Last night I received a vicious blog comment which I immediately deleted. I woke up this morning wishing that I had published the darn thing for sheer entertainment value. Now I sit here wishing for the millionth time that the me of "right now" could talk to the me of yesterday. Not just because it would be a great way warn myself of upcoming embarrassing situations, but also because I'm a really good conversationalist. Alas, the power over space and time is not mine to be had, so I won't be enjoying the pleasure of my own conversation just yet. Though I still have a shot at schizophrenia, so fingers crossed.
Travel during the busy holiday season is an exercise in patience at a level I simply do not possess.
That's because people who rarely travel suddenly have an excuse to do so, and the airports are filled with an abundance of dumbasses. People who should just stay home instead of forcing their idiocy on public at large.
My first of three flights today was really bumpy. At least two people barfed on the way to Seattle, and one of those was directly across the aisle from me. I then spent the next 30 minutes trying to resist the urge to spew, because the smell of puke filled the plane. As an added bonus, the gum-smacking whore who upchucked next to me decided to stuff her little bag of puke under the seat in front of her and didn't bother to let the flight attendant know about it. So now there's a risk that when they clean the plane, they're going to accidentally spill vomit all over the place. If only there was a way that I could magically take that barf-bag and sneak it into her suitcase. Then when she got to wherever she was going it would be all "SURPRISE BITCH! REMEMBER ME?"
My second-leg flight to Chicago was purchased through my favorite airline, Alaska Air, but code-shared out to American Airlines. This doesn't bother me too much, except Alaska won't let me jump on one of their earlier flights because the ticket they sold me isn't for their airline (even though seats are available). Kind of makes me wonder why I bother to pay the extra money to buy tickets at AlaskaAir.com when there is clearly no benefit to doing so. Oh well. I had wanted to hop on an earlier plane to get a 4-1/2-hour layover at O'Hare so I could then take the train into the city for quick bite of pizza, but now I have to settle for a delicious Qdoba Veggie Burrito at SeaTac instead.
While waiting for my flight I watch one of the five episodes of The Soup I have saved up on my iPhone, then move on to Mitch Hedburg's Comedy Central stand-up special. I've seen it a hundred times, but never get tired of watching it. Then I feel sad for ten minutes when it sinks in (yet again) that Mitch is gone.
Despite the non-stop travel-party that is my life, I have no leverage at American Airlines. I can't get an upgrade or select the seat I want like I can with most of the other airlines. Fortunately, a really cool gate agent takes pity on me and manages to upgrade my middle seat at the ass-end of the plane to a bulkhead aisle seat with tons of legroom. I fall in love with her a little bit. I fantasize about taking her to Starbucks for some hot cocoa with peppermint sprinkles and then boarding the next flight to Bali where we spend a month living on the beach like bohemians and drinking too much rum.
The flight to Chicago was interesting, to say the least. Because sitting next to me is Arrogant Bitch and her husband Crotchety Old Fart. They were so fantastically bizarre and horrifying, that I could have easily made a blog posting entirely out of the crazy-ass crap that came out of their mouths. I've put a small sampling of their ramblings in an extended entry, if you think your heart can take it (be forewarned... the old bastard cusses constantly, so if foul language offends you, do not click through!). The cool part was that across the aisle from me was Tyrone, a beautiful and well-behaved 5-1/2 year-old seeing eye doggie...
The poor thing stayed all scrunched up for the entire flight, which could not have been comfortable. But he took it like a trooper, and enjoyed a good stretch once he was finally able to move again. I remain in awe of these incredible animals who make life better for so many people.
After my adventures with Arrogant Bitch and Crotchety Old Fart came to an end, I ate ice cream and wandered around O'Hare while waiting for my one-hour flight to Pennsylvania. Nothing much happened, except I spilled a drop of chocolate ice cream on my iPhone and spent the next 10 minutes freaking out over whether or not any of it seeped into the magic button on the front. Fun times.
The flight out of Chicago was on an aircraft so narrow that I could very nearly hold out my arms and touch both sides of the plane. But never fear, the airline still managed to get 3 seats across that sucker! It was a fairly boring and pointless flight... at least until we landed. Here is one guy's idea of sitting down with his seat-belt completely fastened until the aircraft comes to a complete stop...
As I said, this is what you get during the holiday season.
