Alix Kunkle: The Nightmare After Christmas

Alix Kunkle

'Twas the Nightmare after Christmas, and I was trying to get back

To Louisiana, where I could unwind and finally hit the sack.

When all of a sudden, Winter Storm Euclid came;

And wreaked its havoc to make all traffic patterns lame.

It took us five hours to the airport from home,

Thanks to car after car stuck on the road like a garden gnome.

We swerved and skidded and cursed and yelled,

To the point where my fists hurt and my head swelled.

After more frustration, I finally changed my flight,

It didn't matter that it took off in the wee hours of the night.

So I got a hotel room and spent the evening there,

Lying in bed and watching television — but not in my underwear.

I tried to get a taxi, so I didn't miss my plane,

But everyone's recommendations failed in vain.

I finally got a cab who could pick me up at 20 after three;

As long as I didn't miss my plane, early was fine with me.

Well, Thursday morning came, and I went to the lobby,

I secretly hoped that this didn't become a new hobby.

3:20 came and passed, and no sign of my ride;

Still nothing 20 minutes later, and I just sighed.

Thankfully three strangers were heading to the airport;

These fine people would serve as my escort.

They dropped us all off outside the main gate,

Thank goodness for them, because otherwise, I'd have been late.

Through baggage check-in and security patdowns I went;

All the while trying not to faceplant into the cement.

But I made it to my flight, and headed to Atlanta,

Sitting across from a guy wearing an ugly bandana.

I made it to Hotlanta, with plenty of time to spare;

So I went to get breakfast that I could eat in my chair.

But as I waited for biscuits, I got a text from the airline staff;

Telling me my flight was delayed an hour and a half.

How joyous, I said, as I walked back to gate C47;

Certainly I won't be eating my breakfast anywhere near heaven.

But then I got more news I couldn't help but hate;

They switched my flight's gate to Gate D28.

So I grabbed my chicken biscuits, and off I went,

But there were no seats in the waiting room, much to my malcontent.

I paced and I slept and I worked on a research file;

Sipping a peppermint mocha from Starbucks, all the while.

Finally, after 10:30, my plane arrived at the door;

And as we all boarded, we were quiet — what a bore?

The flight attendant showed us the proper safety procedures;

And some of this small jet plane's special features.

We taxied to the runway and idled a few minutes;

When the captain came on, and we had all reached our limits.

We have to go back, there's a mechanical issue,

If it's bad enough, your flight, we might have to reissue.

So we sat there unwillingly, some with a moan, others a whine,

While the flight attendant joked about doing the bunny hop and the congo line.

The mechanic came in and out, and played with the controls,

In an attempt to get the plane working and save our poor souls.

At last, the captain came back on and he said,

Everything is working, and we can go on ahead.

Once again we went to the runway, ready to embark,

And we all kind of hoped we'd get home before dark.

Another 20 minutes, we spent on the runway,

Because our takeoff clearance expired, and we couldn't be on our way.

The old guy across the aisle, he was about to have a fit,

And as for me? Well, I just hoped to make it.

But finally, sometime close to one, we were in the air,

And we made it back to Alexandria with no time to spare.

I grabbed my bag and scampered off in a flash,

And got on the highway, where I saw someone else's crash.

My Christmas vacation was still fun, though maybe not easy;

But best of all, I got to see my best friend Lindsay.

Now it's back to work, and back to writing the news;

Maybe next year, I won't come close to blowing a fuse.

Alix Kunkle is a weary Christmas traveler who still isn't caught up on his sleep. You can contact him at