Heather's wedding, June 5, 2004 part 2
August 28, 2004
It's about the time that the wheels leave the ground that I remember where I had left my earplugs - on the dining room table. These would have been nice to have, since I would have liked to sleep during the entire flight. I was really tired - the flight wasn't scheduled to leave until 11:50 pm. I was already up two hours past my normal bedtime, and I'd been a little more active than normal since leaving work on a Friday. No problem. I found my seat - next to a couple in their 50's that appear a little nervous. They'd probably never flown before, or at least not often. As long as they don't have to use the restroom every 20 minutes, I'd be fine, even though I was on the aisle. Well, we were up in the air before you knew it and the captain came on the intercom "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We've got everything going for us tonight. We left on time and we should arrive on time in Minneapolis. Since this is such a late-night flight, we will try to keep the announcements to a bare minimum." Awesome! That was wonderful news! I put on my headphones and turned up Jane's Addiction's Nothing's Shocking and life was good. I started to drift off just as the lights in the cabin dimmed. I was a little bit uncomfortable because my 6'4 frame doesn't fit well in a coach seat. Then it happened. BAM! It started out as just a little bit of turbulence, but nothing was even out of the ordinary. The seat-belt light came back on in the cabin, followed by the loudest announcement I've ever heard on any airplane. "Ladies and gentlemen, this recording is to inform you that the captain has turned on the 'fasten seatbelt' sign. We are fulfilling our promise to the FAA by running this announcement." It was a good thing that I'd had my headphones on because others that were sleeping have now had their eardrums punctured by the piercingly loud recording. The mood of the passengers changed instantly from 'happy but tired' to 'un-fucking-comfortably tired'. I tried a few more times to close my eyes and fall asleep, but I was worried that the 'fasten seatbelts' light would go off. I knew that if it went off, then it had the potential to come back on. And I did not want the captain to repeat the announcement that was loud enough to startle me - louder than the music blaring through earphones right on my ears.
Twenty minutes later, many people had managed to calm their racing hearts and fall back asleep. I was not one of them. It didn't matter anyway, because the stewardesses decided that it was too dark in the cabin. So, they turned all the lights on. In order to serve beverages. At 1:00 am. I was pissed because I didn't have enough money to order a large handful of small liquor bottles. They could have easily assuaged many people's feelings by making this service last only a few minutes, but it took them at least 25 minutes to serve less than 200 people. But alas, the lights went off again and I again tried to sleep. I must have missed the change - maybe it happened during drink service - but the 'fasten seatbelts' sign was turned off. My eyes were shut, I could hear the music, it was dark, and my knees were dug into the back of the seat in front of me - everything was normal. But I was really very tired and actually starting to drift off when it happened again. All the lights. Again. In order to serve dinner. At 2:00 am Pacific time. Which meant that it was probably 3:00 am local time, wherever the hell we were. Fine, at least this time I would get something in my belly, and come to think of it, I hadn't eaten since before I left for my brother's house nearly eight hours ago.
Well, you know that airline food is not always the best, but I was really looking forward to the vegetarian breakfast sandwich that I'd ordered. Wait, I did order that, right? Yeah, I remember looking at the itinerary before I left the house. I wanted to make sure I'd gotten a window seat (oops) and a veggie meal. If nothing else, you get served first when you make a special request (which, apparently, a vegetarian meal is). As the flight attendants got closer, I began to wonder why they hadn't given me my sandwich first, like usual. Finally, they get to my row and hand me a little, silver, pre-wrapped thing. There wasn't anything written on the bag; it was just silver. The stewardess asked me if I'd like something to drink. "No thanks, but what is this?" I point to the silver package. She said, "It's a biscuit sandwich" "Is it vegetarian" She giggled as she says, "No, it's sausage, egg, and cheese." Then she left me to my thoughts. How I, with the help of my computer, sat there six(!!) weeks ago ordering all of these amenities for the trip. I remember purchasing the airline ticket thinking that I'd be able to sleep on the plane. I'd probably still be tired, but it wouldn't matter because I could stop at my parents' house to sleep for a while before I had to leave for the wedding in Wisconsin. Well, I really needed to catch a little sleep now, because I was really tired and now I was a little hungry. I wasn't going to eat anything that grows inside a silver cocoon. Then I remembered something else - I had rented a car to get me from Minneapolis to the wedding in Wisconsin. Not only did I rent a car, I had rented a Mustang. "Wow," I thought, "I'll be a real jet-setter. Flying in for the weekend to go to a wedding. Showing up in a rented Mustang." Never mind that I don't even like Mustangs, but anyone that flies in for a 36-hour trip and rents a Mustang, that's someone who's getting some action for the weekend. As soon as the little, silver cocoon arrived, I knew that my Mustang was gone.
Continue reading part 3...
Posted by dennis @ 10:01 PM