– by Joanie!
In the last post on Flying, I entered the dark side, failing every test of patience all the admonishments given both by Jesus Christ and Jedi Master Yoda on how to be a decent human being.
It’s easy to fail when everyone around you is as well, turning every airport (which can really be any airport, since they’re all the same) into a fully functional Death Star before you can say, “It’s a trap!”
It started with a normal morning—going through security, being told to take off my form fitting jacket so the TSA agent could leer at me more effectively, having a TSA lady pat down my hair accessory just in case it was a bomb (and doing so before I could say, change your gloves—I don’t know in what filthy places those [expletive deleted] hands have been!), buying a bottle of water for 400 dollars inside the terminal, and settling in to wait for my flight.
When all of a sudden:
“Good morning, folks! We’ve got some celebrities joining you on your flight this morning: George Clooney, Johnny, Depp, etc! Haha, April Fool’s, everybody. But seriously, your plane is broken.”
We wait for him to say this is also part of the joke, when he goes on:
“The battery is dead in the plane, and we’re likely to be here for several hours, so if you’ve got a connection, let’s rebook you!”
And just like that, all of the passengers march like Storm Troopers to form an orderly and pissed off line at the counter.
I call Michael, who can lower my freak-out-o-meter before I speak to another human being, who will be yelled at, since I wasn’t allowed to take my light saber through security, and thus, can’t cut off the desk clerk’s hand, or better yet, bad joking head.
In this conversation, I lament the flaws of the airline—Delta—I’m not going to hide it, it’s DELTA, DELTA, DELTA, and nearly all airline problems originate with them. They are the sorriest excuse for a travel service I’ve ever experienced. So there.
I also tried to figure out how on earth a battery dies in an airplane. Did the pilot leave the lights on overnight? Leave the keys in the ignition? Door ajar? How the [expletive deleted] do you do that?!?!
By the time I hang up, people around me are looking at me like I’m the emperor and I just shot lighting through my hands. If only.
Most are laughing, because even when I’m angry, I’m funny. And let’s face it, these observations were being made by people other than me also.
Then this lady two people ahead of me in line says, “you know, a little positive energy goes a long way.”
It took all of the presence of mind I had stored up for the rest of the day not to yell, “Well, hooray! I’m glad somebody read The Secret, and knows the answers for solving all problems! Positive energy! I’ll just get that positive energy right on down to that dead battery and with happiness rays shock it back into function.”
Clearly this dumb-[expletive deleted] doesn’t understand the laws of physics. Besides, it’s difficult to take seriously anyone who wears a sweatsuit with heels.
Somehow, the flight left early enough that I would [barely] make my connecting flight. I guess the dark energies of the Sith were more effective than that woman’s powers of positive thinking. That, or someone came down on the robot droids working on the plane, and told them that it was just plain unprofitable for them to move so slowly, and Jabba would have them tortured if they didn’t move it along.
For reasons unbeknownst to me, as there was not turbulence, we did not have beverage service on the flight, at least not for we po’ Irish folk down in steerage.
When I asked a flight attendant about finding out the gate for my connecting flight before landing, so that I could figure out if I would make it, and did so with surprising politeness that took a great deal of effort on the part of my black heart, he snapped back, “there are people with earlier connections than yours. There’s always someone worse off than you!”
This blatant rudeness is not limited to just the flight attendants. On another flight where I had an unusually long layover, I found an earlier flight with the same airline at a different gate and asked if there was any room for me to take the earlier flight. I was polite and smiled the whole time. This older woman, who wore more Christmas pins than you’d expect to see at an antique store in Kansas, snapped, “Not on THIS plane!” as if I had asked her if we could please please fit the entire population of Alderon on the flight before their planet blew up.
This is what I thought of as the flight attendant sashayed away from me.
I’m not saying that I, or my fellow passengers were particularly pleasant, but I’m not paid to be pleasant on the flight. In fact, I’ve emptied a significant portion of my checking or savings so that I can go where I’m going—usually to do an audition in the hopes that I’ll continue to be gainfully employed in my persnickety and competitive dream field. Very few passengers are on the plane for fun, and I for one am really tired of airline employees acting as though their service for my business is a pain in their [expletive deleted].
I couldn’t get off the plane fast enough, and I ran through Atlanta (it’s always Atlanta, isn’t it?) to get to my connection. Practically everyone else from my flight was doing the same, except for the people in the first row of coach, who apparently had nowhere else to be but dawdling on the plane while people behind them danced around like they had ants in their pants waiting to go.
I passed all the eateries on my way, looking with envy at the people in line. I hadn’t had time to eat before the first flight, what with waiting in line and cursing the laziness of the airline. And I didn’t have time to eat or even think about buying anything to eat on the way to my next flight. I was thirsty and hungry and not caffeinated. Had Emperor Palpatine appeared before me right then and asked me to become his young apprentice, I would have gladly done so, especially for access to a Tai fighter that I wouldn’t have to share with any other human beings, and because a droid instead of a person would complete mundane tasks like bringing me just one [expletive deleted] glass of water on the plane.
I don’t know if it was worthwhile to be upset or annoyed at not being able to eat airport slop. There seems to be a lack of decent food in airports everywhere—the commitment to mediocrity across the board keeps all eateries functioning more or less to capacity. Were there a restaurant that served decent, and even less believable, healthy-ish food, they’d be flooded and airport traffic would practically shut down. I was still yearning for that trip with the obscenely long layover, even though I know whatever I ate would be disgusting. On that trip, I ate some bland Tex-Mex, that, to cover up for the bland texture, was coated in Fires of Hell Sauce labeled “Medium.”
I’m almost done with this trip…it’s on my return flight home that I write this post. And as I write, the (what are those things that kindapped Luke in the snow world?) sits in front of me, who started the flight with snoring that sounds like a cross between a lumber mill and an entire building of pigs at a county fair, and now plays a video game on his phone with the sound all the way up.
And I smile my evil smile, because I’m not sitting next to anyone. That’s right, my row is empty, and no one asked to be moved up to it. Probably because of the extremely sour look on my face, and my determination to sit smack dab in the middle in my assigned seat so no one will see my row as a viable spreading out option. I also didn’t bother washing my hair before this flight, and while I don’t look nearly as gross as the guy in dreads (who’s seated next to a nun…seriously), I’ve made great effort to look less like the attractive young lady I usually appear to be.
Heh heh heh…the force is strong in this one.