee (credit: MB)

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