Thursday, September 20, 2007

Welcome back to the world - continued

Part II - The Land of Rape and Honey

I don't know why I titled it that... I just really like that album and was listening to it recently. Scroll down for Part I.


So I zip down to the airport. I stand in line for what seems like weeks to go through security. My hangover has kicked itself into a higher gear. I'm crying on the inside, because
a) I'm missing the Pats game that night
b) I'm missing the Sox game that night (IDON'TWANTTOTALKABOUTIT!)
c) Remember, the hangover.

But I make it through security and.... waitaminnit.

Wait just one goddamn motherfucking minute. Some of you may remember my retardo-trip through Lagaurdia with my sister a few years ago. Remember? When I got searched like 87 times? Well, this time went off without a hitch. Which was great. Except for the fact that I was carrying the following things in my carry-on luggage:

1. A lighter (no flammables!)
2. A bottle of iced tea (no gels or liquids!)
3. A book of matches (no flammables!)
4. Hair gel (no gels or liquids!)
5. A pocket knife (no knives!)

Great. I feel really fucking safe now. Just super.

ANYWAY. Blah blah blah waiting waiting waiting. Finally, an hour after the flight was supposed to take off, we board the sonofabitch. And I... all 6'2", 200 lbs of awkward, gangly, hungover TK... am in the middle seat in a three person row.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TK's private hell # 436.

Sold out flight. No other seats. I walk past an exit row with two people who couldn't possibly be over 5'8". Let me tell you something, folks. If you are under six feet tall and you request to sit in the exit row?

Go fuck yourself. I hope you catch syphilis and die. I hope you get hit by lightning while falling down a well filled with venomous snakes. You are, to borrow from Shepherd Book, going to a special hell, reserved for child molesters and people who talk in the theater.

So. I elbow and knee my way into the middle seat and prepare for 5 1/2 hours of torture. My only saving grace is that there is no one in front of me, so the seat will stay upright. And the people next me are small, so I can monopolize the elbow and leg room. Which I did. But sweet merciful fucking Buddha, was it torture.

But I get into LAX without further incident, other than an aching back and ruined knees. I check into the hotel at around 12:30, check SportsCenter briefly, and fall asleep like I fell into a hole.


I begin our conference. It alternates between being very interesting, and incredibly boring. No middle ground. I'm dead tired, and in the middle of it, I go back to the room and take a nap. That night, I meet a friend who is also in LA for business and have a great dinner. I conclude that yes, LA is still a shitty town. Particularly if you don't have a car. And the cabs are basically legalized extortion.


I saw Floyd Mayweather. Other than that, nothing even remotely interesting happened.


I skip the entire morning session of our conference to sit in bed and watch Superman Returns. Mainly because I am a lazy bastard, but also because they weren't covering anything useful in that session. I then pack my shit, head downstairs and wait for the shuttle bus. Everything goes smoothly. I get to the airport, and thank the supreme baby Allah, this flight is NOT sold out. I get an aisle seat. In an exit row. I dance a little jig. The guy at the counter looks at me funny. I dance a little jig some more, then carry on before I get my dancin' ass arrested.

I go through security. I'd tossed my lighter and matches earlier, not wanting to press my luck. My knife and hair gel makes it through. Despite still feeling a little uneasy about our lax national airline security, everything is going smoothly.

I get to the waiting area. I read my book. I eat a sandwich. I listen to my Ipod. Everything is going smoothly.

The plane is slightly delayed. The guy on the loudspeaker at least has a decent sense of humor about it. Everything is going smoothly.

We board the plane. I have the entire row to myself! I dance a little jig again, this time while sitting in my luxuriously spacious seat. Everything is going super smoothly. The plane takes off. I'm happy. I'm on my way home. They serve drinks, and I have a celebratory vodka tonic. Everything is going smoothly. I start to get hungry. Of course, in the modern air travel age, they no longer serve meals, instead making you PAY for them. I'm temporarily pissed, but so pleased with my good fortune so far, I splurge and buy an eight dollar salad.

I open the salad and promptly spill it on myself.

"Hmmm..." I think to myself. Oh well. I've made it for three days without spilling anything on myself, which is a personal best. That's not a sign of anything, right?


