Romantic Times Trip Report Chapter 1 located here
Chapter 2- My Armpit Boob
So, I’m not normally alone in public. I have kids, so they are with me most of the time. If they are in school I’m writing my face off or goofing around on Facebook, the usge.
So of course I have to poop because now would be the worst possible time for me to need to do that. I find my gate and double check with the employee that I’m in the right spot. That took 3 minutes. So I start dragging my carry-on around shopping at the airport. It’s such a strange, in-flux kind of place. Hurry up and wait maybe?
There are weird off-brand eateries. And McDonald’s. Does anyone else refer to all restaurants by nicknames? I think the husband started that with us. Like so:
McDonald’s = Slop Donald’s
Burger King = Burger Sling
Taco Bell = Taco Hell
iHop= Sloppy Hop
Actually a few years ago, I was meeting my girl Shalu and my sweet friend Jen in Poughkeepsie and I was all, “Let’s eat at Sloppy Hop!” And they agreed thinking it was a new, fun place to go until I pulled into iHop. Then they made fun of me (of course.)
Anyway, I was battling with myself, should I force the poop issue and eat at McDonald’s? What if it starts and I can’t stop it? Then I’m picturing a horrible plane ride toilet issue I read about here http://jalopnik.com/this-is-the-most-embarrassing-plane-pooping-story-ever-1456846301 (read it, it’s so funny!!)
I decided to have a croissant and test the boundaries of my nerves and anal muscles without the clown’s aid.
So I wait. I played a few games on my phone. The wireless wasn’t working in there or I was too stupid to make it work. And wait. And go for a walk. I scope out the bathrooms just in case. HUGE GAPS in the stalls. Pin quiet. How do they get it this quiet in a busy airport? Also, there’s an attendant cleaning up constantly. Which I get, that’s nice. Truly. But it you’re trying to pop off a deuce on the down low, someone waiting on the other side of the stall with a mop and a sneer can be demotivating. Bathroom hopping from one to the other, it was just a no go.
Damn it. Can’t we pipe in some music with bass? It’s not a church for pete’s sake.
Okay, those of you who fly in planes all the time will think I’m insane, but I thought the time of departure was the time they let you on the plane. This comes into play later --for now I’m sitting next to the right gate when they announce that there is smoke somewhere at the Chicago airport and our flight will be briefly delayed. I call my mom and tell her the news.
Here’s what happens when I call my mom about travel issues. She turns on the TV, opens two iPads and researches the bejeezus out of the problem. She’s also been on a hell of a lot more planes than I. She delivers her verdict:
Go up to the desk and get on another flight.
Okay? No one else is moving. These well-worn airport warriors are not reacting to the smoke news. My mother tells me to do it anyway, and then hangs up on me to contact my sister who is also traveling through Chicago (we are meeting up at NOLA). I get to the desk and the lady is typing while talking to me.
“Where are you headed?”
“Are you Debra or Beth?”
Whoa. She’s some sort of wizard.
“Okay I have a protected seat for you and Beth on the 4:40pm plane stopping in Nashville.”
I leave, making sure that if Chicago gets its act together I can still take the plane that is waiting for us at the gate. Beth and I are now semi-related.
Now, I wait some more. I’ve been traveling in my head since I woke up at 5:30am. Needless to say, it was 2:30pm now, this is a long day and I’m still in my home state.
Twenty minutes later, the announcement is made that Chicago is rage-quitting airplanes in general and people as well. The whole airport just shit its pants. (I understand, go to be safe.) Mom was right.
The entire airport stands up and gets on line to talk to the wizard lady. The line is at least 80 people long.
So, I stand there like a deer in the headlights. My seat is protected, so what does that mean? Do I hand them my now useless boarding pass? That can’t be right. Getting on the airplane is like top-secret stuff. You can’t wear bras and need your driver’s license. I look at my watch. That line is at least an hour long. People are getting vouchers, new tickets, selling their names to Rumpelstiltskin, etc.
