APTOPIX Argentina Airport StrikeThis site is hitting the road. For the next week, I’ll be back in the arms of madness; I’m going home to California to observe that most holy of sacraments – my brother Buns is turning 30. Since he went and carelessly found a “relationship” in the time between my purchase of an airline ticket and the actual departure, I’m harboring no illusions beyond that of relegation to third wheel status. That’s okay, though, because I’ll use the opportunity to steal one of his vehicles and scatter around the state, visiting friends, sowing discontent and fomenting rebellion at every stop. For a change of pace, I thought I’d use Half Past Awesome as a rambling travelogue. I’ll keep pictures to a minimum, so as to protect the various characters and the unwilling. Wherever the truck stops is where I’m spending the night, and we’ll let it fly from there. What better place to start than the Springfield/Branson National Airport, Lube & Tune?

In all fairness, I love travel for the sole reason that it allows me to observe the mundane and insane and everything in between, all under the heading “people watching”. Springfield, Missouri is no different. In the past twenty minutes, I’ve watched an irate dad come unhinged on some poor soul on the other end of his phone call and three old farmers grousing about this new terminal, complaining about fresh food being served, whereas the restaurant at the old terminal was famous for food poisoning (“yeah, but you could at least smoke in there! What’s happening to this goddam place?!”).  Since this is a direct flight to L.A., I’m getting the chance to observe a grandmother in leather pants (not that hot) and a trio of Mexican dudes with enough gold around their necks to put Mr. T into a snit of envy. There’s the token guy in a Crocodile Dundee hat (seriously? We’re going to Los Angeles, not the outback) and twenty minutes before boarding, people are starting to line up dutifully, although nothing’s been announced. There is a mad rush to head into a flying aluminum tube and sit down, but it eludes me as to why you must mill like starving cattle. I found some hot coffee and a quiet corner of this place; until the aging hippie trying to pass his steamer trunk off as “carry on” gets his ponytail on the plane, I think I’ll just enjoy the view. See you in California.