I made a flight attendant laugh so hard the Redbull squirted out her nose.
My second flight as delayed last night, so I shoved my bags under a bar and behaved like a harlot by having a beer in an airport. It was... ok... except that the people sitting next to me were exceedingly friendly and wanted to have long exchanges regarding Michael Vick's sentencing and did I, personally, think he'd ever recover his reputation?
When I said Michael Vick was not such an impressive human being, in my humble, white school teacher opinion, they got all animated and accusatory and, well, just kind of mean. Then the gentlemen in the ball hat and ski glasses and hoodie and fashionably unlaced work boots got downright ugly. He pointed out that my neoprene computer case was made out of SEAL HIDE - that innocent SEALS had to die so my computer could be protected... and didn't I feel just a little bit bad about that?? HMM??
Well, duh. I lose.
I lovingly stroked the neoprene computer case, cried a little bit - just so make sure he knew he'd won the argument, namely the one that I AM NOT SUCH AN IMPRESSIVE HUMAN BEING AND SHOULD BE THE ONE IN JAIL FOR HUNTING SEALS (and also, apparently, for slandering Michael Vick). Then I gathered my things and went to wait by the gate. (Not before stopping to buy a half pound of veal jerky...* MMM delicious).
These good people presently arrived at the gate good and riotously drunk. Thankfully, all four fo them were so engrossed in NFL banter that they cared not for further repartee with... me.
After the third flight delay, the dispatcher announced that a problem had arisen due to the weight limit for the aircraft: apparently if all passengers show up and all are carrying the maximum number of bags, the plane is in danger of falling out of the sky in a firey crash.
This was the moment for me when the whole night turned dark and sinister. Clearly, someone in ground control had gotten a good look at my thighs and decided that at least ten bags would have to be removed from the manifest to compensate for the enormity of... me.
I put down the veal jerky.* I cleaned out my back pack to reduce load. Four grocery receipts, an broken pencil and two battered magazines later, we still had a weight problem. We boarded the plane and then sat there on the runway for an hour.
During this funfilled hour in the crowded, overheated metal tube, I watched the following scene outside my window: four baggage handlers, two pilots, a TSA agent and an eighty five pound flight attendant (who was alternately clutching her head in her hands and shoving the manifest under the noses of anyone standing still) screaming at each other over how to handle the weight limit issue. Twice, the flight attendant huffed back onto the plane to make an announcement regarding the status. What she said the first time was "We are still trying to load the bags. We'll be right with you." What she said the second time was "The plane is too heavy, and it will not fly safely. We'll be right with you."
Then she took a moment to let the Michael Vick lovers know that no, we wouldn't be serving alcohol on the flight and no, she didn't think the plane would crash. On her way back up to the galley, I saw her roll her eyes so far back into her head I feared they would get stuck that way.
Then the TSA agent got on the plane and said, "I need to remove at least four passengers and their bags to make this flight happen. If you volunteer, you'll receive a meal voucher, hotel accomodation, and a free roundtrip ticket good for a year. If we don't get enough volunteers, we will start to pull people. Anyone?"
Guess who was interested in this deal?
The Michael Vick lovers were so excited about prospect of free booze, food, and hotel rooms that they practically dove into the aisle and crawled off the plane with their (leather) carry on luggage in their teeth.
After the Vickers were safely removed from the plane and the flight attendant's equanimity had been restored, I moved up to the front of the plane, where the flight attendant was sipping a Red Bull and adjusting her flight safety merit badge.
"Excuse me?" said I.
"Yes?" she said.
"Are we, uh, going to make it?" I asked.
"Of course," she said. "We are now under weight limit."
I gestured down to my thighs. She looked confused.
"But what about this hugeness?" I jiggled a thigh for emphasis.
Pixie of an eighty pound fairy of a flight attendant. Bless her.
She snorted, and Red Bull sprayed out of her nose, and gosh, it was just awesome. When the hilarity subsided, I said, "Also, I have a baby seal in my carry on. Just saying. Have a nice flight."
And then I went back to my seat, rather pleased with my baby seal computer case, my hugeness, and the excitement of reaching, finally, my last day of work at Panic Hire University, that I promptly fell asleep.
* Gummy bears