"No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn, er, Long Island"
So here we go again, from one coast to the other and it's not like all you wonderful people in the Midwest and the South don't count (because you actually do), so much as the New York trip always eats up all of our vacation dollars. This occasion was extra special because the Mother and Father-in-law were to celebrate their Fiftieth Anniversary. Not to mention a bloggers dinner that was scheduled for the Tuesday before the anniversary.
So we flew Delta...why? I guess we never learn our lesson. It's not that the flight crews of Delta that are bad, it's everyone else. The baggage check-in people are indifferent at best and whomever schedules the flights so closely together that they're bound to never run on time, are direct descendants of the Marquis DeSade and Aileen Wurnos.
Let me preface this by saying, I get little or no sleep before I fly. I'm not afraid of flying in itself, you either die or you don't. It's completely out of your hands as a passenger, so I don't even dwell on that. I don't like waiting around all day before the flight and I don't like being herded in there, to be "smushed" like so many grapes under the feet of an irritable vintner.
Delta had warned us in advance that we would have to buy our meals before, or settle for whatever they wanted to give us on the plane and pay for the toejam that they could scrape together. Procrastinator Junior is "selective" about what he eats, so we had decided to buy him an overpriced burger from a grill at the airport. Apparently we had decided right. It had fresh ingredients, it was perfectly cooked and an aroma that drove all the surrounding passengers crazy. Though I didn't get to taste it, Junior said it was perfect and he knows his burgers.
The Missus decided to take her chances on the airline providing decent food and I'd listen to a Hillary Duff album a hundred times before I'd do something as crazy as that. So I hit the sushi place for a pre-flight meal. Some seaweed salad, a dragon roll and a humongous bottle (750ml?) of Japanese green tea. Good stuff and the sushi was for the inevitable heightened blood pressure, while the green tea was to calm my nerves in general.
Little did I know that was all for naught, but I'm getting ahead of myself here. In the meantime? I tried to make reservations at one of the nosiest Manhattan eateries ever. How noisy is it, Johnny Carson? Let's just say that the woman taking my reservations couldn't hear me on her end despite my shouting. Yet on our end? Everyone in the three closest Delta gates could hear my name and telephone number.
Who were the reservations for? An Algonquin table of bloggers, though you are going to be very surprised just to who is Mrs. Parker.
"No, It's Crazy Plane, Ozzy"
"This is the Captain and we're on the road to nowhere, David Bryne. Abandon all hope, all ye who have seen the flight attendant's smile." That's not quite what he said, but what's the difference?
We started with a ten minute delay, then the pilot announced another five minute delay...and another five after that. One of the flight attendants resembled an ex of mine, except her name was different and the resemblance wasn't as dead-on, once she within five feet. The thing is, I'm not friends with any of my exes and I couldn't imagine being on a flight without drinking anything. Though there's a reasonable fear of being poisoned if she were indeed, the ex that I was thinking about. Trust me when I say I bring out the Borgia in women that have dated me more than once.
Then I started to pray that we didn't leave the gate, because I was thinking about that nine hour delay earlier this year and if we were going to break their record if we taxied on to the runway and left our spot at the gate. We finally taxied towards the runway, only for the Captain to tell us that we were "fourth in line."
What was exactly ahead of us in line? Ducklings? Blind hedgehogs? Snails? Oh, there we go, some estimated forty minutes late. I'm not entirely sure just how many minutes we were running late, as the Captain stopped mentioning the time we were running behind after the first thirty minutes and you know you can't have your cell phone on.
It was a good take-off and it took us awhile to climb. There wasn't an empty seat on the plane, remember that fact. Oh, here come the beverages and...that cart doesn't look like the one they have in first class...what the...no! No! No! That can't be right!
What? What do you mean you don't have any alcohol?! Don't toy with me, wench! I'm getting claustrophobia like a sardine in a can full of sardines, going through a trash compactor and you say you don't have any alcohol on that cart?! Slap! Slap!
Of course you realize the whole above paragraph was going on in my head, only, right? We don't want to be put any lists or we don't get to fly anywhere, except the razor-ribboned confines of Leavenworth. So I had to tough it out. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't read, I couldn't write. Wow, I could've been the Shrub, except they wouldn't give me pretzels or beer.
So then the food comes and it's a "pannino" that is decent, but you wouldn't serve to an actual Italian or they would declare war on you and all of your descendants. Of the three of us only the Missus partakes. Procrastinator Junior and I only have these biscotti that were probably colored chalkboard erasers recut to look like cookies.
So I can't get comfortable and neither can anyone on the plane. Everyone decides that the aisles are their own personal power-walking trails. Yeah, fun that, especially when my wide shoulders won't fit the seats, as is.
Then, there she was, David Bryne (two Talking Heads references!). Two-hundred and sixty pounds, minimum. She usually gets around with a cane but with the turbulance that we were experiencing, the cane wasn't a viable option. I forgot to mention the turbulance, didn't I? Well, Junior thought the rollercoaster-like ride was a blast and I didn't mind, as long as the plane didn't plummet four-hundred feet all at once (it didn't).
Then, there she was, Tina Weymouth. Large...because I didn't mention to you all that she was just 5'3", did I? So what was she using for a cane? The very seats that we were resting on...each...and...every...one...of them. That in itself wouldn't have been so bad, but she had a bladder the size of dime, people. The size of a motherf*cking dime!
That meant that everytime I did manage to get to sleep, she was pushing my seat back like a football player hitting a tackling sled. Not just me, everyone of us. I don't know how any of us managed not to go for the soft spot behind her knee and take her down, but we did it. Mostly because I guess we realized it wasn't her fault. Then the experience became somewhat amusing, because I didn't have to actually look for her, but the passengers getting their own, individual cases of whiplash.
Then it was the this middle-aged couple that were doing there power-walk and not going to bathroom, that were driving the Missus nuts. Between the three of them, no one slept on either side of the aisle for more than a few seconds. I have the alcohol waiver in effect by Procrastinator Junior and you can believe that I'm hitting the bar on the flight back!
Labels: The In-laws, Travelogue