Posts Tagged Kara
Is everyone getting ready for Christmas? I’m getting new skate shoes.
You can tell they’re mine, because they have extra ankle support and are large enough to fit over an ankle brace, besides.
I figured won’t be much longer that I’ll either have to quit skating or have one of those surgeries where they replace bits of you.
Cyborg Cartoonist. Sounds kinda cool.
Did you ever listen to the comedy albums that made Bob Newhart famous? He had this thing where he’d do half a conversation, and your brain sort of filled in whatever else was needed.
You might also have wondered why I didn’t weigh in so much when everyone was guessing who called Hubris right before lunch. I figured you needed your three guesses.
Today’s cartoon is a case of cross-pollenating. I was writing gags for my newspaper strip The Buckets, and somehow, “Rowed Rage” came up. Well, it’s a bit forced for The Buckets, but by golly it works pretty well here!
This one’s weird. This is the original idea page that went to the syndicates. I repurposed the gag in another setting when it ran here on the Hubris site, so it would fit into a storyline. You can tell this version is just a gag-a-day version. The characters’ personalities are well represented, though. And this was when Hubris still held firmly to his name. The gag may have been a little forced when it fell into the storyline, but I think it worked. I doubt any of you looked at it back then and said, “Heeeeey, this is just some joke he wedged into this story!” You tell me.
… To continue…
We left off the story as I was five hours at the airport trying to get to either San Jose or Monterey. Either would do, but of course there were complications.
So here’s some advice. Ship your caricature stand instead of flying with it. Paper (and a drawing board) is heavy. Easels, even the ones that collapse down for travel, are large. Ship them. It solves a lot of problems. First, it means you can take smaller luggage. I still didn’t want to pack a couple of nice suits in a tiny carry-on, but I COULD have. Secondly, it means that the people who are X-Raying your suitcase don’t see something that looks at a glance like a small Gatling gun. And when that’s beside a double handful of markers, those markers suddenly look suspiciously like high caliber ammunition. Thirdly, it means that, if your flight goes utterly squiffy, you don’t have to worry about getting your stuff at the other end- that’d be the shipper’s problem. Yes, the hotel will charge you to keep them for you until you arrive, but trust me. Sweating it out over hours at an airport is less zen than shipping that stuff on ahead.
Also, I should point out that when two or three gate agents are scrambling around trying to get you to Monterey (with special attention for making sure your luggage gets there too somehow) remind them constantly that it’s Monterey CA, not Monterrey Mexico. If they get a consternated look on their faces and ask another gate agent for help because the flight they try to get you on kicks out of the system every time, you might say something like, “You’re not trying for Monterrey Mexico again, are you?” and they’ll smack their foreheads and say, “Hang on… let me……….” and they’ll be back on track trying to get you where you’re going.
Another thing not to do, in a tizzy about not making your caricaturing event that evening, is text both your client and the Big client that the flight’s already gone bananas and you’re looking for alternative in an attempt to make the event in time. Text your client and leave the Big Client, who is technically NOT your client, out of it until your client handles that. I’m an idiot.
So. They finally scrapped my flight, but I was already pre-booked on two others by the time that was official. Off I went to Dallas for a layover. I would not make that evening’s event, but the following day had two events. I would make those. Surely. Right?
Should I point out now that I have only once had a layover in Texas that didn’t go utterly nutzy-coocoo? I’m talking random hours-long delays, snow delays (which they don’t handle well in Texas), a hurricane, and a guy who had a heart attack and dropped dead sitting next to my wife. Texas layovers are cursed.
But on to Dallas! I had a two hour layover there, which I hoped would be long enough to get me there in time to make the second leg of the flight, and short enough that the world didn’t have time to plan to explode or something.
Ta-daaaaa! I made it. And the next leg of the flight got me to San Jose. I can now answer the song’s question. Yes, I technically DO know the way to San Jose. I don’t like it much, but I know the way. And that’s where the rental car was arranged for, so that’s a plus, right?
