The eightyth-four episode of our podcast, Paul and Storm Talk About Some Stuff for Five to Ten Minutes (On Average), is now online.
This week’s episode: we record our first “mobile” podcast while driving up I-85; Storm vents his long-held anger at the Hardee’s corporation; we grab a number of highlights of our previous week-and-a-half; we revel in our mutual man-crush on Mike Phirman; Paul laments over his sadly-lacking panelist skills, and attempts to re-tell an anecdote he completely butchered on the “Nerdist Podcast“, to mixed results; Storm analyzes his speaking cadence; and Storm’s travel tales of woe.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION ALERT: Tell us your airport nightmare experiences.
i went on holiday to America, and we had an 8 hour flight from Manchester to Chicago, then like… Chicago to Dallas. And the Dallas flight get delayed for 14 hours by a thunderstorm… and i mean this was like, one of them thunderstorms, that would scare your cat into the cupboard… But then it turned out we could fly out early, WHILE the thunderstorm was going on… while them big lightnin’ bolts were fallin out the sky. and as i was only about… 8 or 9… it scared the crap outta me.
Just to give you guys a heads-up. There are multiple operational Roy Roger’s, complete with Double-R Burgers, in Frederick, Maryland. Not that far from the beltway…
Storm! good news – there’s a Roy Rogers in Leesburg.
not ricidulously close, but hey!
let me know if you come out that way & I’ll buy you lunch.
The puppet voices during the mic demo cracked me up at work. ^_^
Neither Hardee’s nor Roy Rogers were part of my childhood in central New Hampshire. In fact, I don’t think I ate at either establishment until college, and by that time the student union food court had secured my loyalty to Burger King. …I feel a craving coming on.
Sooo jealous that you got to hang with The Guild gang. That series is wonderful. And Mike Phirman and Weird Al?! Yeesh. How much coolness can you guys cram into one weekend?
My fiance and I were taking a trip to Las Vegas to plan our wedding, and we were leaving our dog Kobayashi at her sister’s house during the trip. But at the very last minute — and I mean literally the last minute before we walked out our door — the sister called us and gave us a long list of demands for things we’d need to leave with the dog: we suddenly needed to bring a crate to leave the dog in, all this other stuff…a lot of which we didn’t have. So we had to stop at the store and buy it. Then, the sister wasn’t even home when we showed up, so we had to wait to get in, throwing our time off even further. In the end, we got to the airport just in time for them to check our bags, but not in time to get on our flight to Vegas. So the luggage went to Nevada without us.
Every single other flight to Las Vegas was booked solid that day, so we waited on standby. And waited. About three hours later, we landed a flight to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and were told we had booked seats on a connected flight to Vegas. This turned out to be an hilarious gag on the part of the airline employees, I guess, because there was no flight waiting for us in Santa Fe. Instead, we waited another two hours for a flight to Los Angeles, where we had to run from one end of LAX to the other in order to barely catch a connecting flight to Vegas.
Everything turned out well in the end — we did finally get to Vegas, and our luggage was even waiting for us — but it came time for the flight home, we made sure to get to the airport three hours early. We took no chances. And this weekend, when we head out to Vegas to actually get married, her sister won’t be watching our dog.
I had to get to the Seoul airport ridiculously early. So early, that I couldn’t even check in for three hours. So I had to hang out on the ticketing side of the terminal for three hours with a large suitcase and carry-on. There’s not much interesting on the ticketing side of the Seoul airport. I spent some time wandering (dodging Koreans along the way) and trying to cat-nap and guard my stuff at the same time. Three hours before my flight, I got to check in and divest myself of the large suitcase. But then I still had to kill three hours on the terminal side of the airport. At least there’s more to do on that side.
I live in New Jersey, which is a Hardees free state, but I’ve always thought their food was pretty good whenever I was out of state. But like you guys said, compared to Roy Rogers, it’s nothing. That Roy Rogers on the NJ Turnpike is one of the few reasons I am even compelled to pay the toll, most of the time.
(Once, I actually got onto the Turnpike, ate my Roy Rogers, and turned around to get off the Turnpike and head home a different way. So worth it.)
You described Roy Rogers as monogamous and then implied that he was running around with Flash Gordon’s squeeze Dale Arden! Cowboys innnn Spaaaaaaaaace? (Roy Rogers’ partner was Dale Evans.)
I got to meet Mike Phirman at Maxfuncon last year, without knowing he was a performer there, and instantly liked him. So did my husband. We had some nice chats. I have a friend crush on him (because I’m female).
