Trip To Pennsylvania

They say getting there is half the fun. While I am not sure exactly how that phrase came into existence, I seriously doubt it applies to excursions involving airline travel. If it does, however, I can only expect to enjoy the rest of my trip the equivalent of receiving a full body pat down by a 45 year old bald man wearing purple latex gloves. But eventually the driver let us get into the taxi cab and took us to the airport.

Getting through the security in the airport was no cake walk either. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have eaten that second bowl of Total cereal before leaving for the airport. It turns out that having 200 percent of the recommended daily allowance of iron was more than enough to set off the metal detectors. For reasons that I honestly do not understand, my request to be examined by a nearby perky attractive young female security guard was not well received.

Just to keep everyone on the same page here, I recently traveled to Taylor, Pennsylvania to spend time visiting relatives I haven’t seen in more than five years. My mom and I found a good deal on airplane tickets back to the east coast, so we flew from Denver right into the Scranton / Wilkes Berre airport. I suppose a more accurate way of describing the situation would be to say our plane gently landed on the runway next to the airport.

We didn’t plan this ahead of time, but we arrived in town the day before my cousin’s oldest daughter’s birthday party. Seeing Ted really put the amount of time since my last visit into perspective. Here is the main gist of our conversation:

Ted: Hi Omar, I haven’t seen you in forever! What have you been up to since we saw each other last?

Me: Well, not too much lately– I’m working on being a writer. Oh yeah, and I have built a new web site. What about you?

Ted: I got married and have three kids.

While I generally don’t get invited to many birthday parties for four year old girls, the big screen television equipped with satellite cable and complete NFL game coverage made sure that all age groups were equally entertained. The older males at the party were preoccupied with determining how the outcomes of the games would effect the playoff prospects of their favorite teams. The small girls at the party amused themselves after all the presents were unwrapped and examined by everyone. The amusement, of course, was derived almost exclusively from a large cardboard box.

The largest box was about three feet high and two feet square at the base. The girls, who where dressed up as their favorite Disney heroines, wanted nothing more than to get inside the box. Not being able to think of any good reasons why they shouldn’t be inside the box, I picked them up one at a time and placed them inside. The next thing I know I am rolling them around on the floor inside the box. Their experience seemed quite disorienting and nauseating, which is exactly why they found it entertaining beyond description.

After ten minutes, the box gave up and burst open, causing the girls to pour out onto the floor. After one final round of exuberant giggling, the girls moved on to a slightly more high tech entertainment device: the karaoke machine. I had one of those “life isn’t fair” realizations while witnessing the girls completely mangle Lee Greenwood’s song “God Bless the USA.” Everyone at the party thought they were cute and adorable, but when I do the exact same thing in a seedy college town bar after a downing a couple shots of tequila none of the nearby perky attractive young females seem to have similar feelings of admiration.

Everyone knows that the fine art of residential use lamp repair has fallen out of favor over the years. During my stay in Taylor, I got a glimpse into this rare electrical experience as my three uncles worked to fix two of my grandmother’s broken lamps. My rough calculations led me to the conclusion that the replacement plugs and wire consisted of less than one percent of the total cost of the project. The rest of the budget included the beer that was consumed during the repair process.

Over all I had a great time in Pennsylvania. I really enjoyed playing with some of my younger relatives, some of whom I haven’t seen since they were negative two. While I can’t predict the future, I am going to try and get back there in less than five years from now. I’ll bring my extensive karaoke skills and a much, much bigger cardboard box.