Right now, I wish Denis's retirement date had passed, and that he didn't have to darken the airport's doorstep ever again. Why? Because families seem to have decided that it's safe to hop on a plane with all their worldly goods and travel somewhere-- many of them here to Phoenix.
It began with the horrific fires in California. People didn't like breathing in all the smoke, they had relatives in Arizona, so they decided to get out of Dodge for some cleaner air. If it weren't for COVID-19, I'd say that I couldn't blame them a bit. From what Denis says, it would appear that the only COVID-19 safety measures most airlines have taken is mask wearing (which has led to some interesting encounters) and taking out the middle row of seats when there's a row of three across. I've gotten some of the worst colds in my life on board a plane, and you couldn't pay me enough money to fly now. Anyway...the airlines are packing as many people as they can on board their planes and flying them wherever they want to go. Once they've landed and have picked up their suitcases, strollers, golf clubs, etc., are their aggravations over?
It's only when they hustle all the kids and luggage to the waiting areas to board the shuttle bus for the rental car center that their frustrations really begin. Local government has placed a big plexiglass shield between the bus drivers and the passengers on the shuttle buses (yes!), and they have mandated only ten people may travel on each bus. People are grumpy (I'm being polite with my word choice) from the flight and then they discover that they have up to a five hour wait to get on a shuttle bus. By the time they board, many of them are out for blood, and who's the only person they see that they can rip to shreds? You got it-- bus drivers like Denis. I had something similar happen to me years ago, and by the end of the day phrases like "berserk" and "running amok" were foremost on my brain. I feel for Denis, but there's nothing substantive I can really do.
While I ponder why on earth people are wanting to travel for non-business reasons-- and use a disease-prone method of transportation to boot-- during a pandemic, I think I'll mosey on out to the link corral. Head' em up! Moooove 'em out!
►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- When book storage is limited, people get desperate. Don't make the mistakes Michael Dirda did.
- On the rearranged Sherlockian world of Enola Holmes.
- This father was shocked to find a Harry Potter first edition worth thousands on his bookshelf.
- The Modern Detective: Inside the secret world of private investigators.
- A brief history of the juvenile mysteries you checked out of the library eight at a time.
- The pirates of the highways.
- A brief introduction to honkaku and shin honkaku mysteries (Japanese puzzle mysteries inspired by the Golden Age of detective fiction).
- When advertising tried to create the perfect woman, thriller writers rebelled.
- How libraries are writing a new chapter during the pandemic.
- An Anglo-Saxon skull found with the nose and lips cut off is the first physical evidence of the brutal punishment for adultery.
- Polish divers hope this Nazi shipwreck holds the key to the Amber Room treasure.
- Archaeologists say Bronze Age Britons made keepsakes from parts of dead relatives.
- Is there a hidden drawing beneath the Mona Lisa?
- Fifty years after the Beatles broke up, a trove of memorabilia goes on auction.
- An incredible find: a perfectly preserved 400-year-old ship has been discovered by divers.
- Scientists used century-old seaweed to solve a marine mystery.
- A rare edition of Shakespeare's last play has been found in a Spanish library.
- One of the last privately owned Botticelli portraits could fetch over $80 million.
- Traffic stops as a beaver drags a huge branch across a New Hampshire road. And while I'm on the subject-- All hail the beaver, mighty linchpin of the natural world.
- Do crows possess a form of consciousness?
- A photographer creates detailed dining scenes for the hungry squirrels who visit her yard.
- I love this! Parrots were removed from a UK safari park after teaching each other to swear and then laughing about it. And here's a parrot that talks to squirrels.
- A quarter of all reptile species, many of them endangered, are sold online.
- Jak Wonderly's Caught by Cats portrait displays hundreds of animals killed by house cats. (Ask me how I feel about cat owners who turn their animals loose to roam the neighborhood.)
- This curious octopus investigated an acoustic guitar.
- This airport in Helsinki employs dogs to sniff out signs of COVID-19 in travelers' sweat.
- A hero rat wins a top animal award for sniffing out land mines.
- The pandemic shutdown in San Francisco had sparrows singing sexier tunes.
- The jaw-dropping Frank Lloyd Wright Ennis House.
- Cole's Book Arcade was Melbourne's literary funhouse, but its creator was truly inspirational.
- Bolton Strid in Yorkshire is lovely... but deadly.
- Crime and the City: Palermo, Sicily.
- The world's largest chocolate museum debuts in Switzerland.
- Why are all Swedish cottages painted red?
- Eight blissfully shady spots to escape the Arizona sun.
- What happens when a president (Jimmy Carter) really listens?
- David Attenborough, 94, broke Jennifer Aniston's Instagram follower record in just under five hours. (This tickles me because David Attenborough is one of my heroes.)
- Speaking of heroes, one of mine died recently. The nation mourns Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who broke barriers and became a feminist icon.
- Eight thrillers featuring Americans in Europe.
- Seven novels with diabolical villainesses.
- Merriam-Webster's homophone quiz.
- Ten books about social media.
- Twelve historical novels inspired by real-life bad-ass women.
- Ten literary houses that host family stories and buried secrets.
- Eight books about the unstoppable Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
- Ten American masterpieces that are actually crime fiction.
- More than 650 new words have been added to dictionary.com-- here are fifty of them.