Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Flying the "Friendly" Skies

I fly a lot.

It used to be fun.

I would get a buzz on, (to combat my fear of flying) flirt a bit with the skybitch (stewardess), bullshit the guy or girl next to me, and generally had an OK time.

Not any more.  All it is now, is annoying.

After putting up with the full body pat-down at security, long lines, no real cutlery to use, drink minimums, and aging stewardesses, the charm has gone for me.

Worse, the process of flying has gone mental.

Every minimum wage TSA screener assumes your a terrorist or are about to hatch some evil scheme.  All this from people who can't balance their checkbook properly or name all 50 States.  Every move you make has about a thousand rules you have to follow.

So now, I have to find ways to amuse myself so I don't fall over from boredom.

I read, play games on the computer and phone, and pretend to sleep while I really read my seat-mates computer screen.

So, I'm on a flight from St. Louis to L.A. a few months ago, and before we take off I am finishing up a call.  When I am using my cellphone on a plane, I always use the earphones with the mouthpiece/speaker thing so I don't have to talk loud.

After all, there is nothing worse than listening to some jack-off talking loudly into a phone about what important thing he is doing.

We get the "power down all your personal devices" message on the intercom, and I finish my call and I turn off my phone.  I unplug the phone from my headphones and put it on my lap.  But, I keep the earphones in because I'm gonna listen to some music as soon as we are given the green light to do so.

I just don't feel like rolling them up and putting them away.

As we taxi out, the Stewardess comes over to me.

HER:   Sir, you have to remove you earphones.

ME:    There not plugged in.  (I show her my phone is off and in my lap)

HER:   Doesn't matter, you have to take off your earphones.

ME:    Why?

HER:  Because if the Captain has to make an announcement, you won't be able to hear.

ME:   But I can hear you perfectly.  The announcements they make on these planes are louder than a Rolling Stones Concert.  (I hope this humor will help)

HER:  (annoyed)  No, you have to take them out.

ME:    But there not in use, not plugged in.  I need them for my ears to balance pressure.  (I have no idea where this wonderful piece of bullshit came from but it sounded pretty good)

HER:  Sir, you have to take them out.

ME:   Buy Why??

HER:  It's an FAA rule that you can't have earphones in.

ME:   Wait a minute.  Your telling me, the FAA has a rule thats says a guy can't have earphones in his ear even when they are not plugged into anything??

HER:   That's right.

ME:   I seriously doubt that is a rule.

HER:   Do you want me to get the Pilot?

ME:   Sure.  I really would like to hear this explanation from him.  I can't believe that would be a rule.

The guy next to me now has put his book down, taken off his glasses, and is wondering how the "showdown at the OK Corral" is gonna go....

HER:  (daggers in her eyes) Well, I'm not going to bother him right before take-off and delay the flight.

ME:  Well, you suggested it.... I'm not going anywhere....

HER:  You could get into serious trouble if I report this.

ME:  Oh, I'm sure it's at least 25 to life for having earphones in your ear that are not plugged into anything...

HER:  I don't understand why you being so difficult.

She STORMS back to her jump seat, buckles in, and stares at me.  I smile back.

Now, the guy next to me is almost pissing his pants with delight.  I mean, he hasn't had this much excitement since putting a banana in the freezer on a Friday night.

He shoots me a sly look.  "You sure busted her ass, there"

Once we reach cruising altitude, I tell him "next time the Stewardess comes by ask him when the Pilot is stopping by".

"No way" he says, "I 'aint gettin' involved with this"

So for the rest of the flight, I am Mr. Fucking Nice Guy to this Stew; thanking her for my drinks, telling her to have a nice day, and so on.  Every time I do she smiles through gritted teeth.  She's ready to fucking explode.

The plane lands without any further incident, and of course without the Pilot coming out to see me.

On the way out as she is doing the "Bye-Bye Now" thing to everyone I stop, smile a huge fucking smile, and say to her,  "Hey, have a earphones kind of day"

She glares at me.  She looks ready to kill.....

Thank goodness it's tough to have any sort of weapon on a plane.

Otherwise I wouldn't be here telling you this story.

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