Saturday, December 12, 2009

Old Writings: Flight Time

Should have known the flight would be interesting when I pulled up to Norfolk Airport and realized that it had gone non-smoking. Fascist bastards.
At the gate I am plagued with babies- the screaming, annoying kind with the parents that say “not cool” when one hits another. Audience, meet the future generation of screw ups- it’s kids who had parents like that. Anyway, there seems to be no escaping the children and the noise, and of course this is the trip that my MP3 player decides not to work, so there you go.
On the plane, my choices are either the screaming children or a teenage dance squad. And it’s not a real dance squad. These are not girls with athletic talent or grace or beauty. It’s one of those dance squads where the mothers pay a lot of money for costumes and the owner of the company keeps telling them how talented their daughter is, and keeps suggesting more classes for her to take, and keeps cashing the checks. I chose the dance squad, mainly because teenagers ignore everyone around them and plug into their ipods and I thought I would be left alone. No such luck. Two ladies change seats, so I got stuck with a woman and her daughter. The mother asks if the daughter still feels sick to her stomach. Great, I’m sitting next to the one person who’s actually going to use the barf bag. And the daughter who is sitting right next to me is overweight, but she’s not as overweight as she acts. She’s taking up the whole seat and armchair as though she were three hundred pounds. Nudging me, and otherwise being a teenage pain in my ass. Turns out too, that the mother is a nervous flyer and blathers on about her fear for the entire taxi and take off. I’m pretty sure that if there were any people around us who were a little afraid, they were a lot afraid after her little spiel. Then the mother gets passed her son, who I guess other people were watching. Great, now I have a fat girl and a baby. But it got worse, the mother started to sing to the baby. As soon as one song ended, another began. The Barney song, one about riding in an airplane, one about manners. I really think if someone had given me a gun I would have strongly indulged my homicidal tendencies. Finally they make the announcement that you can take out your electronics and I almost break into prayerful song. Cause I’m pretty sure God has to put up with wankers too and can understand. So, revenge is mine at last. You see, there are few things that are better for annoying the shit out of people on an airplane then playing your collection of Nine Inch Nails, Orbital, Marilyn Manson, White Zombie, Rollins, Korn, etc. at full volume. Even with earphones, if you’re the one sitting next to me, your little iphone earbuds are just not going to cut it. You can keep hitting the volume button futilely, even though even I can see from a seat away that you’re already maxed out. You will be deeply distracted by the rumbling bass and semi-satanic lyrics and will find it hard to concentrate on your Jodi Picolt novel. Damn, that’s a real shame. And you know what? I’m grinning the whole time. You know why? Because the world is not designed for me. It is not designed for a smoker, who has the audacity to think that she should be able to have a fucking cigarette while she waits the required two hours of security time for her flight (maybe more than one!). It is not designed for someone that would like to wait for their flight, and then spend their flight in a little peace and quiet. Who don’t happen to think that your baby is so cute and should be allowed to run around and scream at the top of their lungs. Who thinks paying $3 for a Barq’s is stupid.
So I sprawled out at the gate, pulled my Grunden’s sweatshirt over me and slept in order to block out the two sets of two screaming kids and the baby next to me. I timed it perfectly- I woke up just in time to go to the bathroom and grab a drink. Boarding in lines always makes me think of cattle down the shute. Plus they’re doing surprise security inspections at the bottom of the ramp. Looking very serious with their blue gloves. When did latex gloves become blue? Is some governmental supply clerk a fan of Firefly?
At least the lead stewardess is funny- she said that the oxygen mask when it dropped down should be pulled over your head to muffle your screams. Sounds like a plan to me. Other wise tidbits on safety from her:
In the event of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling, for those traveling with children, or people acting like children, feel free to put your mask on and then leave them to fend for themselves.
In case of a water landing, on the way to Chicago, there is a life vest under your seat, place it around your neck and secure. Once in the water, either self inflate or hyperventilate trying to use the red straw. Also, in the event of a water landing, the bottom of your seat become a flotation device, but please remember that it is the bottom of your seat cushion, so keep it well away from your face.
Flight time to Chicago should be about two hours, but I’ve been told we need to make it in one hour and forty minutes, so we’ll be dropping out of the sky at that point.
I realize that above petty, mean spirited commentary is wrong. I know it’s wrong, and I do it anyway. But you know what? I’m okay with that, because these people have no concern for me. And really, I’m not being spiteful at all- I am honestly reporting the events as they happen. If people can’t handle the truth, well, I have no interest in you. After all, the twit next to me could care less about apologizing for getting her fat ass out of my way. The mother wouldn’t think of quieting her child on a crowded flight or not bouncing him up and down so the whole row of seats rocks? So why should I consider not playing my music at full volume? Why should I not grin like a maniacal lunatic in a Sunnydale shirt?
As for me, having a little Johnny Lee Miller moment as I rock out to Halycon On and On…

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