14 September 2013

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day
Friday, September 13th

A Return to Rochester

I left, or thought I left Rochester yesterday.  The morning began as though it was a bad scene from a ‘B’ rated movie.  The elevator in the Radisson Hotel on Riverside was broken and I lugged my bags down 8 floors to an awaiting Lincoln Townhouse car with the same driver that brought me to the hotel three days earlier.  I climbed into the car, anxious to get to the airport and fly home.  When Frankie, my driver turned the key over all we heard was a feeble protest from a dead battery.  We opened the hood and jiggled the battery cables.  Nothing.  The company ordered me a taxi.  No problem.

My cabbie was from Turkey, just south of Istanbul.  Three blocks from the hotel another cab cut in front of us.  My cabbie began a healthy stream of cursing and managed to catch up with the other driver.  When they were parallel my cabbie beeped his horn, rolled down the window and engaged in an animated debate with the other cabbie.  Since two foreign languages were involved, and I spoke neither, I would, after careful consideration call the debate a draw.

Weather has been pounding the east coast.  Bottom line, it was sketchy.  By the time I made it through security and arrived at my gate, the flight had already been postponed an hour.  The reason, minus the obvious fact that there wasn’t a jet in the bay, was weather.  Another 30 minutes  and the pretend jet arrived, docked and the arriving passengers departed quickly.  We boarded,  taxied onto the runway and queued up for our departure.   We were minutes away from full throttle when the captain announced that there would be a delay of another hour and that we would remain onboard.  An hour and a half later, the captain announced that all flights into Dulles Airport were currently cancelled.  We could either find another flight or wait until Dulles was open again.  Our delay on the runway didn’t allow me to catch a connecting flight so I booked a flight for the following day, returned to the Radisson, was greeted by the same staff that asked if I hadn’t just left the hotel seven hours earlier.
“We put you in the same room, sir.”
“Thanks.”
“It’s kinda like that movie with Bill Murray…I think it was called ‘Hedgehog Day.'”
“Groundhog Day.”
“Did you see it?”
“I’m living it.”

Dinner in the same restaurant with the same server.  I go to bed early.

In the morning I watch the news.  Seaside Park in New Jersey has been ravaged by fire after successfully rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy a couple of months ago.
Boulder, Colorado is flooding.  Bridges have been washed out and houses have slid off their foundations.  I have good friends in Boulder.  They are safe.

I need a cup of coffee.  In the lobby one of the receptionists greets me by name.
“Good morning, Mr. Metcalf.”
“Good morning.”
“Leaving today?”
“I hope so.”
“Suspicious?”
“No. Why?”
“It’s Friday the 13th.”
“Is the bar open?”
“That’s funny.  It’s only 6:45 am.”
“I know.”

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