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Glide Underground At Comdex: Part One
Author: Scott Hetherington       Date: November 25th 1999
Page: 1

The Journey Begins:

First things first. Typing on a laptop on a bus isn’t simple - it’s a good thing I decided to use Word instead of my usual Notepad. For those of you who think yourselves to be fairly acute typists, try typing in a space roughly 2’ square, on a laptop half-folded-over. "I don’t know how you can type like that.", says Rob simply from beside me. At least the bus isn’t moving at the moment. The trip - as far as we’ve gone - has been relatively peaceful and relaxing. We departed Edmonton this afternoon around 3:20pm local time, giving us precisely 5 hours and 40 minutes to be on board our flight from Calgary to Las Vegas. Thanks to the thick blanket of fog which managed to accompany us from Edmonton to Red Deer, and to the smoothness of ride that only a diesel engine the size of my car can offer; the trip has been a surreal effort on fate’s part to trick me into thinking I was on one of those odd "Virtual Rides", complete with hydraulic movement simulation. The only problem was the screen wasn’t working, there was nothing to see but grey mist floating past the windows, and the occasional semitrailer scrolling past. The people on buses always make the trip. As in make it or break it. At the moment, I’m overhearing (not intentionally, I assure you) the romantic stylings of a pseudo-jock as he attempts to coax the phone number out of a butchy blonde high-schooler beside him. Today’s topic is: "Spandex and Wrestling: ‘Like..Ewww’ ". Then, ahead two seats, and across the isle from where Rob and I dwell, sits "Junior" as Rob and myself have fondly termed the pre-pubescent traveller. A few minutes ago, he fought life and limb as he attempted to relieve himself in the miniscule tin washroom located directly behind me. Rob and I got quite a good laugh as we realized each bump the coach traveled over was causing the lid of the toilet to fall on him. Every couple moments there’d be a 'clank!', followed by a pause, followed shortly thereafter by another 'clank!'. Junior emerged victorious several minutes later, wiping his hands on his pantlegs as he was jostled back to his seat by the bumps that had turned an innocent-looking toilet seat into a flesh-hungry guillotine only minutes ago.

It’s amazing. You can be on American soil without actually leaving Canada. Some of you might have guessed that I’ve just gone through US Customs. I think if anything the theme for this trip so far has been "Wit At The Worst Possible Time". As we made our way through Customs to the pre-boarding holding area, we were entertained first by a self-styled stand up customs officer sporting a jet-black narcotics-sniffing dog; then by a WestJet employee who perplexed us all with her Vegas Trivia. I think it would have been all-round more enjoyable for everyone she inflicted the trivia on if she’d known the answers to the questions she was asking.

After a small mix up with baggage (here’s hoping my suitcase shows up in Vegas around the same time that I do) we’re finally airborne somewhere over.....land. To my left sits Rob, and to my right sits some old man, studying hard on how to evade taxes, referring to such volumes as "Call It Extortion". I have ten dollars here (American funds too) that says he’ll be in jail sometime in the next few years for extortion, or better yet; tax evasion. The pilot has just informed us that we’re currently passing over Salt Lake City, Utah; and I must say, for those of you who live there - your city is damn huge, even from 29,000ft up in the air. If the guy in front of me reclines his seat once more, this in-flight section of the article will be rather brief; passive color laptop screens grow exceedingly difficult to read when viewed at a 45 degree angle. Much to my dismay, the fellow in front me, in all his largeness, decided that now would be a good time to see if Scott is able to read a laptop screen at 70 degrees. I will write a bit more once we’re in the hotel.

For the record, I hate Vegas. Or at least the Imperial Palace. We arrived at the hotel roughly two and a half hours ago, at which point we stood in line at the front desk (after finding it, and a run-in with a rather drunken couple posing as hotel staff) along with the other one hundred and fifty people who were part of our tour group who had the misfortune of choosing this hotel. I also understand how they manage to fit several thousand rooms into a hotel - by making each room about 10 square feet. Another great feature of this room....the balcony sliding glass door locks itself, meaning if you venture out onto the balcony and the door closes behind you, you’d better have a good set of lungs on you. On a happier, less complaining note, my baggage was here waiting for me when I finally got to my room. Now I don't have to streak at Comdex, as fun as that sounds.

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Glide Underground At Comdex '99


Added:  Thursday, November 25, 1999
Reviewer:  Scott Hetherington

Page: 1/3

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