Friday, November 30, 2012

IAH Restroom: "Now We've Seen (Almost) Everything"

We just deplaned (what a word) at Houston Intercontinental Airport after a decent enough flight from Miami early this morning.

A few funny things about the way the day started might have tipped us off that this day could have strange elements. We'd set a wakeup call for 5:15 a.m. at the Miami Airport Sheraton. Instead, the phone rang at 4:25 a.m. When Kathy finally found it she heard only a dial tone rather than the usual wake-up greeting so, yeah, it might have been a wrong number.

However, the scheduled wake-up call did not occur, leaving us with dark suspicions and a friendly suggestion to the front desk that they check their wake-up call system.

On the bright side (ha!) we arrived at the airport a half hour earlier than we might have otherwise. We both opted out of the millimeter-wave scanners for civil liberty-type reasons. Most experts, including those who also oppose them, believe that they're safe and don't carry any of the risks of the X-Ray scanners.

Our TSA searchers were polite and friendly, and Brian kept up with usual line of cheap jokes to entertain himself and anybody within earshot while being, well, groped. For example, when the employee told him he could decide at any time to continue the screening in private, Brian replied that the screener could likewise let him know if he wanted to out for coffee afterwards.

Onward to a long and dreary wait in what we believe to be one of the more dreary and disliked major airports in the U.S., if not the world. Since MIA charges something like five bucks for 30 minutes of Internet (albeit $8 for 24 hours), we didn't bother with that.

If you've been waiting for what was seen in the Women's restroom at IAH it was this: Kathy spied a cleaner who has a fairly simple and straightforward way of cleaning her toilet bowl brush. She rinses it in the sink, and then knocks it on the edge of the sink to dry it before proceeding to the next stall.

We did report it at the closest United Club, and the employees there were appropriately horrified and promised they would inform the contractors who run this (not the same people as in the United Club). We suggested retraining and left our name and phone number in case anybody wanted verification.

When one has just gotten off a ship operating on "red alert" due to illness and cleaning and disinfecting is being carried out continuously to an incredible agree, perhaps one is inclined to frown upon such, ah, minor lapses.

Next stop Seattle. Alas, we'll have baggage to pick up at the carousel, but we'll then see if our shortened night of sleep leaves us with enough horsepower to drive home in our Hertz.

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