wine by the color

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pop quiz…who can tell me what is shown in these two photos?

If you guessed the inside of the cab I took in Kentucky today, give yourself a prize. A smoky, dirty prize.

The top photo shows the cigarette-butt-filled ashtray in the rear of the taxi, while the photo on the bottom depicts the debris on the floor of the car. For a special treat, click on the bottom photo for a better view. You can see ashes on the floor on the carpet and what I believe are burn holes on the back of the driver seat.

Without question, it was the filthiest professional transportation vehicle I have ever seen. I wanted to place newspaper on the seat before I sat down to protect my clothes.

When I expressed concern about the smell of smoke, my driver immediately started spraying Resolve car cleaner throughout the vehicle. That led to an open window for the duration of my journey.

She had, it should be noted, sprung for what was likely a four-dollar latte from Starbucks. I had to bite my lip to hold back from recommending that four dollars might have been better spent on a good interior cleaning for her tenement on wheels. I mean, how much can it cost to clean a car in Kentucky?

I should have known that was a sign of things to come. Bad things.

Upon arrival at Cincinnati Airport, which is, of course, actually in Kentucky, I went to the Continental self-check kiosk, where I was unable to check in for the flight. Why? Because my flight, due to leave at 3:45 p.m., had been canceled.

The Continental representative helpfully informed me they had put me on the 6:21 p.m. fight back to Newark. But oh, by the way, that flight was delayed and would depart no earlier than 8 p.m. That prompted me to share my standard line when dealing with my friends from the airline: “Well, that is just unacceptable.”

So after asking if there were any options from Columbus (a solid 90-minute drive if going 100 MPH), I marched over to Delta to investigate the options there. Lo and behold, they had a flight to Newark scheduled to depart at 3:05 p.m. Within two minutes, I was switched to that flight.

But before I sing the praises of Delta, I should point out it is now 4:47 p.m. and I am still sitting in Kentucky. Their latest guestimate is a 5:45 p.m. departure.

Outside of spending an extra few hours in Kentucky (problematic enough), I have two concerns: I am due to return to EWR for a 7:30 a.m. flight tomorrow for a girls’ weekend, and tonight's Jets-Patriots game starts at 8:15. If I am to arrive in N.J. in time to listen to or watch that game, we need to leave now.

I'm not optimistic.

(Should this delay continue much longer, I'll probably post the photos from yesterday's adventures at the Great American Ball Park. So while I will be bitter and disgruntled, at least I'll be productive.)


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