It's midnight after WisCon at O'Hare Airport, and I'm settling in until morning: trapped in the (fairly mild, actually) twilight world where the Un-Planed and Un-Suitcased dwell. If I were writing a ghost tale, it would have a fairly simple moral: "do not travel to the land of cheese, cows, and feminism in the Evening Time. Book ahead and always fly in the morning. When shadows fall over the continental United States (and United Airlines), the celestial bowling alley over the city of Chicago opens for business. Lightning flashes and airplane flights are cancelled randomly, as the gods pursue their game of Ten Pins.
WisCon 30, in Madison, was a wonderful convention. Like other faithful pilgrims, I allowed the WisCon spirit to lift me past the chagrin of United/O'Hare cancelling my inbound Madison flight. Jed Hartman (WINOLJ?) and emcit found me in the customer service line and invited me to join them in a car rental excursion from Chicago to Madison. Fannish brother/sister hood saved me from being stranded in Chicago on Thursday night.
But flying back to San Francisco, today, I wasn't as lucky. Along with several other Bay Area fans, I cooled my heels at the Madison airport for hours. The O'Hare curse affected not only flights through Chicago, but also flights from Madison to other cities, because the planes for some of those flights *were coming in from Chicago.*
Basically, of the five or six of us gathered at United Gate 6, no one got a flight home today. One of us went back to the Concourse Hotel for the WisCon dead dog party, two of us en route to the Bay Area through Denver took their hours-late flight from Madison to Denver and rebooked a Denver-to-San Francisco flight for tomorrow afternoon. The thunderstorms over Chicago cleared up around 10PM. The rest of us were put on a plane to O'Hare, then, so we could play a game of chicken with delayed outbound flights to other cities.
I missed mine by about 10 minutes. I sprinted between the F and C terminals, but my delayed San Francisco connection had closed its doors in the same minute that the Madison flight touched down.
Oh well. My feet is my only carriage. I have two sandwiches, a wireless Internet connection and a row of four terminal seats with no handles in between. G'Night.
Update: Tuesday morning, 11AM PDT. Home. Successfully entreated my way into a 6:30AM standby seat from Chicago to SFO. There was a voicemail message on my machine from the Legion of Substitute Lecterns personnel office. I may be able to do some part-time teaching in Fall 2006.