March 05, 2007

Airport, "gay", and a weekend away

"Can we please get a drink before we get on the plane?" L beseeched.

"Um," I responded, in the middle of rifling through my carry-on for my contact solution -- a container of liquid definitely exceeding the allowed 4 oz which I'd almost certainly get confiscated in security, "Is there an alternative?"

It was Friday night, and L and I were in the airport, flying out for a weekend jaunt to another state to see a friend. L was ahead of me in the security line, loudly complaining about the sweatiness of her bare feet in her heels and how gross it was going to be to have to remove them and walk barefoot through the metal detector. I laughed and hoisted my bags onto the conveyor behind her.

"Oh, shit!" she wailed, causing me to look up from where I stood intently trying to remove my fourteen metal bracelets with one hand. "Was I supposed to keep my boarding pass out?"

As her bag dissappeared into the conveyor and with it her ID and boarding pass (which you were, in fact, supposed to hang on to as you passed through the metal detector), she flailed frantically, at one point almost reaching into the X ray machine to retrieve it before thinking better of it when I screeched "Don't! Radiation!" and passing through the detector without it.

It was all downhill from there. Ten minutes later, we were in an airport bar just outside our gate having two tall, cold beers and laughing when a very old man with only a few good teeth sat down next to us.

"Well, if it aint the girl with the sweaty feet," he drawled. He had apparently been in our security line. "How about if I buy you two a drink?"

We couldn't possibly, of course. But we did. A minute later, we were being talked into a shot of tequila each.

The moment the shots were down, a gentleman sitting to the left of us at the bar slid over a chair. Great, I thought, bearing down for an awkward come-on directed at L, who was sitting closest to our new friend. But then he opened his mouth.

"So girls," he lisped, "How is it you are having so much fun and you're not even on the plane yet?"

Instantly Brian was our new gay best friend ever. Not only did he save us from the strange toothless man, he was hilarious and thought we were about the most fun ever. We chitchatted about where we were going (we were going to the same place! on the same plane! let's have another round!) and what we'd do there, and whether wide-leg jeans were really coming back in style or not, and all in all we were really quite well behaved. Until...

"Seriously?" L said, incredulous to something Brian had ranted about. "That is so gay." (as in "lame" or "ridiculous").

For a moment, you could have heard fairy dust hit Brian's light brown suede loafers. I cringed and covered my ears, waiting for the tyrade and avoiding all eye contact. L froze the moment the word fell out of her mouth, wide-eyed. In her effort to be PC (a feat in itself, given our standard irreverence and the fact that we were now on probably our 30th ounce of beer and 3rd ounce of tequila, each), she had accidentally said the one word she was trying very very hard to not say. Gay.

And then: "Let's not use that word, dear... what do you say?"

Brian was an angel. And poor L had never been more thankful for the understanding of a gay man. In celebration of his coolness, another round.

By the time we got on the plane, we were-- "Tipsy?" Brian asked.

"More like blitzed," L replied.

The three of us sat together on the plane, talking relationships, mostly. Brian determined that my last relationship was "gay", while he and L exchanged tips on... well, nevermind. But I imagine for all around us it was a terribly interesting plane ride, to say the least.

The rest of the night included these highlights:

- Once at our friend's house, us girls continued the celebration, during which L fell face-first into a pile of full garbage bags in the garage, a position from which she struggled to recover but couldn't for some time, much to the amusement of myself and K, who flopped around on the ground laughing so hard we cried
- I was jumped, tied up and silly-stringed
- A quesadilla was, at one point, slid under a bathroom door

One key portion of the weekend which I failed to mention was that I had just come down with The Cold -- you know, the one that has taken most of the people around you out at least once this winter? Yeah. So during all these festivities, I sounded like one of Marge Simpson's sisters with a speech impediment thanks to the stuffy nose and sore throat. Delightful. Needless to say, Saturday was a little rough, but we managed to fit in lunch, some shopping, a comedy show, a lovely meal, and another night out on the town, where, after hopping myself up on decongestants and bud light, I saw my first mechanical bull (no, I did not ride said bull, being neither a cowgirl nor a hoochie mama).

Saturday night's other highlights included:

- Watching the apparently common phenomenon of two girls riding one mechanical bull at once, thinking this was both a) attractive and b) safe of which it turned out to be neither, of course.
- My girlfriend K chipping her tooth on a beer bottle after doing an ill-advised group toast at closing time, after which we called her "Lloyd", "Chippy" and "Snaggle"
- Cramming 7 people into a 5-seater van taxi, and being somewhat surprised when halfway through the ride, the driver decided he hated our guts and turned up his CD of Korean pop music (it's exactly as bad as it sounds) so we could no longer communicate with each other or hear ourselves think

The trip home was much like the trip away, if you replace the alcohol with huge cups of icewater. We rode back with Brian - a friendly and flamboyant coincidence - and again the contact solution was in the carryon, only this time they didn't catch it (about which I was very relieved, as the carryon was now also crammed with dirty underwear and socks and other random stuff, but also freaked out by, because, well, what if I were a terrorist?).

All in all, it was a good weekend, with good friends and one new gay best friend ever. And today, I'm paying for it big-time. I've got the sense that if I blow my nose once more, it will trigger a deadly pressure-explosion in my brain, but I just can't resist. Wish me luck...

Good night.


Ben said...

Whenever I hear a story that involves airport security or the TSA I think of this video

jali said...

Those "time stopped" moments are scary as hell. That was a cool dude to be so gracious to your friend. I know she was mortified.

I'm glad you had a weekend blast. (links to videos of double bull riding would be nice)