Joint Base Charleston had it’s airshow today. We planned to have a fun filled family day with kids and grandkids. That lasted about 30 seconds.
The eight mile trip to the base took two hours and 20 minutes. Bumper to bumper in the left lane. Why we didn’t use the right lane that was moving remains a mystery. But we arrived with plenty of time to see the planes. It was 12:20.
When we got out of the car, I went to set my “Map My Walk”. I figured I’d get a good workout today. But…..the phone was dead. I started the day with a full charge and now it’s dead. I announce this to the group. I ask my loving bride to unlock the car so I could put my DEAD phone in the car.
Everyone had to pee, so they ditched me. I did top to take a picture of some planes flying by.
I tried to catch up but I lost sight of them when they went into the security tent. When I popped out of security, I bee lined it to the porta potties. Nada. I peed and came out. Nada. I know, Jamie wanted to see the C-17 again so I stood there until i was sure they weren’t inside.
I saw my wife once. I called out but she didn’t hear me. then the crowd closed in around her and I lost her.
At this point, Boy Scout training kicked in. I stopped moving and stood out in the open and waited to be seen. Nada. Then I started visiting clusters of families with little kids. Nada. More standing and waiting……you guessed it. Nada. I eventually moved to a tent with a bunch of families. I found a concrete block and sat down.
A nice family walked up and I offered the other block and Mom sat down. Mom, Dad and an about eight year old daughter. Mom offered me her cell to call in a rescue mission. The first call I made was to myself. Don’t ask. The I racked my brain to remember my wife’s phone number. I has the first six digits down cold. I called, wrong number. The second time it rang and rang and rang. Then someone hung up, no voice mail. My loving wife has the habit of hanging up on numbers she doesn’t recognize. “Try again”, says Mom. Again it rings and rings and rings and………hangs up. I thank Mom and she wishes me good luck. It’s time for me to head to the parking lot.
Then I see the Bouncy Houses.
I hang out there long enough to not recognize anyone. I refill my water bottle at a “Drinking Station” that was bubblers hooked up to a hose. It tasted like hose, but it was water.
As I trudged to the gate, I formulated a plan.
- Everyone would be waiting at the cars and pissed at me.
- The women and the kids went home in my son’s car and my son was waiting for me.
- The cars would be gone and I was rightly fucked.
i was walking along when I heard a tiny voice say “Walt”. Maybe I didn’t hear it, I kept walking. Then my Bride screamed out my full legal name. A HA! There she was. I considered killing her right then and there. Too many witnesses. I’ll wait.
THE PARKING LOT CLUSTER FUCK
We started with a quarter tank of gas. Jamie moved us into line. It wasn’t moving. I told her to buzz to the front of the line. She then nudged us into a right turn and the line stopped again. It looked like the right turn the airman were signaling would send us back to where the airplanes were and then all the way back. After about 20 minutes, i got fed up. I got out and jacked up the sailor that had a whistle. He said that he was ordered to not let anyone out of the parking lot. WTF???
Then the 1st Lieutenant walked up.
ME: ” Are you in charge of the goat fuck?”
The natives were getting restless. Three cars had run out of gas. Two broke down. One person left the lot in an ambulance. I pointed this out and the LT. He blinked. he radioed his sergeant for help. Good move. I moved away to organize the pissed off folks. I told a few drivers that if they turn right that way leads out of the parking lot. The LT told me so. The left turn took them to the other end where some cars were seen to be moving. The bum rush starts to that side. I go back to the LT. He was just telling his sergeant that “things were working out by themselves”. No they weren’t, I sent most people left while we went right.
This is when we met a nice A1C. There airman said she didn’t have a radio. The line didn’t leave the lot. It circled around.
While my wife ran to the porta potties, the airman told me she’d find some one. She brought back a Staff Sergeant. he had a radio. the wife comes back and the line starts moving. But instead of looping around the Ssgt has then turning right and moving to the other end.
That’s how we got out of the parking lot. But just as we were about to leave the “You’re running out of gas light came on and the car started bitching about needing a gas station. It was exciting trying to get to the next gas station and there was a lot of praying. But we made it and met a bunch of folks who were running on fumes too.
We finally got home.
I did take a couple of pictures.
And then the battery in my camera died.