And now, after eleven hours of travel, I am relaxing in my hotel room... preparing for my work tomorrow.
Well, not really relaxing, because this piece-of-crap "upscale" hotel is built so frickin' close to the highway that it sounds as if the traffic is driving through my room. Holy crap is it loud. In fact, after staying at hundreds of hotels around the world, I can honestly say that this is the loudest, noisiest hotel I have ever been to. And that's saying a lot. Especially since I once stayed in a Bourbon Street hotel during Mardi Gras. I'd say my odds of getting any sleep tonight are zero.
And there you have it. The end.
But not really, because Arrogant Bitch and Crotchety Old Fart are waiting for you in an extended entry!
Yeah, this is pretty messed up. And there's foul language. You're probably better off not reading it.
As a point of reference, here's Arrogant Bitch...
I call her "arrogant" because she considers herself above the rules. They don't pertain to her. When the seatbelt sign is illuminated because of turbulence, everybody else has to stay seated... but not her. That's when she decides to go to the bathroom. And do you see that blue light on her head? Yeah, that would be her Bluetooth wireless headset that was flashing in my face the entire trip. Never mind that wireless devices are strictly forbidden to be used during flight... the rules don't pertain to her, remember? She wants to listen to music from her Blackberry, and so fuck everybody else! Who cares if the signal interferes with the navigational equipment on the aircraft, because she wants to listen to her fucking music and just doesn't care if she causes the plane to crash!
And here's Crotchety Old Fart...
What a piece of work this asshole turned out to be.
And now, for your reading pleasure, is a selection of stunning observations and illuminating conversation I was madly typing into my iPhone as he was loudly blathering away for over three hours (to the best of my ability to capture them)...
When the cabin attendant asks for his cane so she can stow it in the overhead bin... What? You think I'm a terrorist going to kill people with my cane?
After returning from the bathroom... I swear to God I've never seen so many fat people together in one place at one time! What the fuck is it with all these fat people?
And two seconds later as he struggles to put his seatbelt around his gut... These seat-belts are too small! Fucking seatbelts!
He smelled like a toilet hole at a campground in summer, but that didn't stop him from making this observation... This plane smells like shit! It does!
And his take on the accommodations... This is the most uncomfortable fucking plane I've ever been on!
Looking over at Tyrone, the seeing-eye doggie... A dog. On a plane. That's weird!
After being asked by Arrogant Bitch if she was "going to have to listen to you complain the entire 4 hours?" he replies... No.
But less than a minute later he says... What the hell is wrong with my damn seat? I got a shitty seat!
After asking Arrogant Bitch where the movie screen was, and being told they don't show a movie on this flight... Well what the fuck am I supposed to look at for four hours?
And his birthday is coming up... In 8 days I'll be 86 years old. I look at all these people less than half my age and I wanna know what the fuck any of them will accomplish when they're my age. I've accomplished a lot!
And after Arrogant Bitch berated him for his non-stop absurdity... What the fuck? Why are you treating me like shit? At my age I shouldn't have to put up with this shit... I shouldn't have to put up with nothin'!
Then, 15 seconds later... I love you.
When his wife asked him about her getting to the bathrooms, he replied... They make you go all the way to the back of the fucking plane to use the bathroom when they've got bathrooms up to their asses up front. BATHROOMS UP THEIR ASSES!
Once Bitch is gone to the bathroom, a flight attendant doing a pre-landing check notices her purse on the ground. After she kindly tells Crotchety Old Fart that she has to stow it for landing, he says... You're not taking it! Give me that purse! I'll hold it in my lap!!
And, after the flight attendant explains that he can't hold it, and it must be stowed... GIVE ME THAT PURSE!!
After explaining, again, that it must be stowed, Arrogant Bitch comes back and tells her to stow it. You'd think that was the end, but not from where he's sitting... I TOLD HER TO GIVE ME YOUR FUCKING PURSE, BUT SHE WOULDN'T LISTEN TO ME!!!
While browsing through the SkyMall catalog... Look at all the shit in here. Would you look at all this shit?
But then a minute later... Hey look at this! I'd buy that in a minute!
A general observation about his fellow travelers... I am sick and fucking tired of all these people looking at you like they're... they're... you know!!
And when she asks him what people he's talking about... I dunno... all of them! ALL THE FUCKING PEOPLE HERE ON THIS PLANE!!
