Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Public Airport Intoxication: Part Two, The Seinfeld Moment

Well, I really had me a day, yesterday. A totally absurd day. The most absurd part was a Seinfeld moment, well minutes, that had me running for 45 minutes, covering miles of two D/FW Airport parking garages. I'll get to that later.

So, you may remember, yesterday I took someone to the airport who proceeded to get arrested and jailed for public intoxication.

The party in question was heading to an island in the Atlantic, where the arrestee's 83 year old mother was going to pick her up.

So, the arrested was quite panicked as to how to let her mother know not to go to the airport. Several calls were made from the jail cell to various people trying to get the recipient of the call to call the mother. However, the cell connection from the cell was so bad, no one could make out much of the calls. And I don't speak Spanish. So, how could I call the mother.

At some point the arrestee was able to get ahold of someone on the island and told that person to tell the mother that the arrestee was sick. The person on the island somehow then told the mother that the arrestee was sick and in the hospital. Which is sort of true if you stretch poet license to its limits.

I got the number of the jail. Called, explained the situation. I'd been getting constant phone calls from the arrestee. Little of which I could understand. The jailer said he'd put the arrestee on a land line. Before that could happen the arrestee called again. I said I'd head that way and see if I could cause a release to happen.

The jail is not inside the airport. It's on a side road to the east about 3 miles from the main airport freeway. I found the jail. I talked to the jailer. He said the arrestee had not sobered up, under the legal limit, almost 9 hours after the arrest. I was appalled.

The jailer put the arrestee on a jail phone. I felt like I was in a prison movie. The arrestee was in a panic, worried her mother would have a heart attack thinking she was in a hospital. The arrestee begged me to get her out of there. I said I'd see what I could do.

I talked to the jailer, asked if the almost sober arrestee could be released to me. He said he'd go check on the current condition. He came back and said he could release the now sober arrestee.

It took a half hour to process us out of there. That is when it was learned that the 3 pieces of carry-on bags and a jacket, were back inside the airport.

The jailer gave me a number to call to make sure the items were there. I got an answering machine. The jailer told me Lost and Found was in the C2 section of the C terminal. I'd dropped the drunk off at C31 that morning. C31 is a long ways from C2. It's a big airport.

While I was trying to call Lost and Found the newly released jailbird called her mother. The cell phone had a good connection once it was out of the cell. I don't know what cover story was told the mother. I didn't care at that point.

So, we head back into the airport. I easily park right across from C2. I barged the line at the ticket counter and asked the agent where Lost and Found is. Right behind us, through security, she said. So, we had to show our driver's licenses and she printed up what looked like boarding tickets.

I was not happy having to go through security. I hate that part of flying. And I was not prepared for it. As in I was wearing baggy pants held up by a belt. But I made it through with only one slight moment where it would have been embarrassing. I was going commando, also with no socks.

I started to feel like I was in an Amazing Race episode. I found Lost and Found. Explained the situation. The Lost and Found lady, Tiffany Washington, said that type stuff is not brought there. I used my considerable powers of charm, and Tiffany made a lot of phone calls and located the missing items. They were back at baggage claim for C31.

We went back to my van, left that parking garage and headed for the C31 parking garage. Unlike C2, the C31 entry level was full, so I go to the next level, then the next. Find a spot, park, hurry to the C31 baggage claim. We find the stuff behind a locked door. A lady opens it. All is there but the jacket.

We grabbed the stuff and hurried out of there. Crossed over to the parking garage. I quickly walked to where I thought the van was. It was not there. I was totally baffled. We walked around for a bit, re-traced steps, all to no avail.

I then told the recently drunk one to stay put and I'd run through the garage. I proceeded to do so. It was sort of fun. I was told later I looked like a cartoon character. I thought I had checked out every possible location in that garage. So, I ran to the next garage. I quickly figured out, after running through 2 levels, that there was no way that could be the location.

Ran back to the C31 garage. Found the freshly sober one, who had asked an airport employee for help and was given a number to call where they'd send someone to drive you through the garages looking for your vehicle. I thought that sounded ridiculous, but I took the number.

I said to the sober one, I think I made a mistake, thinking we'd had to go up, to find my van, but then I remembered that when I left the full level, the road went downhill, before re-entering the parking garage.

So, I ran down a level, then another. I was pretty sure I was on the right track, but I was calling that rescue number anyway. As I hit option #1 on the phone tree, I spotted my van.

I called the arrestee/jailbird/drunk/sober one and said stay put, I'll be right there.

It was an uneventful drive back. 121 had backed up 183, so I exited at 157 and took a right on Trinity Boulevard to get back here with no more traffic jams.

The starved arrestee/jailbird/drunk/sober one had not eaten, so I drove through Jack in the Box, then back to her place, where I hauled up the baggage and poured the rest of the liquid, that had caused the trouble, down the drain.

I needed a good symbolic gesture.

And then I was out of there. 20 minutes later I got a call telling me she found the missing jacket, stuffed into one of her bags.

What a happy ending to a sad, sordid, pathetic story.

2 comments:

lulu Redstar & Lauri Evans said...

OMG...you are a very good friend indeed. This sounds like an episode from the 2chippys. Thank heavens it wasn't US!
I hope you call a cab for her the next time she flies...
xo lulu

Durango said...

I made the mistake of taking the girl to the airport again this morning. I won't make the mistake of picking her up a week from now. She'll have to find a cab. Or hitchhike.