I see the other Southwest counter by the next gate down has no one on line. If I approach them will I be tackled? I don’t know.
I tell them my dilemma. The lady shakes her head, no of course my old pass is null and void. She kindly prints me out a two new ones. It’s in the next concourse over, so I haul bootie. But I will have time, right? The plane doesn’t board until 4:40pm. No Debra. You have to be there paying attention to the speakers. The waiting area is as packed as my bowels.
I looked over my shoulder and noticed people lining up next to the Star Trek poles they have by the gate across the way. I looked from my pass to the board.
Shit. That’s me. Luckily I have a really horrible boarding number. It’s like Bingo with the Southwest. I was like B48 or something. They could just print “middle seat with a broken tray” on the pass instead. The As are the best and I think the Cs ride on the wings.
I got on the plane and looked at the sea of faces. Jesus there are so many people here. I see a seat by the exit door with a woman and her huge purse taking up what was going to be my seat. I jammed my carry-on where it belongs and tapped her on the shoulder.
“I’m going to sit there.” I pointed at her purse.
Southwest seats are 17 inches across. Make your hands that distance apart now. I guarantee you that no seats in your house are 17 inches across. Adult humans are not generally going to fit ass cheek to ass cheek comfortably in those dimensions. My hip and her hip became friends. She looked me in the face, grabbed her purse from the floor and crossed the aisle. Turns out her husband and her brother were sitting in the aisle and window with a seat in the middle. They were hoping to make the exit row their first class seats.
I ruined it. Hehe. Anyway, now it’s me, the space from the exit door and an aisle seat. I had a split second of hoping for my own first class experience, but so many people were coming on board (maybe because Chicago was lighting up a giant joint or whatever) I knew I was going to have a friend next to me.
One of the last people on the plane was a sharp dressed businessman. He eyed the seat and nodded at me. I smiled at him because I didn’t want to be like the lady and her purse that used to own the seats before me and my ass hijacked them.
He will mind his business and I will mind mine. Perfect.
Crawling from the back of the plane came another guy. He jumped over the steward and planted his ass in the aisle. We locked eyes. His were so glazed over they could have been donuts. I had a great idea what the hell he was doing in the bathroom.
We make small talk, he’s actually really sweet. But handsy. We have to pledge allegiance to the exit doors, promising that we were willing and able to kick out doors and fire up rafts. We were all in.
My neighbor then decided to reenact a plane crash with me. He pantomimed how he would Die-hard style save me from drowning.
Within, I would say, about 6 minutes this guy was hugging me, and pretending to swim with us both. Turns out I was sucky at pretend swimming so he had to readjust his hold. To my tit.
Of course. The next thing I know he was showing me every tattoo on his body. I knew what courses he was taking in college, etc. As we started down the runway, I’m treated to every photo in his camera roll.
Now, I’m making fun here, but he was sweet and the grope thing I think was mostly a mistake because he didn’t expect to find my tit in my armpit, but like I said –no bra.
He gave me tips on flying or made them up, whatever, and when we were rumbling down the runway he looked me dead in the eye and said, “Now let’s pray.”
He bowed his head, braided his fingers together and passed the fuck out.
As we take off, I looked around me. No one was reacting to the fact that we were GOING INTO THE AIR. At four million miles an hour. Jesus people. Get excited. I had to tamp down my roller coaster screams.
It was incredible! Holy crap. People do this all the damn time? My eyes were HUGE.
Finally we level off AT THE TOP OF THE SKY!! I’m seeing the clouds from their heaven side. I’M A GOD.
Needless to say, I loved the plane ride. The close quarters were le suck though. Not a fan. The service was great, the stewards were funny but that’s a close squeeze with a stranger.
No worries, right? I only have one whole other plane ride before I touch down in New Orleans. I’ve got the hang of it, I can do this. No worries. No problems. I’ll be fine.
Next up in Chapter 3: I’m not fine.
Romantic Times Trip Report Chapter 3 -- Alien Toilet
Romantic Times Trip Report Chapter 3 -- Alien Toilet