A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Fog…

Commuting to work is usually a hassle, and sometimes it can be a real nightmare.

That was my day today. But in the midst of all the commotion, delays, flight cancellations and the public bouncing off the walls and each other, an odd, but humorously ironic thing happened that I’m not sure many people even noticed.

I don’t have to tell you that the people of Southern California have been hit hard these past few days with Amazonian-style rainfall, thus the reason for all the airline problems. Normally, I would just fly straight into San Francisco (where I am based) from Salt Lake City, but on occasion, I am faced with being a bit more creative in my routing, especially since my own airline has drastically reduced non-stop flight frequencies to SFO. So tonight, I was forced to use my SLC-LAX-SFO routing. And getting the connection to work was starting to get really hairy, since the aircraft I was taking to LA was delayed coming in from Chicago.

Needless to say, I got on the flight and upon arrival to LAX, we were forced to sit in the “penalty box” (as they call it – an area where the plane is forced to await further movement instructions from Air Traffic Control [ATC] due to an unavailable gate, or simply congestion). Our gate was occupied and there were no others available. And it was obvious why – everything there was soaked and it was still coming down.

At last, our gate opened up and we snaked our way through the throng of other planes waiting for the same thing. Lucky for me, my next flight was scheduled to depart out of a gate just adjacent to the one I had arrived at. I walked over, snatched my seat assignment from the CSR and then waited for boarding to commence (it’s also delayed because the crew arrived late, which has been the story of the day in LA). As is typical with the very quirky Los Angeles scene, the gate area is filled with businessmen and women, executives, and of course the very self-important “Hollywood-types” all buzzing around on their iPhones or Blackberries, speaking louder than is necessary, either working some deal or complaining about the airlines.

As I stand to the side, I am watching everyone in the area and no one is just listening. How can you really, with all the PA announcements and the iPods and the cellphones and the yakitty-yak-yak-yak of the people…but no one is just listening—except me.

Los Angeles International Airport, terminals 6, 7 and 8 are blessed to have music pumped into its airspace by the silky-smooth sounds of MUZAK. Any and every song imaginable can be heard from those speakers—I swear, I have even heard the Stones’ “Start Me Up” AND Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” in orchestrated splendor from this innocuous company! But tonight, someone over at the “Elevator Music Capital of the World” must have been trying to send a little smile across a listener’s face—and their mission was accomplished with me.

For amongst all the droning and whining and yapping all around me, the sultry, reticent melody of “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” gently swept the airwaves of LAX. And though I looked around and noticed that no one else had taken notice, a tiny smirk appeared on my face and I looked out the window, grateful they hadn’t played Albert Hammond’s “It Never Rains in Southern California!”



One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Arnaldo on January 22, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Great story John, you should be a writer, love the way you write!!!



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