EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — It’s great to be at Giants Stadium.
Mostly because I’m no longer en route to Giants Stadium.
Traveling here was a minor nightmare yesterday, though the Boxing Day TKO could have been so much worse, if not for some rare holiday spirit at the airport.
Would have been easy enough to have lost it somewhere along the way. Long story short, no parking places in Charlotte, then mechanical issues and weather in Newark turned a 4:40 p.m. flight into a 10:45-ish departure. By that time we were on our second plane without leaving town. We had to get off the first one when there was a problem with the auxiliary power supply. Apparently that’s the one that controls ventilation, which is extremely easy to overlook unless you’re sitting in seat 19A of the regional jet, right next to the can. Not only could we have driven to Jersey in the time it took us to fly there, but the bathrooms at Stuckey’s are, shall we say, less fragrant.
The only way to get through a day like Saturday was with patience and a sense of humor. Jordy, the cute little 1-year-old girl with a toy monkey (named appropriately, “Monkey”) held it together as best she could. The seemingly just-married couple across the aisle held hands and whispered. The lady with the load of shopping bags made way for others. The matron who apparently really needed to go stood patiently while we decided if someone was in there or whether the door was just stuck.
In short, everyone behaved like mature adults. Like auxiliary power, that’s exceedingly underrated.
But about those bathrooms. With the line forming while we sat on the tarmac, we decided to charge tolls. To get in, you had to tell us a joke. Entertain us if we’re all stuck here anyway. To the woman who came up with “Why did the chicken cross the road?,” we threatened to ration her paper or lock her in. We noted the lemony freshness of the lavatory in our second plane, much better to wait for a few hours. We asked the steward for a glass of wine after we were finally airborne, “but only if it’s screw-top.” He didn’t get it.
Then you get to Newark, the hotel shuttle from the airport pulls away just as you’re making a run for it in the rain. That leads to a quick cab ride — easily the most death-defying part of the day — and you’re finally at the hotel, just after room service closes down for the night.
At any rate, we’re here, and at the moment there’s no place else we’d rather be.
If only because this is the place we were coming, and we finally got there.