One of the worst airport experiences I’ve ever had was being stranded in the Detroit International Airport for 10 hours, one long December many years ago. This was before they opened up the brand new, much needed, modern Northwest terminal, unfortunately. The old main terminal at DTW was a fine example of Soviet-era architecture, as were the service personnel.
Every single seat was occupied, and people and luggage spilled out onto the gate area floors and into the walkways. The few bars were packed, with little hope of getting served unless you had planted yourself on a stool hours before (which I sadly had not).
The newsstands actually sold out of the few spank mags they carry – the areas for Playboy and such were empty by the end of the night. Worse, the few concession stands ran out of food. All Burger King had left by 6PM were fish sandwiches. Fish sandwiches! Gah! By the time I was finally able to get on a plane, I never wanted to hear the letters D-T-W in that order ever again.
Related: The PA turnpike still features Roy Rogers. The rest stop on the NE Extension at Allentown has a nicely renovated one.
Related 2: PHL Airport. Yeah. It sucks. Sucks hard. Unfortunately, it’s my home airport.
I am totally with you, Storm, on the whole Hardee’s/Roy Rogers thing. In fact, back in ’96 my husband (Andrew Looney) and I made one of our very first creative products together… I Hate Hardee’s Tshirts! I found an old pic on our webzine from way back… http://www.wunderland.com/Geronimo/GIFs/I-Hate-Hardees.gif
We sold them along with a petition we asked people to fill out and mail in to Hardee’s corporate offices…
I enjoyed your rant – I have not thought about this Tshirt campaign in years! We also used to eat at the Roy’s in the student union at U of MD…
I’ve got Paul’s healthy dose of paranoia when it comes to getting to the airport on time. (It helps that all of the flights we take involve going cross-border to the States from Canada, so we have to get there at least TWO hours early, but still.)
And I have to say, I’ve been in Paul’s place, where I accidentally make an ass of myself in front of Someone BigName. To hear his story/apology was kind of cathartic for me, too. 🙂
Yeah, I got the wrong Dale, there. Though Roy & Dale Arden certainly would make an…*interesting* couple.
It’s pre-dawn. We are driving an hour to the airport for a sunrise flight.
Halfway through, in the Middle of Nowhere, MI, the car battery dies. We coast to the Best Western off the one exit that contains civilization. Amazingly, it also has free, unsecured wifi.
I call my dad, who lives about 20 minutes from the airport, while my husband borrows the wifi to the airline Web site to see if we can reschedule our flight. Looks like there’s one at 7 we can make but we’d have to go for it now. My dad says he can pick us up and can get us to the airport before the flight is set to depart. We decide to risk it and keep the current flight.
We talk to the desk clerk, and leave a note on the car so they don’t tow us.
Dad races, Mario-Andretti style, from home, to us, back to the airport, in his Midnight Blue Ford truck. A customer service woman takes pity on us and lets us fast-track our bags. Somehow, we make it to the gate before boarding starts, with time to spare.
We wait. The flight is delayed. The flight is delayed. The flight is canceled.
There’s no way to get us on the same flight, so my husband takes one flight, and I take another, to Charlotte. We will meet at the airport to catch our connector flight. I get first class, but am too stressed to take advantage. We meet at Charlotte, and have a chance to catch some lunch before we fly to Ashville.
The ride is in a smaller plane, quite turbulent. The woman sitting next to me is very nervous. We chat, which helps take her mind off of it because I am quite the talker.
We are on final approach, and all of a sudden the pilot guns it, and it is as if we are talking off again. Whee? We circle around for another few minutes while our pulse rates return to normal, then finally, land.
Apparently there was a maintenance vehicle on the runway, that was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He couldn’t get out of the way in time so the pilot had to gun it to avoid a crash. Those from the ground said it was quite dramatic.
