Y’know, I used to be afraid of things like turbulence and dying.
Now I am afraid of screaming babies, glitches in the in-flight TVs and people who smell.
And for good reason.
After we almost got lost trying to find the airport in a city that has decided streets are boring if they stay heading in one direction, I found out that my gate is closed and I had to go along with the Gate A people. This made for a ridiculously long and arduous security line full of people with arbitrary solutions and redundant complaints.
“Y’know, if I was a terrorist, I know how to get on a plane to blow the shit out of people even IF they make me take my shoes off…”
I decided now was the perfect time to pretend I was Russian.
“Shoes off? “, I asked in my best make-me-your-foreign-sex-whore accent.
“Uhhh… no, those shoes are okay. Do you have a laptop?”
“Yes!! Thank you!”
“No, Ma’am… where is it? Can you take it out of the bag?”
“Thank you. “
“HERE, I’LL DO IT.”
“Do you have anything in your pockets?”
“Toronto. Thank you.”
She sighed and pushed me along. I waved and acted like this was my last flight to Disneyland. I should have thought of this YEARS ago.
I made my way to Gate B and after the 20 minute delay trying to locate “Chin Wan Kim? Ummm… maybe Kim… Wan… Chin? Damn it “ over the intercom, they began pre-boarding: business men and those with special needs. This sounded vague enough for me. I got in line.
“Madame, do you have special requirements?” the distressed airport employee/ mother of nine inquired.
“Oh! Ummm… oh, are you… wait, let me see…” she asked and checked her screen, trying to locate the ‘immigrant passenger- let’s speed this up’ notation on my boarding pass.
“Okay, why don’t we just get you in there…” she decided, and let me on before the Business Class even had a chance to pull out their passports.
And don’t sit there and judge me.
I’m not finished yet.
So, after finding my middle seat over the wing- fuck ME- we are alerted that the pilot is unable to take off because people have not understood the take-on luggage requirements and there are too many pieces for the storage space in the beloved overhead compartment. (I’d like to be more frustrated, except Air Canada BEGS for this shit. They repeatedly lose luggage and leave passengers stranded for days, which is the extent of their trip at times, with nothing more than a Visa bill and a free copy of the in-flight magazine featuring plums. I’d bring my vibrator as carry-on, too, except that I have a sense of adventure and like to invite future anecdotes.)
After people of different languages and priorities attempted to get their proverbial shit together, we got to sit on the tarmac and watch the new safety “movie” for ten minutes, complete with soon-to-be porn stars showing off their manicured fingernails and seat-belt buckling skills. Then there were the 5 minutes of advertisements so we know exactly who to blame for this piece of shit. At that point, we were a half an hour late for take off.
The Asian gentleman beside me started mumbling something under his breath that could be a ninja death wish or a conversation with himself about whether to watch that new Jennifer Aniston movie or just give up on her altogether. All I know is that his breath smelled like wet sock and Wonton soup.
Eventually, we took off and dinner service commenced.
But not for ME, because when my new employer booked my flight they didn’t check the “meal please” box on the form.
But I am welcomed to buy a gluten-free tuna sandwich for twelve dollars. Fuck ME.
“Sorry, ma’am. We have liquor service?”
“Thank you. How much? “
“Six dollars. But we only take Visa. And you’ll have to wait until the food carts are finished. About 15 minutes.”
I was at least happy they took Visa, since I had pre-paid Visas for just such an occasion. This should have worked out fine.
Turbulence. Seat belts on. Bathroom privileges revoked. Food cart parked for half an hour.
I noticed everybody’s personal TV was playing movies except mine, which read a somber 'No service available.'
By the time they came by with the drink cart, the people in front of me have finished watching Iron Man 2 and I have decided a Rum is in order.
“Rum and… cola? Coca Cola?” I stumbled, Slavic-ly.
I passed her the Visa... which didn’t work. My face fell as the dispensing attendant took back the small bottle of Bacardi like a disappointed parent.
“The machine doesn’t recognize it.” she said, confused.
‘Of course it doesn’t’, I thought, ‘what, with the big Visa logo on the front of it…’
She grabbed the bottle and a can of Coke from the other girl and handed them to me.
“It’s on us.”
I smiled my biggest ‘I Love Canada’ smile and thanked her.
Wonton Soup sighed and the attendant sneezed.
And now here we are.
It is the best rum and Coke I have had in a long while and eases the pain of continually having to smell the pizzas people keep ordering around me (apparently, they are bottomless), and sock soup.
I now calculate the flight times to realize that by the time I get to my hotel room it will be past ten, and therefore too late for a real dinner.
Denny’s should not be anyone’s last meal.