February 10, 2006

Seattle to L.A. to Seattle: First class, ballers and Canadians.

This week I flew to L.A. and back for work. The way there with my client was delightful. First class. An endless supply of tiny little bottles of water. Gorgeous scones and strawberries on real plates. A coat rack. A perky little woman with sticks in her hair and blindingly white teeth who flirted with my client and largely ignored me, but relentlessly refilled our steaming coffee mugs.

The way back, we caught an early flight, as we got our work done early and wanted to dodge the nighttime Grammy traffic that we would likely have been caught up in had we stayed. The catch, though, was that we couldn't ride first class. That's right... we were to join the zoo in coach.

Hey, typically, I AM the zoo! I'm no high-maintenance traveler. But when you've flown first class less than eight hours earlier, there's something about the back of the proverbial bus that seems less than appealing. Perhaps it's that it IS less appealing.

I was seated two rows from the very back of the plane, which is a little scary in and of itself. Then, as the rest of the passengers began to file in and find their seats around me, I realized that I was to be squeezed in between two hurking seven-foot men. Turns out the entire USC basketball team would be flying, with me, back to Seattle. This is where I commenced to panic a bit. What if I had to pee? Would I have to straddle these incredible hulks to get out? What if there was turbulence and I started to spaz out and instinctively reached for a hand to hold? What if they spontaneously chest-bumped mid-flight and crushed me between their gigantic sternums?

Luckily, I somehow rationalized my way through my initial freakout, and began to cope with the fact that I'd clearly have to share my personal space for a few hours and there was nothing I could do about it. After this realization came and went, I relaxed and began to actually enjoy the traveling debacle. The "ballers", as it were, were relatively uninteresting. There was only a little leering, and though they spent a good amount of time yelling back and forth across the many rows between them, there was also only a little lewdness. Then, once we took off, one to my left fired up "The Godfather" on his laptop, and another put in "When Harry Met Sally" (no joke), and I spent the rest of the trip not working, as I'd planned, but alternately reading the lips of two distinctly different sets of fictional characters. A few times I giggled out loud at a Harry Met Sally Scene and had to quickly stifle it to hide the fact that I was watching out of the corner of my eye. It was a little embarrassing when I was found out, and the Harry Met Sally-watcher looked over at me as he angled his laptop a bit more away from me and towards him as if I was some creepy Peeping Tom (or maybe he was just embarrassed about his choice of film).

There were also some shrill Canadians on the plane. They were seated behind me, but I know there were three little girls and at least one adult female, based on their loud, rapid-fire conversation througout the flight, held primarily between two girls, who I am pretty sure were somewhere between 12 and 15 years of age. My favorite exchange between the two went as follows:

Little Canada One, pointing out the plane window to lights below: "Isabella! Is that New York, eh? Ohmigod, I think that's New York!! Isn't it?"
Little Canada Two: "Um, maybe!"
Please remember that we are en route between L.A. and Seattle... direct flight, no stop on the East effing Coast of the country.
LC One: "Isabella!! Would you rather be in America than in school, eh?"
LC Two: "Totally! America is soooo cooooool."

4 comments:

plumosita said...

Wow. I like your blog a lot. Keep it up, it rocked my socks.

Real-E said...

In defense of my fellow Candians: the one's that you heard on this flight were FOR EXPORT ONLY! That's why we sent them down to your neck of the woods.

And hey, you did say it was an LA to Seattle flight! Perhaps they were visually gifted Canadians and spied a Hollywood set in LA that was set up like a street in NYC!

...It's possible!

Trebuchet said...

Hey, Canada's a beautiful place. But seriously, you would have wanted to slap those girls to Beruit (wherever that is) had they been sitting behind you, even if they ARE from your motherland.

Also, we don't need any more idiots here in the states. In the future, you can send them to, like, China, maybe.

Real-E said...

I hear you - nothing like in-flight annoyances. Canada may be beautiful, but everything is so spread out that we have very few short flights (hence the reason we export - ha ha). Could've been worse like a chorus of cholic infants... or Morris Dancers...god I hate Morris Dancers!

...and who designs airplane seats? They mutilate the knees of the poor folks behind you and my 6'1" frame fits in only at an angle - and I don't consider myself to be that large compared to most - and don't get me going on shoulder width!

China, eh? Hmmmm....