My salad is surprisingly tasty. It's some sort of Asian chicken salad thingy, with a thick brown sweet and sour dressing. The dressing comes in a little plastic cup, with a peel-back lid. I'm trying to apply said dressing. The lid is giving me trouble. I get it partially peeled back, and figure I can just aim the small hole I've opened, squeeze the cup, and squirt the dressing onto my salad.

Can you see where this is going? Well... you're wrong. It's so much worse than that.

I'm still having trouble. My monkey hands cannot cope with this little dressing cup. I squeeze the cup a little harder. And then... well, folks, then the wheels come off this bitch.

I squeeze too hard. The lid pops straight up into the air. The thick, brown dressing comes firing out of the cup, shoots diagonally across the aisle, and hits a random stranger right in the neck.

God, I'd love to say I'm making this up.

He now has a splat of dressing on his neck, and it is dribbling down his collar. He's freaking out, because he has no idea what happened. He jumps out of his seat, slapping at his neck, and spinning around, trying to figure out what the hell just happened. He is also inadvertently smearing dressing all over his shirt. I want to die. I want to pop the emergency exit and just leap out of the plane. He catches me, frozen in time, the offending little cup still crushed between my stupid monkey fingers. I bolt up from my seat, but I still have my belt on. I spill more of my salad onto the floor. I gently place the salad on the seat next to me, unbuckle my seat belt, bolt up again, hit my head on the overhead bin, and begin apologizing profusely (and slightly dizzily). We have now officially Drawn Attention To Ourselves. I am dying a little bit with each passing second. I give him my napkin. I think about taking my shirt off to help with the cleanup, then decide it would make a bad thing worse. The flight attendants come and provide him with extra napkins. I apologize some more. He says "it's fine. It's fine. IT'S FINE!!!"

I sit down again, and quietly, with flushed face and bowed head and salad-y shirt, finish eating. The rest of the trip is an exercise in awkward, shameful dread.

We land without incident. I hurry off the plane without making eye contact with anyone. I rush outside, run to my car and realize... I left my goddamn glasses on the plane. As of 90 minutes ago, they still can't find them.

So yes. The newly christened American Airlines Salad Dressing Incident of 2007 shall now take its rightful place next to the Batteries and Water-Spitting Debacle of 2001, and the Great Safari Ketchup Fiasco of 2006.

It's good to be home.


dmbmeg said...

For serious. That got a huge LOLLLLLLLz.

dmbmeg said...

Also, the Red Sox? WTF? 1.5 games!!!! Jesus dude. Will you turn up your fan status? I work with a bunch of Yankee fans and I just don't want to hear it anymore.

girl with curious hair said...

I don't care why you were endangering everyone with hair gel and knives, but why you had so many flammables? Was one form not enough?

I'm pretty sure you didn't travel with Iceland Air. There was a man sitting next to us from Boston to Reykjavik, more than six feet tall and sitting in a seat next to me (I gave him my aisle seat) that had me cramped. I highly do not recommend them.

And how big was this $8 salad? And the dressing on some poor guys neck--brilliant!

Dan said...

I totally hear you about the middle seat thing. I'm 6'2", 220 myself and (as documented in dmbmeg's comment section) prone to hungover sleep twitching to put it mildly. I think I should be able to wear a medical bracelet explaining this that will automatically force airlines to allow me to swap seats with the tiny waify fucks who always end up in the exit rows. I had a 16 hour flight from Tokyo one time in which I got put in the window seat of the last row on the plane, which was 2 seats instead of 3 because the plane is angling sharply in towards the tail. So I was sitting in a non-exit coach seat that had 2/3 of its normal room and the piece of shit fuckbox next to me was asleep nearly the entire flight. This after a two week saki drinking contest of oedipal proportions with my father. It was the closest I've ever been to killing myself and I am never ever going to that lovely part of the world again.

Anonymous said...

Hee! I love this jaunt into your strange little world. My last flying experience=hilarious and highly uncomfortable, but through no fault of my own, luckily.

Maybe I'll post it. Maybe. I still haven't quite recovered from the reoccurring visuals. *Shudder*

Welcome back to TK land!

Ranylt said...

My ignorance is bright-red at the moment; what, oh what, is an exit seat? Those seats in the front of the compartment with a tad more leg-room?