Ok here goes. I was in New York on a choir trip during spring break of my sophomore year of High School. Mid-March 2007. I’m from Alaska so just getting to the east coast is usually a 12-18 hour undertaking. Anyway so the trip’s been great blah blah blah and we’re all (about 15 of us plus the teacher and tour guide) sitting in the hotel lobby waiting to get on the bus to drive out to Newark (way cheaper to fly out of newark) and there’s some tv’s with cnn or whatever on in the lobby talking about this storm front that’s blowing in and how Jetblue is starting to cancel flights at Laguardia. But it’s just one airline voluntarily canceling flights at a different airport so we’re fine. We get on the bus drive out to the airport, it’s a little overcast, maybe raining a bit but nothing unusual. We get out to the airport, the tour guide sees us off, go through security etc etc and at some point during this process it has started snowing. But everything is still humming along so we get on the plane and have to wait for the de-icing truck because they don’t have enough of them this being New Jersey. Then we’re waiting out on the runway in line and the pilot is keeping us updated and we get up to 4th in line to take off and they shut down the entire airport. Later we learn they also shut down JFK, Laguardia, White Plains and basically all the airports on the eastern seaboard. All flights are canceled. So we taxi back to the gate, wait for a jetway, and wait to get off. All told about 3 hours sitting on the plane. This is what it looked like outside http://twitpic.com/1pk9cy. THEN they tell us if you go outside security to get your unloaded bags you can’t come back INSIDE until tomorrow. So we claim some benches in the hobo conventions that has become the Newark C terminal and set up camp for the night. Most of us kids stayed up all night riding the conveyor walkways back and forth for hours. At some point a friend and I with computers actually pays money for wireless internet, 7.95 for 24 hours. This is how canceled all the flights were at 4 in the morning http://twitpic.com/1pkf5n. It was bizarrely quiet especially for an airport. The next day all the people who had left and come back yesterday show up and of course the place is a zoo. Huge mountains of bags everywhere. There’s a 3/4 mile line in the main concourse of people trying to rebook tickets. Flights are still canceled all morning and only start flying in the afternoon. There are four flights to Seattle on all carriers. (where we need to get to get home, you can essentially only get to alaska through seattle). Luckily three of them are in our concourse so we go to all the tables with our group of 15 kids and a teacher trying to get on standby. All of them won’t even take names except for the last one, so the teacher hands the lady all of our passes and she puts our names on the list. Then as the flight is boarding they start calling off names from the list to the massive throng of people gathered to see if they can get on the plane, they start calling students names and the run up to get on the plane so their seat doesn’t get given away. It was must be present to win seating. Everyones name has been called except for me and the teacher’s. They start reading off other names. Then they stop. Then the door closes. Then the plane takes off and it’s just me and the teacher standing there in front of the gate and the whole rest of the class is on a plane to Seattle. The teacher asks the lady at the gate what happened and our names weren’t even on the list somehow. Even though she was handed everyones boarding passes. So we call them before they take off to let them know what happened and prepare to make the journey to the other concourse to try and get on the last flight of the day to seattle. Turns out they won’t let us back through security because our boarding passes are for the previous day. So we go to the alaska airlines counter (which in New Jersey is tiny and staffed by people who don’t give a shit) and try and get booked to a flight so we can get through security and go on standby. However, in an amazing bit of catch 22 the only way you can get booked to a flight and thus get a boarding pass and through security, is at the gate desk, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF SECURITY. After arguing with the idiot child at the ticketing desk the teacher finally breaks down and starts crying, 16 year old me has no idea what to do and just gives them a hug and tries to say it will be all right. Finally we call the teacher’s spouse back in alaska, who calls the airline and apparently flys enough to have a rapport with them and argues their way up to a senior airline vp who pushes a magic button and gets us tickets. For tomorrow. But finally having tickets we go to a hotel where another student (who had booked their own later ticket originally anyway) was staying. I slept in that guys room and the teacher got their own room and we all flew out the next morning, finally getting home two days later, having burned up our entire weekend buffer between the trip and the start of school again. We only made it in about 6 hours after the rest of the kids successfully got back because they ended up having to spend the next night alone in the seattle airport. And that’s the story about how I was trapped in New Jersey for two days. And I used all 24 hours of that ridiculously overpriced internet.
I had to be in court in Tampa Wednesday morning at 11:00 am. I left Harrisburg at 8:00pm on Tuesday. For some unknown reason, the flight left 30 minutes late and I missed my connecting flight in Charlotte. When I asked about an alternate flight, they told me they’d put me on a flight on Tuesday morning – and get me there at 11:30am. I then ran to the car rentals and was told it’s a 9 hour drive. Having no choice, I rented a car. I would have left immediately, but I needed my bag. After 2 hours of waiting, they finally admitted that everyone in baggage had gone home and they refused to go in the back and get my back.
Jumped in the rental and drove all night. Stopped in a Walmart to try to buy clothes for court. (Turns out they don’t sell blazers so I had to face the judge looking like a noob.) Arrived at the hotel around 9:45am. Quick shower and shave and off to court.
Turns out the judge had the dates wrong. He thought the hearing was the next day, so he wasn’t ready. He asked us to come back on Thursday. (Thereby also ruining the 1 day mini-vacation I had planned.)
You know, mine isn’t really that bad. I could tell the story about being trapped in the Denver airport for more than 12 hours back in 1986, but I was quite young at the time and I don’t actually remember it. My mom tells the story much better than I do.
