Thursday, July 24, 2014

et tu, stansted?

You know what they say about the best laid plans. Or that thing about us making plans and God laughing. That was my day today. I don't want to go into it, because it's complicated and boring and doesn't make for good print. But I had some issues with Ryan Air today; big surprise, budget airlines. And no matter how I tried to get someone to help me on the phone, they refused. "You need to come to the airport," they kept saying. By airport they meant Stansted. It's 90 minutes away. "We'll help you there. But you need to come immediately." Immediately is not awesome. But I did, I came immediately. And I came in a cab because the buses were booked and the trains only ran much later. And the cab driver was super nice and great to talk to, and then his cab broke down.

And then Miles and I sat in a wheat field on the side of the M11 waiting for a tow truck and another taxi to bail us out. There were some bugs, some sunstroke, and some allergies. You can imagine all that. After an hour or so we found ourselves at a gas station up the road, and we had some Cornish Pasties which were a big mistake. And then we got to the airport, finally, and Ryan Air refused to help me at all. Just the most cursory, "Computer says no" kinds of responses. It didn't matter how many agents I spoke to. Woe unto thee, England! Thy customer service is the worst.

You know what made it all bearable? Miles. "What are you gonna do?" he kept shrugging. And he was right. Stuff happens. What are you gonna do? Later, when I thanked him for taking the grueling journey with me he said "us bros have to stick together." And it was completely in earnest. And I wanted to cry.

We made it back to London in time to meet up with the students in line at the Globe. And they could not have been sweeter to me. Hugs and jokes and pats on the back. What a great group of people. We shared some chips and sat in the waiting line and I felt like everything was worth it. And then we saw a puppet show which was meant to explain Julius Caesar to us, but chiefly what I remember is the puppets singing 'Tequila.'

Julius Caesar, I've often said, is my least favorite Shakespeare play. Aside from a stabbing, nothing happens. For three acts people talk about what they want to do, and for the next two they talk about what they did. I know it's rhetorical and political and full of intrigue, but those are also words to describe 'talky.' All the same, nobody knows how to goose a play like the Globe does, and they did their darndest tonight. There was so much about the play I finally understood, and I feel like I get the passion some people have for it. We were also spattered with blood from an onstage castration, so that's one for the diary.

She'll probably hate that I mention this, but Kailey burst into tears when we entered the Globe for the first time. And it was so sweet. And I remembered that feeling of walking in there for my first time, March of 2002. Who cares if a play talks too much, or your feet hurt from standing? You are in the Globe, and there's a magic there that sticks with you.