Airports baffle me.
It's not just the fact that I can't really fathom how they work, because I know it's super complicated and way beyond what my little brain can understand (wine may be good for your heart, but trust me it turns your mind to shit). They are complex, and humongous, and involve math, so obviously I will never fully grasp what really happens behind the computer screen when I book a flight. I click the button, and hope the work stops there. I pack my bag, I board the plane, I'm told to enjoy the ride...
And therein lies what baffles me most of all: When it comes to air travel, I never ever actually enjoy the ride.
Of all the modes of transportation that God invented, roller-blading and riding side-saddle included, I think air travel sucks the absolute most. I'd like to take this chance to outline my reasons, inspired by my trip to Portland last weekend, but based on the aggregate of all my really awful air travel experiences.
Reason #1 Flying is The Balls: Getting a ride to the airport is shitty.
In all honesty, this reason on its own could warrant its own entry, nay, it's own blog, if i really wanted to get into it. This is because flying always starts with driving. Until teleporting really catches on, which it very well could given both the legacy of "Star Trek" and the recent popularity of NBC's "Heroes," in order to catch a flight you have to get your ass to the airport. And you'd better hope that shit is close, because otherwise your drive may take even longer than the plane ride itself. And don't even THINK about taking a shuttle. Not only have I had a miserable string of near-death experiences in airport shuttles, I have been straight up LEFT on the curb by the fuckfaces at both PrimeTime and Supershuttle. On three separate occasions! And over the summer, when I actually made it onto my van, I had to sit behind a pasty-white man in ill-fitting shorts and try not to hide my complete disgust while I stared at his leg hair as he told me about how he dumped his entire life savings into a brilliant plan to design a three-wheeled, ethanol-burning vehicle he lovingly referred to as 'his special little car.'
God, I hate airport shuttles almost as much as I hate...
Reason #2: Flight Attendants.
I'm not sorry* if your mom or aunt or (God forbid) brother is a flight attendant. I generally don't like flight attendants, and I think they deserve even less credit than they already don't get. Whatever strides we've made as a society toward legitimizing the work of the Flight Attendant, we should immediately take three giant steps back. There are few customer-service careers that are as overrated as that of these phony-balonies. I'm sorry, Stewardess, but knowing CPR doesn't qualify you for a better job title, and you're only pretending to be happy to serve me, you snatch; I know you're only doing this for the frequent flier miles. When you tell me to turn off my iPod before we hit a cruising altitude of 10,000 feet I want not only to leave it on, I also want to bitch-slap you across the face. For the life of me, I do not, nor will I ever understand why my seat needs to be tilted all of 10 degrees higher prior to take-off and landing, and when you call me out for not returning it to its full upright position as you pass my row for the 14th time, you make me feel like a troublemaker when really all I want is to be a little less uncomfortable. AH you are a bitch! And in an era where my terror alert is always red (thank you, G. Dubya), am I expected to believe that Tammy, Cindy, and Kara really going to rise up and defend me in case of an emergency? Highly doubtful.
The more I write about this the more pissed off I get. I'm moving on to...
Reason #3: In-Flight Companions and Their Bodily Functions.
Pretty simple. Planes are close quarters, and not everyone is courteous enough to monitor their pre-flight intake of bean and cheese burritos. And cursed you will be if you end up in a window-seat on a 737. Two seats filled with Person will keep you trapped in, nice and close when the chump next to you happens to have nasty BO. And you'll be an unhealthy distance from the lavatory. Thanks to the terrorists, you can't even stand in line by the bathroom, so good luck timing exactly when you have to pee. Yeah, I know it's impossible, but try explaining that to your flight attendant. She's a bitch and no matter how harmless you are she'll probably make you sit down without explaining why. Instead she'll offer you another beverage and...
Reason #4: Party-Mix
If my kid had a peanut allergy, I'd just as soon wrap him in plastic or send him in a cargo crate before I deprived the rest of the passengers from the only thing that offers a momentary flicker of light in the darkness that is Flying: Airplane Peanuts. On my most recent mid-air misadventure, I was offered Party Mix. You can imagine my dismay when I discovered that this so-called Party Mix consisted of nothing more than a few miniature pretzel pieces, 3 spiced crutons, and a Wheathin. There is nothing "party" about this mix. It is a disappointment on all levels, and as it happens, contains absolutely no peanuts. Not even trace amounts. I bet you five years ago some allergic asshole ate a nut and spazzed out when his throat closed up then cried wolf to the airline, and unfairly made all subsequent generations of air-travelers pay the price for his genetic inadequacy.
I hate that guy, and I effing hate Party-Mix.
Reason #5: The Mile High Club.
Despite the allure of having sex in an on-board bathroom to stave off the boredom of sitting in your uncomfortable window seat, at worst the Mile High Club is repulsive, and at best a myth.
I suppose if I was to continue with my exhaustive list, I'd be belaboring the issue and I'd probably convince myself to never go anywhere. Air travel as a theory is mind-blowingly cool. Air travel as a practice is a bunch of lies and bullshit. I think most of this stems from the fact that I have bad luck in a lot of areas including this one, and last weekend when I had my roommate drop me off at LAX, I got out at the wrong terminal and had to rush my shit clear across the airport just to find out my flight had been delayed.
And then I got served Party-Mix by a snatchy flight attendant who told me to turn off my iPod.
Which I didn't, by the way.
Take your party-mix and shove it, lady, or I will fart in your vicinity...
Hey, anyone want to go to Europe?
*Ok, maybe I'm a little sorry.