Wolfgang Puck Express

There's nothing quite as irritating as having your flight canceled after you've already checked in -- especially when it's not for some semi-understandable reason, like snow flurries or drizzle around DIA or a herpes outbreak at O'Hare. No, this inexplicable cancellation was because of weather on the East Coast the night before, which derailed our westbound flight to San Diego.

Needless to say, I was less than pleased, particularly since we waited two hours for the privilege of being told that it would be another nine hours before we reached our destination. Since Nathan's central nervous system is not yet fully developed, he did not grasp the implication of this news, although I had little doubt that over the next few hours, he would let everyone within a thousand feet of him know how much it sucked. But in the meantime, we plugged our infant son with his pacifier, and he seemed quite content.

Unfortunately, it's still not socially acceptable for an adult to walk around with a pacifier -- unless you're Jay-Z, whoever the hell he is. Fortunately, it is totally acceptable for Dad to knock back a few in an airport bar and act like a total buffoon. With several hours to spare, we headed over to Wolfgang Puck Express on Concourse B, which had already attracted the flotsam and jetsam of world-weary travelers. After seeing the German guys ahead of me do the same, I sidled up to the bar and ordered a Bloody Mary, which had a deposit of tepid mix that was not at all pleasant. I would have been better off following the lead of some kindred Irishmen, who sat in the back corner and drank beer and talked about something called "snookah" and drank beer. It was entirely possible that these guys didn't have flights at all and were still trying to make it home on United after last year's World Cup.


Wolfgang Puck Express

But as I slurped down the Mary faster than my son guzzled his formula, I began to feel better. If both of us were tanked, it would be good for everyone. I wouldn't throttle the next United employee who was bitchy to me, and Nathan wouldn't scream at the top of his lungs the entire flight, although that's exactly what the airline deserved.

By my third Mary, I was mentally prepared to fly -- and physically ready to pass out. Then I spotted Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction fame. I was sure it was him; to make certain, I checked his picture and tattooed sleeves on Wikipedia. Here I was, half to three-quarters in the bag, and there was Mr. Navarro, an alleged heroin abuser, calmly eating his salad and drinking his water. The hell with him; I'll bet his flight to Los Angeles was not going via East Timor, as my flight to San Diego apparently was. Finally, I packed up my kid and headed for the gate. If I stayed at Wolfgang's much longer, I knew they wouldn't let either of us on the plane.


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