Sunday, January 27, 1991

Correspondence: January 27, 1991

Porter Corners, NY

I have not yet told you of yesterday’s adventure. Sometimes I decide to just get up and go somewhere — just get up and GO. Friday evening I decided to “just go” to Illinois and see Jennifer. I thought I could just get in the car after work and drive all night. I wouldn’t take anything. I would buy clean clothes when I got there. I didn’t know the way, but I could buy a map on the road. Out of curiosity I called an airline to see how much it would cost to fly out. Seven Hundred Forty dollars is how much it would cost! I made reservations so I would have a Plan B.

I went to the bathroom, left work a few minutes early and went by the bank. I went back by work after getting some money because I was so nervous that I had to use the bathroom again. Then I was on my way. I drove for fifteen minutes (to the exit I usually use to go home) before I had to pull over and use the bathroom AGAIN. It was BK’s complete Weasel workout night! I got back in the car and made it one more exit before I couldn’t hold on and had to urinate again. By this time the prospect of driving a thousand miles and stopping every two exits to pee was not an appealing one. I decided I would opt for Plan B.

It made more sense, really. I could sleep, put on fresh clothes in the morning, and fly to Springfield in a matter of hours. I could charge the plane tickets and pay for them as soon as I finish paying the phone bill. Then I could spend an additional ten hours with Jennifer. Yep. Sounded good.

I got up at 4:00 in the morning and drove to the airport in Albany. I had to stand in an enormous line behind several groups of people who were about to embark on a skiing expedition and knew that they should get to the airport early enough to stand in front of me. There was a man with unusual hands (didn’t look real somehow) who was carrying on a conversation with a short man in a brightly colored knit cap. A little boy walking through the airport behind his mother decided to wait until he was right in front of me before he spit up all over the front of his jacket. And periodically the line would move and we would all sliiide our baggage up a few feet, then sliiide it up a few feet more. After an irritatingly long time, I reached the counter and got my ticket.

I then went through the x-ray machine and on to the gate to wait for my plane. I was very thirsty while I was sitting there, because I had stopped drinking the night before in order to avoid wee-wee problems on the plane. (On airplane trips I am torn between my love of peeing from high places and my dislike of public restrooms.) I was content to read until the plane was ready for boarding.

Just before departure time we were informed that there might be a delay. There was a malfunction in a circuit breaker on the plane and the mechanics had to see if there was a replacement part at the Albany airport.

I waited.

It was discovered that there was no spare part to be found. The skiers were rerouted immediately on another airline. The rest of us were told to go to the ticket counter to see if we could be rerouted. Baaack to the other end of the airport and that same line.

As I got up to the counter the second time, the mechanic people had found a circuit breaker. I was told that my best bet would be to go back to the gate and wait to see if it would work. If the delay was not more than a couple of hours I could still catch my connecting flight in Chicago. Baaack to the gate.

I waited the better part of an hour before there was an announcement that they were about to install the new part. Five minutes later there was another announcement telling us that the part didn’t work and we would have to find another plane. Baaack to the ticket line.

The best the ticket people could do was put me on a Northwestern flight through Detroit to St. Louis where I would then catch a TWA flight to Springfield, and would I mind terribly going down to the Northwestern ticket counter at the other end of the airport to stand in their line.


Everybody in the new line had five bags apiece and was waiting to have them checked by one of the two slow chicks behind the counter. I stood there in the line, which was not moving, and thought.

Standing in line four hours. Exhausted. Hungry. Detroit, St. Louis. $740. $740. $740. Pop getting Visa bill. BK getting poor. The line moved up a foot, but I was no longer a part of it.

I got in my little blue Weaselmobile and made tracks back home.

Monday, January 14, 1991

Correspondence: January 14, 1991

Porter Corners, NY

Dear Joint Chiefs of Staff

Please excuse Bob from the war, as he is not feeling well today. He has been coming down with this illness for some time and I’m afraid that the desert air would only exacerbate his condition. I’d hate for him to infect the other soldiers, for I know how difficult it is to kill when one’s head is stuffy. I think it wise to keep him home near indoor plumbing until he is quite recovered. As soon as he is well I’ll send him right along.

Bob’s Mom

So ... think it will work?

I’ve been hearing about the draft all day, and it frightens me. Fortunately I am on the upper end of the age limitation. They’ll take the kids born in 1971 first, and I guess they wouldn’t get to me until all the young people are used up. We 25 year olds will be safe for a while. …

Wednesday, January 2, 1991

Correspondence: February 2, 1991

Porter Corners, NY

... I haven’t had time to experiment with SimEarth much; I find the manual intimidating. I did, however, play with it for an evening in the experimental mode (a mode which allows you infinite energy to inflict your will on the unsuspecting tenants of your world). I terraformed Mars and guided it through about seven hundred years of development. Unfortunately, I overpopulated the planet with people who soon reproduced to an extent unknown even on the Earth of today. The plants were healthy, but all the intelligent (?) life did was kill one another. They reached a plateau in their advancement and lived in constant conditions of war or plague.

I tried to lessen the burden on the planet by killing off large numbers of the population, but they quickly proliferated and were back to their original numbers in short order. I tried volcanoes, I tried meteors, fires, plagues, I finally even resorted to a barrage of nukes. It was very Old Testament. Those Sim-pletons wouldn’t quit fighting, so I just got out and deleted the file.