Round Two - O'Hare Airport

Disclaimer: Yes, kids, I know smoking is bad and I should quit. If it makes any difference, I am a polite smoker and I do not subject anyone who does not smoke to my toxic fumes. Ever.

Saturday, October 6th. 5:30pm. Chicago.

Smoking in Chicago's O'Hare Airport was proving to be quite the challenge.

There are no longer smoking rooms in any airport, a fact I was unaware of.

It was 85 degrees and smoggy as hell outside where they bannish all nicotine addicts to wither away for their sins.

We had just walked off the plane for our long ass lay-over when I decided it was time to find the smoking area.

I'm not the type of toker that needs a ciggie every 5-10 minutes.

Hell, I go 8-5 M-F without one.

Mom decides to take one for the team and walk with me to find a smoking area.

She hasn't smoked since it was fashionable in the 60s and she totally hates that I do... I hear it all the time... "Think of alllll the money you'd have..."

Blah blah blah.

After 30 minutes of searching, I just happened upon a friendly airport employee.

We'll call him Papagorgio.

Papagorgio said to me "We don't have smoking rooms anymore. I would encourage you to slip into a stall in the ladies room and smoke. It should be okay."

He smiled and winked. Ughhh....

"Um... yah. Let me tell ya something, buddy. It is clearly marked all over this God forsaken place that anyone busted puffing a satan stick in the bathroom will be promptly and stiffly fined. Not to mention that they would most likely imprison me in the bowels of the airport in some make-shift jail until I confess every sin I've committed since my birth into this cruel world. Now why would you tell me to do that??"

"I was just trying to help, Miss. You can always go outside." He said, rolling his eyes and walking away.

Yah. I think Papagorgio gets kickbacks.

I can just see him watching me slip into the bathroom... eyes crazed with anticipation.

It would go down something like this:

"This is Papagorgio. There's a crazy white chick with pink Nike shoes and a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt about to enter stall three to light up. Move in!"

Needless to say, I decided to go outside for a smoke. This happened only once.

In order to have this simple pleasure, I had to stand outside, 15 feet from any human activity. This is pretty much in the path of the fumes from the never ending parade of buses and trams. Eh, mixed with the heat and the smog, I decided to deal with it. It wasn't so bad.

What prompted me to hold off my intake of required nicotine level until landing in Duetchland the next day was the hassle of going through security over and over and over and over. Once was enough.

I refused to go through having to remove my shoes, waiting in line to pass them and my purse through the x-ray machine.

Have you ever thought about the funk on the floor in the security area of the airport with all those folks walkin barefoot?? I have.

Then after all that putting my shoes back on and walking a mile back to the gate.

Seriously, I'll pass.

Anybody got industrial strength Nicorette?

What ever happened to designated smoking areas in the dang airport?

You know the glass cubicle of death. Even though they were ventilated it resemebled the great city of Los Angeles with a smog bank looming over?

As if hunting for a smoking area wasn’t fun enough to occupy our 4-hour layover at O’Hare International Airport, mom decided that she needed airport food.

Now, it wasn’t that she was hungry. No, this wasn’t the case.

“It’s almost like tradition.” She says beaming that smile of hers.

“Yogurt is somehow a tradition? Do tell.” I ask. I like tradition.

“Not really yogurt, but eating in the airport.” she explains.

“Oh hell, now I’ve heard it all. That’s like me running right to Manchu Wok for Lo-mein everytime I hit the ground. It ain’t tradition, Mama. It’s called eating out of bordom and that's how folks get fat. Pure and simple.” I lecture.

“Well, whatever you want to call it, Missy. I want a frozen yogurt and we’re gonna walk until we find one.” She commands. “Did you see anyplace to get one?”

“I saw a fat guy up by the security check thing, but I think it was ice cream, not yogurt.” I tell her.

“I want fat-free-frozen vanilla yogurt…” she starting to sound all dreamy.

Not ice cream. Not chocolate. Not full of fat…. No.

With that I pick up my 50 pound carry-on bag at Gate K-5 and we start walking.

We see a sign for frozen yogurt and head that way.

I have to say this should have been an extremely simple and painless task as right there in the “K” terminal are TWO, not just one, but TWO TCBY’s!!!

Easy right?

Well, not so much.

The little dude at the first TCBY didn’t have any vanilla,

SO, he pointed us to the other food court way the hell down the way at gate K-15.

We get there, and sure enough, TCBY. Score!

We walk up smiling, only to see that the lady has the frozen yogurt machine torn down for cleaning.

The sparkle immediately left my eyes. I'm disenchanted.

So, we walk and ended up in the “L” terminal.

Only one TCBY and no vanilla. Shit!

Back out of “L” and wander over to “G”.

Now this sucks. My bag is too damn heavy for this.

After walking 2.5 miles to get there, we learn that it’s a commuter terminal and they have no TCBY at all.

Friggin figures.

Defeated and depressed, we turn around with our heads hung low.

The pep in our step was lost long ago as but we shuffled along.

All of a sudden, my mom happened to see a hidden food court area that we had somehow walked right past at least 3 times.

And in the very back end of that little hidden jewel sat a TCBY.

We walk up, skeptical that anything will come of the visit.

“Vanilla?” Mom asks the girl with that desperate tone in her voice.

Friends, the heavens opened up and I swear a chorus of angels sang Hallelujah in unison.

“Sure. What size?” The girl says with an angelic smile on her face.

So, an hour and a half and 10 miles later, Ma had her yogurt.

Next stop. Pforzheim Germany.


maverick said...

lol..u n ur love for ciggarettes...carry nicotene patches or ve heard they dont give the same kick...but worth at the airport i gues..btw love the nails :)

Flat Coke and Flies said...

LOL!!! The story about papa-g was hilarious. i could easily visualize that!! ha

Robert said...

beware of the airport employee with mop for therein lies the stool pigeon..;)

Sugar Queens Dream said...

That was FUNNY!!!
hey come to my place I do have a bribe....
oh yes... HUGS

Mike said...

The worst thing about smoking is not being able to. I have spent many an hour in an airport praying to God for a place to smoke. Denver and Salt Lake City both have places you can smoke, but no place else that I know of.

Real Live Lesbian said...

Hilarious! I'm glad you're keeping your sense of humor!

You've gotta love moms!

Bella said...

OMG, that was a good story. Da*m airports!

Eating at an airport a tradition? Well, maybe. In my hometown of Monterey, people regulary head to the restaurant at the airport to DINE, honey. Supposedly, there's an awesome chef there.

Like, yeah. I want to go to the airport to dine.

:) Bella

Nosjunkie said...

hahahaha.... thats great hunny absolutly great

Punch-Drunk said...

I am cracking up at the smoking in the airport or no smoking in the airport - I am a social smoker and feel your pain - you can't even smoke outside in most places anymore without some issue!! I would love to quit all together but, the insane stress at work is what keeps me at it!! Enjoy!!

Diva said...

Mav- I'd never even thought about that. Excellent idea.

FC&C- Hey girlie, he was a hoot.

Robert- You said it daddy-o!

SQD- Thanks, mamas!

Mike- Few and far between nowdays.

RLL- Yah, Ma rocks ass. Her inner hell raiser comes out occassionally!

Bella- Airports are by far my least favorite places ever!!

Lee- You could have super great times in the airport if you elope in Vegas!!!!

Punch Drunk- Yep, stress makes me light up... that and my tendency to drink like a fishy!

maverick said... gonna blog roll u :)