Thursday, August 14, 2003

Blackout 2003

Where to begin, really? It’s a beautiful, sunny day in Redmond. I’m cruising around, blasting KIRO out of my car radio, when I catch the tail end of something involving homeland security and a blackout. I figure they’re just talking about some new Bush scheme to scare everyone. Then they say that they’ll be talking more about the massive blackout affecting everywhere from Detroit to Hartford and up to Ontario. Not good. I’m supposed to be flying home tonight at 10:30 PM.

I drop by the Company Store to pick up a couple of t-shirts, and folks are gathered around a TV that’s showing CNN. For some reason, we no longer show MSNBC on company property. The coverage is showing massive crowds, people being led out of subways, the whole shmear. I mention that I’m from NY and have to fly home tonight, and for some reason everyone starts treating me like a visiting conqueror. Yes, I was there on 9-11. No, a lot of people had it a lot worse than me. By the time I got up to the register two minutes later, the clerk actually said “Oh, you’re the guy from New York!” The hell?

I headed over to an empty office on campus and swung into action. I called American, and they said that there was no way my flight was getting out tonight. No problem – I just changed the reservation to a direct flight on Friday morning. Unfortunately, I’d already checked out of the nice hotel. I hopped on Expedia and found a Radisson hotel a mere ¼ mile from SeaTac.

I had plenty of time to goof around now. I headed over to see Violet and Bridget. After a nice evening of kids, pizza, and CNN coverage of horrific NYC mob scenes where l should have been, I drove down to the Radisson. It’s on the beautiful International Drive near SeaTac, so named because travelers from 82 different countries have accidentally lost their passports in the filthy toilets of the local strip clubs over the years.

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