I flew to Los Angeles last Friday, attended a wedding there on Saturday, got in a car crash there on Sunday, had my return flight delayed nearly three hours and just barely made it to the Steve Earle concert in Seattle on Sunday night.
I was back in Yakima for work at 8:30 Monday morning, a half-hour early because that’s when I had scheduled a phone interview with comedian Wayne Brady.
For me, a guy who considers it a “productive Saturday” if he leaves the couch long enough to get the mail, this was something of a whirlwind. I had fun, and in the end it was worth it, despite the exhaustion and the car crash. But I can’t in good conscience recommend doing this to yourself. If, however, you have to do something similar, here are some lessons I learned that might apply:
• Try to get a window seat on your flights. They are the best for sleeping, because you can lean against the wall of the plane. And you’re going to need to sneak in any sleep you can. Aisle seats mean you’ll get bumped by the drink cart. Middle seats mean you risk accidentally laying your head on a stranger’s shoulder.
• Drink heavily. Airport bars are stupidly expensive, yes, but booze will help you sleep on the plane and will help you pass the time during your multi-hour delay. Pro tip: Wear headphones at the airport bar to avoid conversations with, like, Steve from Poughkeepsie or wherever. He will stink of gin, and you don’t want to hear his views on politics and football.
• Do not get in a car crash.
• Bring a piece of fruit. My mom, who was also in L.A. for this wedding, gave me an apple on the way to the airport. Bless her. When you’re waiting out a delay on a diet of airport beer and Hudson News snack mixes, an apple feels like a shot of vitamin B-12.
• Do not plan to attend a concert as soon you arrive back at SeaTac unless it’s an act you really care about. I’ve done this twice now, once for Grinderman and once for Steve Earle, and it is grueling. Both of those shows were worth it, but most concerts are not. You know what’s great after flying home? Going home.
• Do not hurry back for your Wayne Brady interview, leaving Seattle at 5 a.m. after sleeping for only three or four hours. He will not call at the scheduled time, and you will end up cursing his name. (For the record, that interview has been rescheduled, and I bear him no ill will. I just wish I’d slept a little longer instead of rushing back.)
• Seriously, don’t get in a car crash.
And that’s it. Following this advice will not make cramming two flights, a rehearsal dinner, a wedding and a concert into three days a good idea. But it will greatly increase your chances of survival.
— The Indoorsman