Date:         Tue, 12 Jan 1993 01:03:10 CST
From:         samant@CS.UCHICAGO.EDU
Subject:      What happened at O'Hare

After running around O'Hare for some time, I ran into Anne Harwell. As
she saw me, she seemed to become speechless. She goggled. She stood
awestruck. I had almost began wondering what had happened, when she
spoke suddenly.

"Tushar, there always comes a time, in every trip, when you realize
that the perfect moment has come. When I saw you I sudenly knew this
was it. This is the perfect moment of my trip. Right here. Right now.
Yes."

Then I had to support her as she almost fell into a faint. But to her
credit, she recovered pretty soon.

"Oh well," she said. "Party on, Tush."
"Party on, pig," I replied.

We walked towards the International Terminal where we hoped to meet Jim.

"You mean every trip has a perfect moment?"
"Yes."
"No exceptions?"
"No. Trip. Perfect moment. Simple. You only have to look for it."

We paged Jim Thomas. After a while we saw a tall athletic dude inquiring
at the inquiry counter and it was clear this was Jim. He turned back and
said "Hi". La Harwell seemed to turn speechless. She goggled. She stood
awestruck. I had almost began wondering what had happened, when she spoke
suddenly.

"Jim," said Harwell, "there always comes a time, in every trip, when you
realize that the perfect moment has come. When I saw you I suddenly knew
this was it. This is the perfect moment of my trip. Right here. Right now.
Yes."

Then we had to support her as she almost fell into a faint. But to her
credit she recovered pretty soon.

"Oh well," she said. "Party on, Jim."
"Party on, Anne," said Jim, who had done his homework.

We walked towards a place where they were selling beer.

"Well, I guess my trip is complete now," said Anne.
"Hang on a minute," I shouted, "you said a  goddamned minute ago that it
was the official perfect moment THEN. How's that?"
"That was a perfect moment with an attitude."

The topic changed. It changed several times after that. We talked about
England. We talked about computer privacy. And suddenly, La Harwell widened
eyes. A wild look came on her face. She seemed to be on the verge of passing
out.

"Haven't had enough sleep?" Jim asked kindly.
"The Seurat!" gasped Anne.

We turned to see an evil looking character carrying a whacking big picture
from the Art Institute. A smuggler. We could only stare. Anne was talking
deliriously.

"Oh those brilliantly lit colours! The paint-spattered canvas! Save me ..."

I suddenly noticed that the picture was actually an imitation. A cheap
copy. I mentioned this to her.

"Local artist, pig," I said. She opened her eyes a bit.
"Really?" she asked.
Then an idea struck me. "Actually, scratch that. It was just a photograph.
Really bad half-toning. Made it look like a picture or something."
"Oh," said Anne. She had fully recovered.
"Party on, Tush," she said.
"Party on, pig," said I.

Jim was talking about the net. We talked a bit about alt.usage.english. Anne
said aue was just words-l with an attitude. Conversation drifted to diverse
topics. An oriental looking girl walked past, walkman blaring faintly.

We had to carry La Harwell away on a stretcher.

The medical attendant tried smelling salts, but Harwell could only mumble
indistinctly. "Bach always does this to me," she babbled, "oh yes."

Till then I had been wondering what had happened. Now something suddenly
struck me. Quick as a flash, I shouted "Beethoven!"

The pig opened her eyes. "Really?" she asked faintly.

"Totally," I lied through my teeth. "New year. Japanese woman. Beethoven's
ninth. Figures. It's obvious. As clear as a Parisian afternoon!"

"Oh..." said Anne "only Beethoven's ninth ..." She was better, but she
didn't seem to recover.

And here Jim had an amazing brainwave. "It was Tchaikovsky!" he yelled.
"None other. I can tell Tchaikovsky from a mile."

Harwell sat up. "Are you sure of this?" she asked him in a normal voice.
"The most boring stretch in his most boring symphony," said the excellent
man.

"Hell," said Anne. We walked back to the place where we were sitting.
"Well, party on, Jim," said Harwell.
"Party on, Anne," replied Jim, who had done his homework.

I was talking about food. We talked a bit about the Nepalese restaurant Anne
had been to. She hazarded a vague opinion that Nepalese food was Indian food
with an attitude. Talk turned to other subjects.

And then some idiotic guy walked by lugging a lifesize David in marble.
"Shit," I said to myself. Something had to be done. I stood up and inflated
my lungs.

"Bandwidth pigs are hokey! Harwell is a moron!" I shouted. I knew I was
taking a risk.  But attention had to be diverted. In that I was succesful.

"What the hell do you mean?" growled the hog ferally. I thankfully saw the
stupid sculpture disappearing down the hallway, unseen by her. "Project H
rule OK!" I yelled.  Anne started advancing towards me in slow determined
steps.

"...NOT!" I shouted. And bated my breath.

And then Harwell laughed. And I unbated my breath. I knew that was my perfect
moment. Yes. And the roar of the airplanes was in my ear and the smell of beer
still filled my heart oh yes as I saw Anne smiling at me. The world's most
beautiful sight.

"Ssssshwinnnnng!" said Harwell laughing.
"Shwing shwinng!" I sobbed in relief. We were friends again.

The time had come to for Harwell to leave. Domestic airplanes again, she
said.  I asked her whether that wasn't an anti-climax. "Bah," said she,
"international flights are just domestic flights with an attitude."

Well, I admit I was a little sad when we came to the departure dock. "Nice
meeting you," Harwell told us.

"Excellent!" we cried in unison, and put on stupid grins.

Harwell smiled. "Well then, goodbye."

Huh.

"PARTY ON," Jim and I yelled.

"EXCELLENT," shouted Anne B Harwell, and disappeared into the plane.

tushar