Once we've landed and start making our way slowly to the gate... Jesus Christ... where the fuck did we land?
When we come to a stop on the tarmac, the captain announces a small delay, to which Crotchety Old Fart says... What the fuck is the problem here?
After Arrogant Bitch tells him that the captain says there's a plane in our gate and we have to wait for them to leave before we can pull up... Well tell it to get the fuck out of our gate God dammit! These fuckin' airports! Dammit these fucking airports!
Yes. Charming guy isn't he? And you have to realize that he wasn't whispering... he was SPEAKING AT FULL VOLUME, so everybody got to share in the fun! I wish I could have typed faster, because I missed some great rants about nonsensical crap. Even better, I wish I could have had a tape recorder going for the entire flight. I could have edited it down to a full hour of utter genius and made him a podcasting superstar!
Can you believe that I have to do this all over again on Wednesday??
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You have my sympathies… nothing worse than being stuck beside god awful people on long flights. But I can top Crotchey Old Fart and Arrogant Bitch with Masturbating Chinaman! On a long haul flight from London to Sydney, I got stuck sitting beside a strange little Asian guy who was reading pornographic comic books, and intermittently turning off his light, pulling up his blankie, playing with himself then going back to his comic, then back under the blankie – repeat for a couple of hours. There was nothing I could do but get stuck into the complimentary bourbons for the duration! Ewww… good times!
I’ve been in those hotels where the outside noise is so severe that you want to cut off your ears. But I solve the problem by turning on the air on those radiator gizmos, which produces white noise and blocks out all the jumps and jabs of traffic etc. In smaller towns I turn on the tv and find a station that has signed off and thus produces its own white noise. I just throw a towel over the screen.
Having traveled for the last 24 years doing standup, which means I have to WORK the next day, I travel with a sound machine and top of the line earplugs. Get thee to a Sharper Image.
You’re not in Philadelphia, are you? Since I read your blog I’m aware that you don’t mention your hotel anymore (*RRRRIIIINNNNGGGG!!*) but if you’re in Philly, I think I know what hotel you’re in. Although… I’m pretty sure it’s more than an hour by plane to get here from Chicago. Just curious. Ohhhh, and also… ‘Crotchety Old Fart’ is my dad. Seriously. How dare you… ok, I’m kidding.
They have done studies (you know ‘them’, the scientists) and they have discovered that the part of your brain that controls your tolerance is nice and big and plump when we are young, but that it shrinks as we get older and our tolerance goes with it.
Not an excuse, of course, but I imagine by the age of 86 his tolerance bit is probably all shrivelled and useless.
Sartre said that Hell was other people. The deepest level of Hell must be other people on a plane. I’m glad I don’t travel as much as you.
Ahhhh.. Tyrone is gorgeous! He looks all squished bless him! I love it when dogs get on the tube here, it always makes me smile to see them riding along with everyone else, but generally looking more cheerful and being more polite!
If for some reason moons and stars align and we end up travelling to the same destination from the same origin, remind me to get a different flight.
You are just a magnet for these peoples. A strong magnet.
I was already not looking forward to flying this Christmas… at least you were able to pinpoint why it it so awful – That’s because people who rarely travel suddenly have an excuse to do so, and the airports are filled with an abundance of dumbasses.
Sometimes I want to post about the stupid things I hear people say on the train – it’s just amazing how dumb they can be!
Oh boy. Can’t wait to fly home. On December 24th.
You did a great job of summarizing Shit I Hate about flying. (And Alaska is by far my favorite airline.) Hope work goes well this week!
Flying sucks! But this trip sounds like it was more hellish than most.
You know what I don’t get. They give you about 2 1/2 inches of leg room but still allow the seats to recline. Which means, if you aren’t careful and sly with your leg position from the get-go there is a high probably of spending the entire trip with a complete (and usually obnoxious stranger in your lap.) — Yes. I am the reason your seat won’t reclince.
Wow, you hit a bi-fecta on that “perfect couple.” People like that do seem to gravitate to places where more folks can be exposed to their rude, outrageous behavior. Lucky you, Dave2 and lucky us to experience them thru you!
I’m also looking forward to a trip during Xmas week, with trepidation.
Wow. I guess because I’ve not travelled nearly as much as you, I’ve not ever had to deal with such levels of insanity on a flight. It would have taken all my strength not to punch that guy in the jaw.