And I will continue this story later.
So I haven’t told you guys about the caricature gig that I had to fly out to a couple of weeks ago.
Here’s the general gist-
My client is an ad agency I’ve worked with since they were a small operation years ago, and they’re a big operation now. Their client is a big corporate entity who hosts an event out West.
At one point, a list of possible fun things to include in the event was presented to the Big Client. Caricatures by Greg was on the list, and apparently it sounded like a good deal to them.
After jockeying around on the day rate and schedule, we were a go. I got pens and paper and a couple of nice suits together and, as usual, got nervous the closer the event drew.
The flight out there worried me. I don’t recall a lot of flight issues years ago. But then, years ago the Memphis airport was a hub of one kind or another. Not so at the moment. Flying out of Memphis simply means that there will ALWAYS be a layover at some hub somewhere between here and anywhere else. This time, the layover was in Phoenix and was to last 40 or so minutes. I have to admit, that worried me. I haven’t had many flights in the last few years that came off without a hitch of one sort or another, and forty minutes was a narrow window.
Then, I couldn’t check in the day before the flight. The system would not assign me a seat and so I couldn’t check in, or print out a boarding pass. This made me very, very uneasy. I was sure I would wind up on standby because the airline had overbooked and there was going to be me, shouting about where my seat was on the morning of the flight.
The flight was supposed to go at 7:15 a.m. Not able to stand it for another minute, I rolled out to the airport at about 5:45, presented myself at the counter expecting the worst and … got my boarding passes. Of course, I had to pay extra for actually having baggage. I’m also old enough to remember when the idea of being charged more than your ticket price for bringing your stuff too would have been a stoning offense against the nearest airline exec, just as an example for any others that might be standing around. Of course, I then had to walk around the corner and take off my belt and my shoes and let total strangers subject my stuff to exotic high-energies, so heck, having to pay extra for a piece of luggage? Pee down my back and tell me it’s raining, sure. But you can’t pack two full suits, a couple of sets of regular clothes and a caricature stand in a carry-on.
At 6:45, the guy at the gate counter (whose name is also Greg) announced that we would be boarding any minute, and the flight would leave on time.
I honestly felt so relieved I could hardly believe it.
But this is airflight, so it went South quick.
A minute or two later, Greg announced that a leak had been spotted dribbling something out of the plane.
And then we heard that the inspection crew was ten minutes out.
And a little after that, the flight crew came out and walked off, not making eye contact with anyone.
You know what happened next, right?
The delays went on and on, eventually becoming a problem where a bit of hydraulic machinery had to be brought in and installed in the plane in place of the one that was dribbling goop on the ground. But Memphis isn’t a hub, so there wasn’t one there, and maybe it could be flown in from Atlanta or Chicago or wherever.
And everyone queued up to see what other arrangements could be made. They opened up two other counters to try to process us as quickly as possible.
To get me where I was going, it looked like waiting for my own delayed flight was going to be my best option. That may or may not have been true. I still wonder what would have happened if I’d made a dead run for a flight to Chicago and crossed my fingers for an even tighter layover there. I don’t know.
I worked with three different gate agents, some of whom were supposed to have been off-duty and all the way back home in bed by the time they got me figured out.
And there was this complication- there was an airport closer to my caricature gig than the one I was supposed to be flying into. It’s a much smaller airport, and more expensive to land in- if you start off with the idea that you’re heading there instead of where I was booked, along with having a rental car waiting on me so I could drive the hour and fifteen minutes or so between the airport and the area of the event.
If they’re re-routing you, though, you can fly into that smaller, closer airport with no extra charge. If there’s a flight that they can get you anywhere near at a hub somewhere between Memphis and there. And when I say ‘between’, I mean “possibly on the East coast and then fly all the way back from there to the West coast.”
The folks at the airline were checking every possible alternative, including getting me on other airlines. It was time-consuming and nerve wracking.
And I’ll continue the tale later…