the way it really went

I was jolted out of sleep last night by Middle's message.
He had landed.
And, so, a four state, three flight, 20 hour work-day ended. Sort of.

You see, Middle was originally scheduled to fly to Washington DC on Sunday evening. There he'd meet his boss and fly to Indianapolis where they would pick up a rental car and drive to the track. Once there, Middle was to be wedged (though he's small) into the back of a Formula 1 car and shoot.

This is how it really unfolded....

K drove Middle to the airport on Sunday evening after calculating dinner around the trip.
He dropped Middle at the terminal and went on his way. About a quarter of the way home, Middle phoned to say his flight was delayed as to cause him to miss his connection. The airline re-booked him for Monday morning. K turned around, retrieved him, and came home in lots of traffic.

They left again at 4:45am and K stayed in the car near the airport while Middle checked in.
(From here on, the story was related to me by Middle at midnight last night.)
Both flights were uneventful though slightly disconcerting as the plane on the second leg was rather small.
Middle and his boss, R, met and drove, with GPS guiding them, in a rented Chevy Impala, toward the track but became quite lost, finding themselves, at one point, on a dirt road, with a locked fence and a hand spray-painted no trespassing sign. A golden retriever happily kept them company as they re-figured.
Finally at the track, there were problems with the F1 car. It looked handsome enough but was unable to shift into third gear - and though this wouldn't really have effected their filming, the owner was reluctant to let Middle shoot.
Middle waited while they worked and made phone calls and eventually removed the transmission and wheels.
He waited on the asphalt track for five hours, in 90+ heat.
Fortunately, he did use sun-block and drank water.
The team admitted defeat as their departure time neared and the driver took them on a quick (90mph) spin around the track in the rented Chevy.
Middle and R returned to the airport to discover their return flight had been delayed enough to ensure missing their connection in DC and R got them tickets to fly into New Jersey.
That flight was delayed three hours so they went for some dinner.
I ordered a whiskey and was delighted when the waitress said I could double it for a buck!
They boarded, sat for a while on another small plane.
My seat did not recline, a baby screamed behind me, my phone was dead so I couldn't listen to music. By the time the flight attendant told me I could only purchase liquor with a credit card I was too aggravated to bother. I should have spent thirty dollars and gotten a few shots.
They landed in New Jersey where R's brother was supposed to meet them but he didn't make it.
They grabbed a taxi and headed to the airport in New York where I was to fetch Middle and where R had left his car. The taxi had no air conditioning and it was 85 at best.
I responded to Middle's first text but fell asleep. His call woke me.
Traveling toward the airport, the highway had two lanes closed, I noted that the homeward lanes were stopped dead for a car in flames.
After a few tries in the pick-up lane, I found him. Exhausted, overheated and looking a little ragged, he started off in a mean mood but, as we sat in horrendous traffic on an alternate highway (where lanes were closed while workers looked at holes, taped off markings or just stood around) he relaxed more, told me of his awful 20 hour work-day and we started to laugh at his misfortunes.
All he wanted, he explained, was to stand under the shower with a cold beer.
Of course we didn't have any.
He toasted the Super Moon with a whiskey, we blamed all his trouble on it, and stumbled off to bed.
Sometimes the exciting life of a cameraman is anything but.


Crazy Mom! said…

Around here, a car in flames is known as auto flambe.
Terese said…
And they say its hard to film in the Australian outback. Middle is now prepared for anything!
Paola said…
Trains, planes and automobiles ... wow.