The Shortest Distance

When I had been in school not too many years, one of the lessons I learned was that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  I’m not sure why that is terribly important to know because, you can’t actually go anywhere in a straight line.  I’ve also heard people refer to this distance calculator as  “as the crow flies”.  Again the assumption is that the acumen of a crow to fly from point A to point B in a straight line is superior to that of our major airlines.

When I still had to travel for business, I was always amused by the route I would take to reach my destination.  The fact that my travel arrangements were always predicated on cost, my flight, more commonly known as flights, were akin to the action of a pinball machine.  I remember one such trip from Louisville, KY to LIttle Rock, AR which routed  me through Charlotte, N.C.    Ironically, at a later date, I had occasion to fly to Charlotte from Louisville.  However, that first leg of the previous trip was not to be had as a direct flight apparently as I instead, had a layover in Atlanta.  It was no different going west.  Seems like if you were going to go anywhere beyond Omaha, plan on stopping in Denver.  After that, it was up for grabs.

This all came to mind the other day while I was waiting for a package to arrive from L.L. Bean. I have the good fortune to live about 14 miles southwest of Freeport, ME, the home of Bean. Under normal circumstances, I would just drive over and buy what I wanted.  But, as we all know, we are not living under normal circumstances, so I placed an order over the web for delivery by UPS. Now, the UPS depot that serves my town is in Auburn, ME which is also about 14 miles north of me and about 19 miles from Freeport.  So, I was a little surprised when the estimated date of arrival was about a week, but again, these are not normal times.  So a waited a couple of days and decided to track my order.  I found that it had been shipped from Freeport and had arrived in Chelmsford, MA, a trip of about 118 miles.  It was then transferred to a truck which carried it back to Auburn, a trip of another 130 miles, where it would now be delivered to me. I guess I can’t complain because my order arrived in 4 days.

Common sense tells me that UPS is not going to say “hey, here’s an order for some guy in Gray.  Let’s just run that over to Auburn”, but logic would lean toward maybe a slightly more direct route. Perhaps they could use a drone, or better yet, a crow.  Just sayin.

About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in Flying, Home, Humor, Insight, Journey, Perspective, Reflection and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Shortest Distance

  1. quiall says:

    hahah Haven’t you heard? Common Sense got caught in the lockdown and is stuck somewhere between ‘Are You Kidding Me’ and ‘I Give Up’.


  2. I never understand how insane all of that is. None of it makes any sense at all.


  3. George says:

    That’s crazy.
    It’s happened to me a couple of times in the last year and I can never understand why or how. We had a package received by our post office which is about a mile from our home. Two days and many miles later it arrived. I asked once and that basically shrugged their shoulders.
    I’m going to miss our trip up to your neck of the woods this year. Don’t think I want to self quarantine for 14 days before vacationing.


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