Saturday, March 13, 2010
Do You Believe in Omens?
ON YOUR MARK...
I have to confess that I am not a planner.
I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of guy, who enjoys spontaneity, diving into the unknown and the thrill of surfing controlled chaos.
So imagine my surprise when it came time for me to travel to Austin for SXSW and I find myself planning the day of my trip down to the hour, complete with a checklist of tasks to accomplish before I go.
Feed the cats and change the litter box? Check. Laundry done? Check. Dishes done? Check. Gather all the video equipment, buy clip-on mics, get extra tapes and don’t forget a tripod. Check, check, check and check.
The plan called to start packing and running last-minute errands at noon and to cease all activity at 2 for a flight leaving at 4. This gives me plenty of time to get to the airport 15 minutes away, park close to the terminal, and check email and relax, instead of my usual habit of running thru the concourse to be the last person who boards the airplane just before they shut the gate.
I’m packed, ready to go and the bag is waiting to be strapped to the motorcycle at 2. So far, so good.
Now, there’s a reason I always take my motorcycle to the airport—I get in and out of any traffic quickly, and always manage to score free parking. Bikes fit in places that the evil people who charge for parking don’t quite account for and I take advantage of those spaces. Since I’ll be gone for a week, taking the motorcycle will save me around $150 in parking fees.
I grab my helmet, feel inside for the keys and head out the door.
My keys are always inside the helmet. ALWAYS. That’s where they live. I frequently play hide-and-seek with my wallet, keys and things like that, so it’s not time to panic yet. My only chance of winning this game is to ALWAYS put my keys in my motorcycle helmet. It’s a habit. I turn off the motorcycle, take off my helmet, take the keys from the ignition and toss them into the helmet. Each. And. Every. Time.
If the keys aren’t in the helmet, then where are they? I check my motorcycle jacket. Nope. The shelf where all the other keys live. Nope. Various pants pockets. Nope. I look in the bedroom, the office, the truck, and the bag I packed. Nope, nope, nope and nope.
45 minutes later, I still can’t find the keys and I REALLY have to leave. I hop in the truck, speed to the airport, park 2 miles away in the nether land that is long-term parking, wait nervously for 10 minutes for the next shuttle bus to take me to the terminal, stand in line to check my bag, and then start running thru the concourse to be the last person who boards the airplane just before they shut the gate.
So far, my missing keys are costing me $150 for airport parking and potentially another $175 to replace the key ring. (BMW keys are expensive to replace) The cost of an airport shuttle? $20.
I’m hoping that this isn’t an omen of things to come…you know, that the rest of the SXSW trip is going to be like this. Is this an omen, or just my universe self-correcting itself to my normal behavior?
What do you think? Do you believe in omens?