At the same time, then I would miss out on such gems as, “BATHROOMS UP THEIR ASSES!!”
Haha! I can totally picture you:
*typetypetypetype* *EYES WIDEN* *Types faster*
The nice thing about schizophrenia is that I always have each other.
HELL would be if you get stuck flying BACK with the same two characters.
And may I commend you on your tolerance. That part of my brain is distinctly shriveled, and I’m afraid that I would’ve said something…uncomplimentary…to the lovely couple. 🙂
Sounds like you just lived out the pages of a Phillip K. Dick book. Some people just don’t know how to be quiet.
One of the many, many reasons I avoid everything during the holidays. My last trip of the year is first week of November–after which point I don’t even think of boarding a plane again until February. Oh, and malls–I avoid malls–but I avoid those all year.
Ah Dave, think of COF as one of those stories you get to tell afterwards. Your sense of humor and absurd are what lifts you above the rest of thwe world. On my recent flight back to the US on the smallest plane in the world staffed by the largest flight attendant and seated next to the wierdest craziest stinkiest man who ever existed, it was only my sense of humor that kept me from bugging out and going totally insane and nutso. Luckily, all I kept thinking about was the blog entry I could write.
Blogging is the Best Revenge.
ahhhh, would it offer you any small comfort to know that he truly was probably the most miserable person on that plane, even though he made everyone else feel that way for a few hours? no? well then, bitch slap time!!!
Good grief! Saw your Twitters throughout the day and was feeling so bad because you were obviously going through hell. I don’t know how you can travel so much, or why you even need to in this age of virtual everything. You always have my sympathy. I wanted to try and make you laugh with a few responses, but I didn’t want to bomb your phone, since others no doubt wanted to out, as well.
You have my sympathies. Even with all the travel I’ve done I have never experienced that. No doubt it was done in a Pennsylvanian accent, which makes it even more absurd?
At least the flight was interesting.
I love Mitch’s stand-up. What a loss.
You dang Dave! How dare you erase my extremely rude and probably inflammatory keyboard-diarrhea rather than permit me to harangue you in public on your own site! You dang person, you!
One time I stayed at a hotel whose walls were so thin I could here the person next door clipping their nails. I could also discern at least five couples having sex at different points of the night. Made for interesting things creeping into my dreams – freeway sounds, not so fun.
It sounds like perhaps the old guy had a few screws loose (my grandfather started behaving like that when the alzheimers was setting in). What horrible nasty flights Dave!
Holy mother of God, how did you not beat him to death with that cane of his? Patience of a bloody saint, you have!
I don’t know how you do it. I haven’t been on a flight since ’96 yet it seems you’re on one every week. I take it you have zero fear of flying? Every have a particularly scary flight? I’d figure I’d ask someone who is on planes enough. Maybe it will ease my mind so I can get my ass back on plane in 2008. Not that I want to deal with the fucked up people.
Maybe we’re so bitchy because of having to sleep in the tub, eh?
So, my good friend, I’m going to over look said references to “you know what airline” and say that you’re point is very well taken. But I’m in love with the fact that you sound like just the kind of guy who’d back me up 100% if I needed you to on my aircraft……I concur with you about 1,569% on the description of fellow travelers nowadays. Hope things get better on the way back…..and, hey, that damn dog is the cutest thing ever ! Ever.
The only thing that sounds worse than that woman is that man.
This is exactly why I drink and get a good buzz before I get on a plane. At least then people like this somehow manage to become amusing rather than headache-inducing irritating.
I would’ve killed them. Both. And I’m sure the rest of the passengers on the plane would’ve supported me in the decision and protected me so I wouldn’t be arrested.
O.M.G. You poor thing.
You should have been his personal cheerleader. “Oh yeah!” “You’re right!” “Kill them all!”
You could have asked him for high fives every time he said something persnickety. Eventually, he’d shut up. Or he’d give you a high five.
I have never understood the logic of people who leap out of their seats as soon as the plane touches down. So they can, what–stand in the aisle for another 20 minutes at least? It’s weird.
um, good luck? That’s all I gots to say.
Thanks for the laugh about the crotchety old fart!!! I thought it was funny that someone is so damn cynical. Not fun for you to sit by them, glad you survived. And having to sleep in the bathtub that was just the topper to your week. Yikes!