Last year I went to Vegas. Loved it. But my flight home was scheduled to leave at some ridiculous hour… 6:30 AM, I believe, possibly earlier. I had arranged a shuttle service to take me from the hotel to the airport. As you’re probably aware, the Las Vegas McCarran airport is pretty much just around the corner from the Strip. Maybe a 15 minute drive. So I call to arrange the shuttle pickup, and tell them to get me about an hour and a half before my flight. They told me that if they don’t pick me up at 4:30 AM or earlier, they can’t guarantee that I make my flight. I grudgingly accept the 4:30 time – checkout was a breeze, at least. So I get to the airport at 4:45 AM. My hotel was their last stop before heading to the airport. Once I’m in the building, I realize… the airport isn’t open yet. All the airline desks were dark. I was checking luggage, and I couldn’ t go anywhere until I got rid of my suitcase. I didn’t see any place to get coffee this side of the security checkpoint. I had to stand around (sans coffee) waiting for the airline employees to start their work day. It opened at 5. I was first in line. I felt like such a fool.
I have never had a bad airport experience. I once nearly missed a flight back from Costa Rica, but that story is awesome, not bad.
I listened to the Nerdist podcast right after this one, and I don’t think Paul’s anecdote came across as badly as you thought. Had I not heard you build it up first, I wouldn’t have noticed it as a particularly awkward moment.
You asked for airport stories:
Early 2009-ish (I think?), Ben Gurion Airport: A classmate and good friend of mine was going home for good and our Hungarian friend Balazs and I had gone to the airport with her to see her off…in the middle of the night.
The plan was to let her check in, get rid of her bags and then sit and drink coffee until she had to go through the final layer of security. Well, those plans got a little derailed…Balazs and I were standing a few hundred yards away, waiting while she was dealing with the check-in security people…and waiting…and waiting. We left for coffee, we came back…still waiting. At this point, it was almost 4 AM and two hours had passed.
It turns out that my friend was getting a little impatient with the length of the questioning and the searching of her bags and her laptop (yeah, they can do that) and she got a little, uh, testy (which with Israeli security you DON’T EVER DO) – unbeknownst to us, of course, as we were standing too far away to hear what was going on.
Anyway, I guess she had told the guy that I was the only one of the group who spoke competent Hebrew, because a few minutes later, he comes over and starts ripping into me: “TELL your friend that if SHE wants to fly…!!!!” I just stared at him.
About fifteen minutes after this, however, friend comes back and apologizes to us and explains that they wanted to escort her directly to the plane (ooooh this is BAD) and that they had told her that if she ever tried to come back, she wouldn’t be allowed in the country.
At which point, it is not much after 4 AM, and the first train of the morning back to Tel Aviv is at 5 AM, so Balazs and I had to go downstairs to the train station and sit and wait for another hour.
Five years ago my wife and I spent a week in Japan to attend my brother’s wedding. On our last day we dragged our luggage with us out to the geek district of Akihabara in Tokyo, then my brother gave us a hug goodbye and pointed us towards the tracks to the airport at the train station.
Narita Airport is a long distance from central Tokyo. The express train is expensive so we cheaped out by taking the local train. We expected a long ride and fell asleep on the train. When I shook myself out of my drowse I realized that the suburban scenery outside of the train wasn’t the same as the busy cityscapes we saw from the train into the city on our arrival. I pulled the wife off at the next station and looked carefully at the system map. We were off on some branch line, far from the airport. We had gotten on the wrong train!
We waited impatiently for a train in the opposite direction, transferred at the first possible point to the Narita line, and ran through the airport to the international terminal. There was still a half hour before our flight left but the ticket agents wouldn’t let us through. We paid a change fee of $150 (!) per ticket for the next day’s flight to Portland and turned around, dejected.
Now we faced an additional problem: getting back to my brother’s place on the opposite side of Tokyo. Not anticipating a need for a lot of cash we had left most of our remaining yen with my brother. I had just enough coin to call him from a pay phone and none to get on the train. Thank goodness that JR uses a pay-as-you-exit method, and that my brother is such a kind person. He met us at the train station, paid for our tickets, and took us weary and depressed travelers out to a delightful dinner.
The next day my brother saw us back to the train station and this time he walked us down to the platform himself and made sure we got on the right train. Turns out our mistake the day before was waiting on the wrong side of the platform.
Having arrived at Narita and finally checked in to our flight we had a long wait at the terminal. We were quite early plus our flight was delayed 2-3 hours due to a typhoon hanging off the Pacific Coast. But at least we were there when boarding was called.
Lesson learned: pay for the express train to/from Narita. It’s worth it, kids.