Needless to say 5:00 came early. I was out the door by 5:40 and pulled into Joe's place ten minutes earlier than my expected 6:00 arrival. We left his house at 6:00 as planned, and he generously dropped me off at the US scAirways terminal before heading in to his 12-hour (which often turns into a 13- or 14-hour) shift. Thanks, Joe!
As I got my bags out of Joe's SUV at the terminal, I tried to avert my eyes from a couple standing by their car flaunting their heterosexuality with a huge, involved kiss goodbye. Straight privilege.
My flight to Charlotte was uneventful, all 40 minutes or so of it. I had a window seat and slept most of the way. The guy in the middle seat was "meh," and the guy on the other side of him in the aisle seat had nice biceps, but a mediocre face. Not that there's anything wrong with a mediocre face. It beats a mediogre face. Badumpbump. I'm in Florida all weekend, folks. Try the veal.
I had to change concourses for my next flight, and our departing gate was right next to the departing gate for a flight back to Raleigh-Durham. I didn't see anyone I knew heading home. Also in the same vicinity, was a flight to Providence, and I heard a loud lady say into her phone, "I should be back in Warwick early this afternoon." Warwick, well West Warwick, which is right near Warwick, is the little town next to Coventry where my, now deceased, aunt and uncle used to live. But I digress...
The flight from Charlotte to Ft. Myers was uneventful, too—just the way one likes flights to be. I had an aisle seat on this flight, and a cute couple sat in the two seats to my left. Imagine my delight when as they arrived the guy said to his girlfriend, "You go ahead, I'll take the middle seat." If I had to guess, I'd say this guy was (currently) in the Army, or that he used to be at the very least. Not that I was checking him out, but he had a large tattoo on his upper arm, hairless forearms, and what kind of looked like stubble on his legs. But I digress yet again... Well, my blog's subtitle is "Digital Digressions."
I picked up my car from Dollar Rental at the airport and drove to the Comfort Inn, where once I found it, I passed it to have a little lunch, since it was way before their 3:00 check-in time.
I saw an Applebees and its sign said, "All-you-can-eat salad, soup, and bread for $5.99." I did not see a salad bar as I looked around the place while being seated. Turns out, they just bring you more of everything as you request it. I didn't really like that, as the salad came in this little curved silver dish that fit snugly around a little soup bowl, with the bread beside them.
Well I can eat that much salad in, really, less than a minute, which meant I had to keep asking for "another round." Not the greatest customer experience. It was fun, however, listening to two ladies who were sitting at a table that was below me, but if we had been on the same level, our tables would have been touching each other.
All that is to say is that I could hear every word they said as the sound wafted up to my table. They were two quintessentially bleached blond ladies who refused to grow old. Two other ladies joined them and one of them was convincing the other one that she "should get out more. You can't just stay holed up in your house." (I think the woman's husband had recently died.)
She continued, "You should go back to that place where you danced. Dick goes there, and you know, he is such a great dancer."
The other lady replied, "Well, I'm not attracted to Dick."
To which this one said, "Well I wouldn't do him either, but he is a good dancer. Just use him to dance."
At one point while there, I looked around, made this observation, and tweeted as much:
|I'm in an Applebees in FLAH-rida and I'm the only man with any semblance of pepper left in his hair. Just sayin'...|
I got to the hotel at about 1:00, where there were about two cars in the entire parking lot. I would classify the lady who checked me in as "not welcoming, not pleasant, and not pretty—but not pretty mostly for not being welcoming and pleasant. She—very unnecessarily in my humble opinion—said, "Let me see if we have any rooms available, since our check-in time is not until 3:00."
Okay, I get that you're doing this customer a colossal favor having to drag that mouse and click it a few times to see if this monumental request can even be honored, giving me the supreme privilege of checking into your empty hotel two hours early. Thanks.
After settling in, I drove around to get familiar with the territory I'll be haunting over the next few days. I visited these places, one in anticipation of attending tonight for karaoke, and the others being places I'll visit tomorrow:
- Tubby's, a gay bar in a shopping center
- My aunt and uncle's house, which looked serene with no idea about the activity that will swoop down upon it tomorrow night
- Mardi Gras Nouveaux, another gay bar that's a possibility for late tomorrow night
At about 9:00, I headed over to Tubby's, where I was appalled to find it a bar that still allows smoking, about which I made this status update on Facebook:
|Bars that still permit smoking just seems barbaric. Just sayin. #2ndHandSmoke|
and in response to, a friend pointed me to: (It's worth the entire minute-and-a-half.)
I made a note of the first 25 songs that were done by the people doing Karaoke.
- Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
- Come to My Window
- Hurts So Good
- Folsom Prison Blues
- Little Wonders
- House of the Rising Sun
- Why Haven't I Heard from You
- Love Shack
- Daydream Believer
- Danny's Song
- Fly Away
- Behind Blue Eyes
- Oh Baby Baby
- Mack the Knife
- Alabama Song
- Forever and Ever Amen
- Breakfast at Tiffany
- The Devil Went Down to Georgia
- My Old Friend
- Little Bit of Life
At about song 18, I struck up a conversation with the guy next to me, who was from Nova Scotia. His name was Steve and he was with the two guys to his left—one from Nova Scotia traveling with him, and the other someone they had met here earlier in the week. His traveling friend was named Kendall and the local guy was named Kurt (or Curt).
We had some good conversation, and I was surprised that Steve was totally stumped about my question, "What are you passionate about?" After drawing a blank for a half-a-minute or so, he said, "I'm not even sure I know what you mean by passionate."
Kurt left first, and then the three of us left at the same time about a half hour later. It was a fun night, as I usually am a total loner at strange bars, and it's always more fun when you talk to people.