Fly The Friendly Skies
Last time I was in town, back in April, my mom loaded me up with random groceries because she thinks the prices in NYC are too high. And they are! But unfortunately, I got stopped by Orlando International Airport Security for smuggling 2 very dangerous substances: Nutella and Laughing Cow Cheese.
I’m not joking.
They pulled me off the line, rifled through my bag, and confiscated these items. Why? Because cream-like substances can be used to make a bomb.
If I knew how to make a bomb using a jar of hazelnut spread and 2 wheels of Swiss, I’d take that evil genius and apply it to MUCH more worthwhile pursuits. Like hacking into the Powerball drawing, so I can quit flying commercial.
At the time, I was given 3 options from the humorless attendant: 1) Go back outside and check my bag, 2) Throw these perfectly good, unopened items in the trash, or 3) Eat them on the spot. Let me repeat that last one... EAT them. On the spot. Like I was just going to pop a squat in the middle of effing security to enjoy a picnic consisting of an entire JAR of Nutella and SIXTEEN wedges of cheese!
Pissed, I wound up going with Door #2: The trash bin. I hope they picked it out after I stormed off and THEY ate it and it gave them diarrhea for days.
This time, I was traveling without any contraband. I breezed through the black diamond lane, reserved for only the most experienced of frequent flyers. When I got to security, I saw they are now using one of those full body scan machines that caused all that nakedness and radiation uproar over the holidays. Remember that?
I took my shoes off, and narrowly avoided stepping on a bandaid that was stuck to the rug. Gross. Then I was instructed to stand facing the machine with my legs spread apart and my arms in the air for this virtual frisking.
Keep in mind, this is the most action I've had in a looong time. So the only thought going through my head was: Am I wearing nice undies? I concentrated to try and mentally feel what kind I had on, but it was impossible.
Try it yourself. Without using your hands. It really can't be done.
Anyway, I passed the test and eventually I boarded the plane. A woman and her lap child were sitting in my seat. 9F. I said, “That’s my seat.” Then I glanced at the 2 wildebeasts sitting next to her, and I immediately offered to take her seat, 9A, and roll the dice for better seatmates.
Well, let me just say no good deed goes unpunished...
No sooner do I sit down in the window seat, than a young girl sat down on the aisle. She showed me her seat assignment, 9B (aka the middle). Said she was saving a seat for her friend, like it’s her spot on the lunchline. Her name was Chanele. I resisted the urge to introduce myself as “Gucchi” and openly wonder if she'd won any spelling bees lately.
She looked at me with dead doll eyes and I see she’s in a sorority. I say this not because of her vapid gaze (though that certainly didn’t help), but because of the small purple pillow she was clutching. Stitched to the front were letters I couldn't read. Alpha Delta Pi Phi Sigma. Omega Lambda Beta. Kappa Theta. Epsilon.
(I have no idea if those were her letters, they're just the only Greek letter names I know. And I’m not even really sure about that last one.)
Next, her friend, presumably named "Pradha," scurried in and sat down -- which would have been fine if that aisle seat didn’t actually belong to anyone. But it did.
Moments later, a hippie dad in a Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food t-shirt, said, “That’s my seat.”
Doll Eyes filled him in, and he said, “That’s cool.” He seemed down with a trade and strapped himself into 10D, another aisle seat, a row back. Well, that just happened to be the seat of a passive aggressive off-duty flight attendant.
She said, “That’s MY seat.” Papa Bear explained the seat assignment roulette we were playing. She grunted, and grabbed her tote, accidentally knocking an old lady in the head.
Well, this Granny was a Virginia Slims and a bag of Funyuns away from the trailer park. And getting smacked upside the noggin did not sit well with her -- or her 7 teeth. She began to growl and mumble obscenities, one of which was NOT whippersnappers.
About 5 minutes later our actual flight attendant informed Hippie Dad that he’s seated in an extra legroom seat and that'll be $45 bucks, thankyouverymuch. That went over like a fart in church. Mellow Yellow turns beet red. He glares at Chanele and Pradha, and insists on a new seat with a regular amount of legroom. He gets 8C, and then settles down.
The girls in my row were blathering on and on about getting to England. I wondered if they boarded the wrong plane because MY ass was headed back to New York. Then Chanele tapped me on the shoulder. She asked if I knew how "American text message minutes" convert when traveling overseas. Like unit measurements of time were somehow different across the pond?
I wanted to take their heads and clack (clack?) them together.
Listen, I'm not trying to be mean. Really, I'm not. I’m sure the jello shots and jalapeno poppers at Tipsy’s last night were hella good, but brain cells were a distant memory with these two.
We were on the runway waiting for takeoff when Pradha got the munchies. She put a bagel directly on the tray table. ON the tray table! No buffer.
I nearly fainted.
Let me just state for the record that there is ZERO chance I would ingest ANYthing that touched an airplane tray table. There is not enough disinfectant on the planet to make that ok. That thing has more germs than the monkeyhouse at the zoo.
Chanele seemed unfazed. Perhaps they had super immune systems, due to all kegstands and spit-swapping, but I haven’t done that (in years).
Hippie Dad was having none of it. He turned around to inform the girls -- perfect strangers, mind you -- that we hadn't taken off yet, so they shouldn’t be using their tray tables. They flipped him off behind his bald head.
All this drama was suddenly making me hungry too. I spread out a napkin nest on my lap, took a small brown bag out of my purse, and ate a croissant using the bag as a barrier between my breakfast and my potentially dirty hands. Just like the French bums do.
So I'm munching away. And while I couldn’t feel my underwear, I absolutely COULD feel the giant, flaky hunk of pastry that fell down my shirt and nestled into my cleavage. But rather than fish it out, I decided to save it for later incase I got hungry in the taxi.
It’s not like anyone was going to see my bra at that point. I’d already gotten to 3rd base with the TSA.