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Why I hate flying

It was bound to happen. I didn’t know when or with whom, but it finally happened. I don’t travel much, not in comparison to others I know, so I figured my day would come one day. And it finally arrived.

The day I was ticked off at Southwest Airlines.

Honestly I was shocked when it did happen because Southwest Airlines has been such a great partner to fly with for years and years. Then I learned (too late, I suppose) that Southwest married with AirTran at some point, and that’s where the honeymoon ended for consumers. But I suppose like with any merger, there are birthing pains and I was caught in a rather significant cramp.

I am unsure if SW had more flights to my destination in Florida before the merger, but on the dates I traveled only four a day were available. Two at dinner and two at the crack of dawn. We missed the first pre-dawn flight because curbside check-in was horrifically understaffed for the huge onslaught of travelers. So when the single worker finally got to my family 45 minutes after lining up, he informed us that we missed the checkin window by less than 90 seconds. So we will have to reschedule our travel plans.

In the normal queue now, and another 40 minutes the clerk slaps a “late check” flag on our luggage. More on that later. All seven bags weighed fewer than 50 pounds so we were breathing a sigh of relief after the clerk, who bore more than a passing resemblance to the late Vince Lombardy, added us to the next flight out in under an hour. Carry on bags slung, eyes bleary, and checked bags out of sight, we trudged to the security check posts where TSA relived us of anything metal or liquid they deemed unworthy of being 20,000 feet in the air. I peered through glazed over eyes seeking a Starbucks. My family in tow.

We make the flight, very much on time and settle into our seats certain our flight would be un eventful. It was. We land at the layover city and find more family to join us in our merry adventure. They inform us that our flights need not wait until dinner time from here. We are now on an earlier flight that will get us to Florida not at 7:00 or later, but instead at about 2-3 o’clock. We clap our hands with delight. Yes. We actually clapped. Remember, we are somewhat delirious at this point and a little punchy.

We arrive in Florida a bit the worse for wear and go to baggage claim. This is where the fun begins.

No bags.

Off to the lost luggage room where a beleaguered looking customer service rep gives us the side eye. We explain that our bags are missing and are curious as to when they will arrive. The lost luggage CSR informs us that according to our information the bags were “late check” and they are adamant about that. But she chose not to explain what that has to do with our bags. She simply repeats the mantra “Late check, late check, LATE CHECK” as if we are deaf and repetition at ever increasing volumes will clarify the issue. Unfortunately it did not. So we continue to press, and she still refuses to explain what late check actually means. It is at this point that decorum finally fails and the CSR informs us that we are told to “…leave her area… Or shall I call security?”

By now we are shaking with anger and unsure of what our next steps should be. So we challenged her on her request for security and not long after that two policemen and her boss arrive. By this time everyone’s arms are waving in the air and no one is able to keep calm. The police do exactly what they are supposed to do they separate the two quarreling parties and they meet with us individually to try and solve the problem. It is at this point that the police officer and the CSR’s supervisor realize that we as the customers are actually in the right and the CSR was wrong. Everyone, return to your corners.

Two hours later our luggage finally arrives and we are off to pick up our rental car to go to the hotel. It’s a complete shame that we had to go through such lengths just to get our luggage back and all because the original person back home decided to put a “late check” on our bags.

I can’t say that flying in airplanes is supposed to be painful but it certainly seems that in recent months and years that’s exactly how the airlines want it. All I can say now is that this strengthens my argument even more strongly than ever before: if you gotta get there, take a train!

Ruthless on relationships…not yet

Why I haven’t written a relationship advice/analysis post yet.

It seems like my private life from time to time gets in the way of my public persona. One of the biggest ways it does that is expectations. When we announced this blog one of those expectations was the particular topic of relationships. Why? Who knows really. Maybe it’s the ruthless manner in which I talk about everything. Maybe its my “other” nickname. Maybe its the Lex Luthor look. Maybe its this rant from 2009.  I have no idea. Whatever the reason, they think I’m supposed to drop a rant, or a reasoned, logical, methodical approach to the subject. Why is this coming up on a Monday? Because after I woke up in what I can only call a Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas deleted scene involving my condo I had questions from a couple friends. Now Facebook is usually how I get these questions so I wasn’t surprised when my screen was staring back at me like “YO! You gonna answer these RW? People want your advice.”

