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Journal 19
by Tony Kozina on 2001-07-24

I had seen pictures in brochures. Sunny beaches and people having fun.
Girls in bikinis and guys wearing nothing more than a marble bag for lack of a better- or funnier word. But until I walked of American Airlines flight #1860 into Tampa international airport and greeted NWA Florida promoter and NWA President Howard Brody I would have never expected a trip like this. So sit back, grab a delicious coffee and laugh a little as I fumble and bumble my way through my latest touring dilemma...
Upon greeting Howard he informed me that I'd be rooming with Reckless Youth and that his plane would be coming in in a few minutes so we hung out and waited. Youth's plane arrived 20 minutes early so hey we're off to a good start, right? Well sir, as fate would have it thunderstorms were delaying flights from taking off so despite his 20 minute earliness, he ended up waiting on the plane another 40 minutes making him 20 minutes late in the end. We meet up with him and proceed to get his baggage.
Here we go... the thunderstorms which have delayed planes from leaving have also delayed the unpacking of planes which have been sitting on the runway waiting for a place to unload passengers and their stuff. That is what was told to us as we waited, and waited, and waited for what seemed to be eternity but actually was around an hour and a half for Youth's luggage to come off the plane.
Okay, we go, check into the hotel and plop ourselves down for an afternoon nap with the tv on. "Gurgle, gurgle" What was that, I thought. "Gurgle, gurgle, blup-blup-blup" What the hell? I walk over to the hotel sink to find the most unholy black sludge working it's way up the sink-ola. Furthermore, let me tell you about the smell. Ahh, the smell... No sooner had I turned around holding my nose and Reckless was already on the phone demanding another room.
They moved us to another room. A nicer room. "Hey, very nice" I though. And there laying on my bed was a loving note from management. So loving in fact that I kept it so I could share it with you word for frickin' word.
IMPORTANT NOTICE it reads at the top in giant bold writing.

Dear Guest,
We would like to take moment to inform you of a Florida tradition that may make you a little squimish.
Every year between June and November we experience our tropical rain season. During this time period, some underground insects venture to the surface.
From time to time the insects will find their way into the hotel rooms and cause a fuss. The ones that tend draw the most attention are our Palmetto Bugs. They look like large flying Roaches.
Please, please understand that these insects are not harmful and in no way justify the cleanliness of this hotel.
It is simply a seasonal issue that all Floridians experience in our homes and businesses once a year.
Just an added note- our pest control company has added additional manpower to help combat this issue, but should you have a insect concern, please notify the front desk and we will be happy to assist you in any way possiable."

Oh, chrimany where should I start, AND I'll have you know that they misspelled possible at the end. LOL
First of all, I have a correction of my own to make.
The statement "From time to time the insects will find their way into the hotel rooms and cause a fuss." That should read " From time to time these insects will find their way into the hotel rooms and cause heartfailure to our guests."

Oh, I can't bash Florida too bad. Desite the rainy, humid weather our hotel room was really nice and the show itself was great. I always like meeting new people and watching guys wrestle who I've only read about. NWA Florida Junior Heavyweight Champion, Lex Lovett won the tournament after beating Christopher Daniels, and Reckless Youth in the finals in a three-way dance.
Unfortunately Reckless suffered a hip injury that night. I hope it isn't too serious. I enjoyed his company during the day as we laughed about the hotel room situations and got to know him a little more over lunch as we chatted about our families and where we've worked.
He left right after the show and had a 6am flight the next day so he didn't join everyone for some late night eats.
I woke up the next morning and as expected, Reckless was gone. Check out time wasn't until 12 noon and my flight home wasn't until 7:28pm that night.
I relaxed until checkout time and then headed to the airport.
I had 6 hours to pass and Mick Foley's new book to read so I was set! After a few hours I noticed that my flight had been pushed back to 7:45pm. I figured that was okay and my layover would be cut down some. Howeer, when I saw that my flight was now delayed until 9:45 pm, for whatever reason I figured that my connecting flight would be pushed back too. So, with that bit of insight- or should I say offsight, I continued reading and didn't check in until 8:30pm. "Your going to miss your connecting flight, sir" I was told. So back to the hotel I go with the next Portland flight leaving at 7:30am the next day. The lady tells me to wait outside the bagga area under thre American Airlines sign and that the shuttle should be there in 20 minutes. 20 minutes comes and goes and infact another 20 comes and goes with no shuttle. I place a call to the hotel where the lady politely tells me that she will inform them to look for me. 45 minutes later and I'm getting past the point of no return. It's late, it's humid and sticky out. I'm 3,000 miles from home and i'm getting crabby fast. I place another call and the lasy asks if I have been waiting at blue 1 under Taxi's and Limo's. "No" I replied, "Right outside under the American Airlines sign." "Go to blue1" she says. "They've been looking for you."
Now I'm past crabby and fast approaching pissed as I walk down to the sign that I saw before but figured I wasn't getting picked up by at taxi or limo. Down, down, down I walk only to see blue 2. At this point I have gone beyone both crabby and pissed and am now madder than a spring hornet as I am cursing under my breath. Blue 1 is about 500 yards the other way and I'm tired of everyone and everything at this point. Thankfully the shuttle is there within 2 minutes and brings me to a really nice hotel. At 10:40pm I check in and plop down on the bed, arms folded and bitter like an 8 year old boy just sent to his room. I'm not hungry, not sleepy, I just want to get home.
I start reading my book and drift off to sleep but knowing that I need to be at the airport at 6:45am I keep jumping up and check the clock just as I fall asleep. It just seems like nothing is going to go right. I don't feel like eating although I am hungry. I wander downstairs hoping that some food would ease my madness, but at 2:15am everything is shut down and I'm reduced to strawberry Pop-tarts and a Coke at the vending machine.
I end up taking the 5am shuttle to the airport becasue I can't sleep and might as well be at the airport. I finally catch my flight on time and whisk away back home where I throw myself down on the ground upon arrival and rejoice at the sight of my family and house.

Can you believe it?? Now that it's done I look back and laugh but man- what a trip.
I recieved a call yesterday from Dr. Luther who told me that a few of us are on an upcoming tour of Canada for Western Canadian Extreme Wrestling. Alberta and Saskatchewan- just about all parts will be covered including Regina which is a town I really enjoy. After writing down all the cities and then taking a look at my map, this may be the most extensive driving tour yet. My last date for the tour is Aug. 12th in Edmonton and on Aug. 14th I leave Portland for Philadelphia at 7:30am. It's going to be a challenging month to say the least. I'm certain there will be plenty to tell you about but I may not write for over a month.
Until then have a good summer

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