I had no idea that's what they were called, but--more to the point--I had no idea they were randomly filled; I thought for sure those were reserved especially for Giants.

Airlines just make less and less sense to my rational mind.

MelodyLane said...

Hee Hee. The salad dressing incident was hilarious. I hate American Airlines. Oh, how I hate American.

See, the Pats game? Good. Soxs-Yankees? Blech. A 3 hour love fest to the hopefully final season of the Roger/Schilling? Blech.

You have survived drunken camping, American Airline, and LA. All in all, I think that qualifies as a productive week.

Dre said...

i feel your pain... i fly frequently and although i'm
not NEARLY as 'big' as you, it still sucks a lot of the time...

anyhoo, no said 'salad' incidents while flying here... not yet anyway.

Alex the Odd said...

Heh, superb. You may have just got me fired due to my cackling (reading blogs when I should be slowly killing off my brain cells by scanning, shame on me), but I'd say it was worth it.

As a mini 5'1" I officially plegde never to request to sit anywhere with leg room. Seriously, I'm hyper sensitive to the fact that literally everyone on the planet has longer legs than I. Which is why I'm always squashed in the middle on car journeys. Glad I'm not heading to the special hell.

country roads said...

if I can't take hair stuff or matches on the plane, I'm going to kill smokes and shitty looking hair? I may have to rethink my trip.

TK said...

Dmbmeg - Why must you torture me? Kicking my team when they're down, AND the stupid... I can't even write it.

Curious - The flight was long and torturous enough that it FELT like I was going to Iceland. Or Hell. One of the two.

dan - Ah, someone who feels my pain.

Boo - Now my curiosity is officially piqued.

Ranylt - exit row seats are the ones next to the plane's emergency exits. They typically have more room, but you're responsible for opening the doors and ushering people out in an emergency. Doesn't bother me 'cuz I figure if the plane goes down, we'll die in a fireball before it's an issue.

Melody - Productive? Err.. sure. Yeah. That's the word. Absolutely.

Dre - did you just call me fat?

Alex - small people like you should just ride in the luggage compartments.

Country - SUCH a primadonna.

Maxine Dangerous said...

I am STILL wiping tears (from excessive laughing) from my eyes. Jesus God, that was hysterical. :) I'm pretty sure I'm in love with you now. Alert your wife. :)

Lauren said...

Only... you.... sweet holy moses was that funny, though. Poor TK, we just can't take you anywhere, huh? Well, at least it wasn't any worse... because knowing you... it DEFINITELY could have been worse.

Redhead said...

Hahahahahahahahahaha! (And now I'll shut up as to not jinx anything.)

Diarrhea of the Mouth said...

my roommate is 6'5" 230 and he is forever bitching about the seats when he flys.

i'm 5'3" and !@#pds and i don't have a problem and i always require an exit seat.


Anonymous said...

My snorting over the salad dressing incident startled my poor skittish cat nearly off my desk. It also made my husband give me a sideways glance, so I told him I was chatting with 13-year-old boys again.

Your story gave me visions of calamity to come when I fly out to Seattle in a few weeks. I can hardly wait; flying is such fun!

No matter how tall you are, when the biatch in the row in front of you insists on reclining her seat for an entire transatlantic flight, life sucks. Now that was a fun trip.

elyse the portuguese said...

American Airlines is cursed. Or maybe, you're just cursed after all your awkward food malfunctions you listed. It could have been worse, though. You could have been the dude that got squirted. No one wants to be that guy. But still, American Airlines blows.

AdaHaze said...

I am kind of mortified by my schadenfreuede. I don't even know you and reading about your clutzy mishap gave me a huge laugh. What is appropriate internet protocol? Do I apologize?
My significant other is 6'6" and we fly all the time, having family on multiple continents. Most of the time smaller people sitting in the emergency aisle offer the seats up wordlessly but we have had more than one transatlantic flight where his knees were up around his neck for 6+ hours.

kelsi said...

i'm, uh, a little slow, but i just wanted to weigh in on the fact that yes, los angeles is the worst place on earf and i'm happy for you that you survived it, relatively unscathed.
i think they put something in the air on airplanes to make us do horribly awkward things. it's for the entertainment of the staff, i'm sure.