After I got some water and came back to the mortal plane to the sound of hail I answered them. That wasn’t the end of course. The moment I dropped some signature yet specific insights they came back with the same things anyone would that doesn’t want to believe the situation they find themselves in. And let’s get real here. Why believe my advice? Forget that I was an overly optimistic kid who’s bad choices in the women he’s been with left him more than a little jaded, and necessitated the Ruthless Revolution that made me your favorite neighborhood Super Villain. Forget that entirely. Why pay any attention to my advice? Well its because sometimes you need the seemingly free spirited, constantly relaxed, yet intellectual insight. But mostly its because everyone needs someone to tell them the things they already know to be the right way of doing something. And they need them to push back against the bad path/advice that comes up in their heads when the situation happens.

Which brings us back to WDDIJ. I’m not going to say I won’t rant or otherwise discuss these things. I’m sure the inbox over at yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com will fill up soon with requests once we get more readers[People tell your friends.]. If you do send mail there please put WDDIJ in the subject line. This isn’t the only blog spot for the words of THE Ruthless Wonder, and I don’t wanna mix things up too badly. But I personally don’t want to be the first one to drop WDDIJ into the ocean of that subject. Roddi P and Ronin may have other ideas for their columns when they get up on the page, but I’m trying to stay away no matter how hard the current situations are making it to do so. I’m your super villain. I’m your Ruthless Wonder. And with that comes some requirements yes, but just because my poetry is littered with love doesn’t mean its going to take center stage over here.

That said I will gladly let you know what’s coming down the pipe. This week there should be a couple more columns from me. Ronin is getting used to wordpress so everyone bug him about getting a post up. Roddi P is doing his thing but you never know when the resident lyrical genius will put some work in on the page. We’re also looking at doing the first 4th R segment.  What’s The 4th R? Guest columns. I’m glad to say I have a few friends running blogs out there. They have some great content and so from time to time we’ll be tapping them to do a guest spot. First up for a 4R segment is “Can there every be love?” himself, our boy Rufus. So look out for that. And look out for something a lot more Ruthless from me than usual coming up. And since your Ruthless Wonder loves you I want to leave on this note. Call it a teaser for whenever I hit the relationship bit. When Wale got on Tiara Thomas’ track Bad he dropped this lil gem.

“Bad girls ain’t no good,

and the good girls ain’t no fun

And the hood girls want a smart dude,

college girls all want a thug

So it seems we fiend what we don’t need”

Now I’m not a big time Wale listener. Dude has some good stuff out there, but I’ve been heavy on Strange Music lately to the point of passing up much else. Good or bad. In those few lines though something profound is being said. I find myself agreeing with the sentiment more than I would expect to. My number 1 rule has always been “Don’t be boring.” That goes for friends, girlfriends, family, the whole 9. If you’re boring I have little to no time for you. But is that really the right idea? Especially in relationships you need a little bit of boring so you know you are really into the person, and not just a fiend for the feeling. But searching only for those who aren’t boring tends to lead to the opposite type of person you need to have in your life. Relationships are generally ways to balance us out. The perversion of them in modern times notwithstanding, that’s really the point. Make each other better by having us calm more than wild, reasoned more that reckless, a movement by ourselves, and a force when we’re together.

Can you really get that when all you go after is the type you by all rights should clash with? I know why I sometimes get with the absolute wrong women. Because I know they won’t be boring for however brief our time is. And you can only hear so many good girls tell you you’re just as bad as the others before you’d rather be with the bad girl who calls you her good dude. Why keep with the people who make fun of your habits when you can be with people who like them? I’m getting off track here. So before I start into why I want to meet Yaya Han and Ivy Doomkitty lets finish this teaser trailer up with a question to you. If you want a relationship based Ruthless Wonder post, what kind should it be? Rant or regular? And bonus followup. What would you like to hear me touch on? I can’t promise that your topic will come up right away but I’ll get to it, and I always answer emails. So put responses in the comments, or email me at yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com Remember to put WDDIJ in the subject line. I’m out for now. Things to do and less time to do them in.

–          THE Ruthless Wonder