E3 2011 Pre-show Day 1

Well, today marks yet another early summer day when I pack my things and head to Los Angeles (I always hear that in my head the way Bugs Bunny pronounces it – “Loss Angle-eeze”) for the perennial circus we call E3.

Surprisingly, there were no unexpected airline delays and by some miracle I had a direct flight to L.A. so I got on the plane feeling fairly mellow. Then a highly rotund older couple got on and sat–well, sat isn’t really the word–more like “wedged themselves into the seats like two campfire marshmallows squashed into one tiny matchbox”–one row up and to the right. Not a problem in itself, until they struck up a conversation with the young couple right in front of me.

Egad, I’ve become a grouch, but I just can’t take listening to other people’s small talk. It’s like biting down on a wooden spoon and raking it through my teeth or watching someone talk while that white stretchy stuff gathers at the corners of their lips; I just can’t stand it. The young ‘uns were going to Hawaii for the first time and so I had to sit through a blow-by-blow explanation by Mrs. Campfire, of every last place she thought this young couple should see in the islands. “Yep, once you’re on the plane, they’ll show you a movie…”

When that was done, I then (thanks to the encouragement of Mrs. Campfire’s all-too-eager listeners) had to listen to the educational history, stories of current employment and geographical location of each one of Mrs. Campfire’s children until tearing the tray table off the seat in front of me and knocking myself unconscious started to sound like a good idea. Mind you, all this happened before we even left the runway.

Once we started taxiing, the couple in front of me–who were traveling with a handful of first-time-flyers–started hooting and giggling and turning around in their seats waving sick bags at these anxious airline greenies. Ugh. Why can’t I just travel everywhere in a one-person bubble like Glinda the Good?

Half way into the trip, I dosed myself with some Dramamine to ensure a non-vomitous shuttle ride to the hotel and then twenty minutes from LAX it hit me like a tire iron to the face. Why, Dramamine? Why do you do me this way?

I could not keep my eyes open, despite Mrs. Campfire’s gripping tale of youngest daughter Nellie’s fancy house in Colorado. I crashed for about ten minutes, then woke up as we were flying low over the city. Looking down on thousands of suburban houses with the ocean glinting in the distance, I wondered how many of them would be wiped out if a big quake caused a tsunami. How far inland would you have to be not to be washed away by the tide? These are the things I think about when I come to California. Not how beautiful it is, but how quickly I can reach the nearest evacuation route.

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