Leaving the Electronic Entertainment Expo


Mon, Jun 4th, 2001 01:00 by Lord Lansdowne ARTICLE

I was rather eager to leave Los Angeles, despite the fact that my flight wasn't confirmed yet for whatever reasons Delta had decided. Waiting all by myself in the Milner Hotel was far from what I had in mind, so I left with everyone else in the hopes of catching an earlier flight.

I was in Los Angeles to attend the dreadful event called E3. The ever famous Electronic Entertainment Expo. This is the kind of place where you'll find every possible imaginable version of Pokemon. Or where, if you just happen to ask at the Lucasarts booth "What do mean this game takes place ten thousand years before Episode 1?" you'll get the dirtiest looks. Fortunately, some freak volunteered to up to date me with the last fifty thousands years of Star Wars universe history.

After waving bye to the rest of the crew I work with, I worked my way through airport to the Delta counter, where I was given boarding passes for a flight at 12:05 PM local time. Unfortunately, that flight was full. Ironically, so was the 1:05 PM one. And the 3:35 PM one. And the one for 5:05 PM.

Not much choice but to wait for the flight at 12:05 AM.

I'd like to thank the incredibly friendly Delta staff for talking to me as if I had some kind of mental deficiency. Must've been my accent. Never in my life have I been talked to as if I was a complete idiot. Maybe it was because I started my sentences with "excuse me" and whenever I got some information, I'd end them with "thank you."

Thirteen hours do not go by fast at an airport, let me tell you. To entertain myself I started walking back and forth between the security gates to see what they would find in my possession.

The first time I walked through, nothing. The second time, the camera set off the metal detector. The third time, it was my change. The fourth time, nothing. The fifth time, they all panicked as they found a knife in my bag.

Since I was already carrying two knives on me, I was trying to figure out what exactly was in the bag, and it turned out to be an old knife for cutting boxes in a grocery store. Memories of my old job. They literally freaked at the 1/4 inch blade, so I just gave up the knife. I have enough sitting at home, anyway.

However, it's reassuring to see how only once I was asked to turn on my laptop, and all other times, I went through with much longer blades than the one they found in my bag. I really felt good about Los Angeles' airport security.

I decided to sit in the more remote corner that the area by the gate offered, so that I could possibly be left alone and catch on some sleep. Fortunately, thanks to the laxed security, just about everyone can get inside the airport. And so first it was the usual guy that needed 18 dollars and 22 cents to buy an aeroplane ticket. Then the Hare, Hare Krishna guys. Then, would I like to donate money for people that have AIDS. The tiny mute and deaf midget selling 5 dollar stickers for Pokemon. I just kept answering in French. Except to the midget.

At one point, while I was waiting, three women sitting behind me started to talk about a three-day conference on sinning they had attended. Not the kind of sinning you and I have in mind, let me remind you. One even went on to ramble about her new love, some guy that may have killed his previous wife, but nobody is sure, since God knows, and he seemed like a very religious man. Since religion and I are like oil and vinegar, I grabbed my stuff to find a better place to sit, when I noticed what flight they were boarding. Flight 448. Salt Lake City, Utah.

When the 13 hours were up I finally boarded my plane: Air Jamaica flight 444 which stopped in Atlanta (I don't know why, nor do I care). From there it was another long wait for my flight back to Toronto, mostly because they had no idea where the plane was.

How do you lose a plane? I mean, it's not like it's something that you can just leave in a parking lot and not remember where you parked. Anyway, finally they got us on MD-88 that was as spacious as my grandmother's Toyota, and I arrived in Toronto at around 4 PM, which was cold and rainy. You cannot possibly understand how happy I was that it was cold and rainy. Fresh air. Wetness all around me. I was supposed to go to work on Monday despite the fact that it was a holiday, but I parked my aching body in my bed and slept a sleep with no dreams.

Oh, and Friday, albeit I am not supposed to know, I am getting laid off. Excuse me while I look for a job.



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