Held hostage in Missouri

So, Kansas? Wonderful place, great people, I’d go back in heartbeat.

But Missouri? Not so much.

Let me explain. On Thursday, I took a flight from Syracuse to Chicago, then another flight from Chi to Kansas City, Missouri. I don’t know why they call it that. It’s like putting Jersey City in Pennsylvania, but nobody asked me my opinion. Arrived in KC at noon. Was supposed to fly out at 2pm, headed for Hays, Kansas. (named after a fort – Fort Hays. That was in Kansas. Not Missouri or New Jersey.)

Flight status? Delayed. Delayed. Delayed. Delayed. Delayed.

Four and a half hours later… canceled. gulp I had to call the very, very nice people who organized the trip and not only cancel my dinner plans with them, but give them palpitations because I was supposed to give three presentations and the keynote at their conference the next morning, and I couldn’t guarantee I’d be there. The airplane guy promised to put me on a very early morning flight and get me to Hays on time. (He looked a little shady.) He gave me a voucher for the hotel (a Radisson, v. nice) and a voucher for ten dollars (ten whole dollars!) for a hotel dinner. Oh, my God!! The choices!! The staggering abundance! Well, I could have….. a miniature garden salad – Yes! And a glass of water, wa-hoo. I was rocking out on that big fat ten dollars. Thank you so much for the love, Mesa Stupidhead Airlines.

After not much sleep and much staring at the alarm clock, I got up and arrived at the airport well before the sun for my early morning flight.

Which I did not have a seat for because the same shady guy who gave me ten bucks for dinner, thoughtfully booked me on the mid-afternoon flight to Hays. Which would get me there just in time to wave good-bye to all of the conference goers.

I don’t know if it was the murderous look on my face, or the fact that the lasers shooting out of my eyes melted the basket of plastic luggage tags, or the flexing of my massively intimidating biceps, but a lady who worked for US AIR (which subcontracts the Hays route to Stupidhead) was able to get me a seat. Bless her.

I arrived in Hays at 8:45 am. Was swept into a waiting minivan (cue the action movie music, throbbing bass line from James Bond, preferably), and arrived at Ft. Hays State University at 9am, tires smoking. At 9:15, they turned on the microphone, and I started talking.

Many, many thanks to all the students who made the day so much fun for me, and the teachers who had to work hard to bring them there. Thanks also to everyone who showed up, period. I had a blast.

There was only one bad thing (other than the stress caused by Stupidhead). Because of my abbreviated time in Hays, I didn’t get to see the buffalo.

Guess I have to go back. But not through Missouri.

10 Replies to “Held hostage in Missouri”

  1. I’m sorry that you had to go through all that. At least you were able to make it to the confrence sort of on time.
    I would love to hear you speak sometime.
    Though I live in the Central Ohio area and my transportation is somewhat limited.

    Anyway. They are stupidheads. But you should go back to Hays.

  2. Come to Alberta. There are all sorts of buffalo here, mostly in the form of “bison ranches.” If you get tired of those you can tour elk ranches. Or libraries. 🙂

  3. Don’t hate us because we’re stupidheads! Kansas City is lovely, yes that’s Missouri, most of the time. And to think of the loads of the best barbecue on teh planet you could have gotten for that 10 bucks! Better luck next time.

  4. It was awesome

    It was a very good presentation you did. I enjoyed sitting through it all listening to you. You are a funny person and I would love to hear from you again or even listen to you speak again sometime. Hope you come back to Kansas to see us all.

    Jessica Wenzl
    Senior 2007

  5. Missouri

    I live in Missouri, and while I won’t try to defend its airports, Missouri is really not all that bad. Seriously, that was one experience.

    Better luck with the airplanes next time.

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