river muse

Away from it all (almost)

By CASS COLLINS
Posted 3/4/20

It took every ounce of forbearance on my part to maneuver the bureaucracy of international travel with our pets, but I did it. From buying a pet stroller to seeking the advice of a psychiatrist, I …

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river muse

Away from it all (almost)

Posted

It took every ounce of forbearance on my part to maneuver the bureaucracy of international travel with our pets, but I did it. From buying a pet stroller to seeking the advice of a psychiatrist, I filed all the papers and folded all the contraptions. Our two little Schnauzers were vetted and groomed. We practiced strolling in the driveway. “Stay,” I commanded. “Good Boy!” I praised. Our annual trip to warmer climes would be all the warmer in the company of our emotional support animals. (Only Guthrie is a certified ESAN, but don’t tell Jackson that.)

The Department of Agriculture weighed in, sending us official documents with date stamps for exporting our animals to Costa Rica. Jet Blue wanted my shrink to send them the details of my anxiety dreams. Not really, but it felt that way, and when you’re dealing with anxiety, the feels are what’s important. Finally, we were going to go where elections couldn’t follow us and COVID-19 had yet to spread.

I’ve been an air traveler for 60 years. I know how to plan ahead, get up early, leave extra time for getting to the airport long-term parking lot, not depend on subway and bus schedules and check in the night before. I did all that. Still, I ended up groggy and sleep-deprived on the other end of a fruitless early-morning trip to JFK and back. Somehow, after rising at 4:30 a.m. and getting to the Jet Blue terminal at 7:30 for an 8:30 flight, we were turned away by an affectless flight agent who didn’t even feign compassion for the crazy lady and her strollered Schnauzers. Denied check-in an hour minus 8 minutes before departure. No reprieve. “Oh, we can book you on the next flight.” “When is that?” “In two days.”

A friend advises I should have taken an Uber. Thanks, Friend.

By this time today, I should have been putting on my flip-flops in Costa Rica. Instead I’m putting in an another day (and another dollar) in a NYC hotel as the dread COVID-19 begins to infiltrate Manhattan. First world problem, meet third world problem. We’re all together now, baby.

(The upside is I get to hear our daughter perform at Carnegie Hall tonight, in a concert for the Oratorio Society of New York, which I would have missed if I were sunning by the pool in my sarong.)

So how about this election season, eh? Something to take your mind off a world-wide pandemic. Mayor Bloomberg has become a Democrat just in time to screw everything up for Democrats. He’s running commercials that pitch him as just the guy to tackle COVID-19 just like he tackled 9/11 and SARS as Mayor of New York. Maybe he’ll stop and frisk us all for our temperatures next. If he really wants to save the world, why not run as a Republican?

Gee, Joe Biden is starting to look good in those Aviator glasses. Or am I just getting old?

This will go to press before Super Tuesday so y’all know what happened tomorrow. I don’t but I can guess. Joe took Virginia and Bernie got California, but it will take weeks to get the results tallied. Steve Kornacki is going to wet his chinos waiting for Texas to come in. Don’t even get me started on the delegate count. If you want same-day gratification, bet on the airlines, not the polls. Democracy takes time, my friends. Much like getting to the airport.

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