Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Skinny bathrooms and such.

There are many things I assume that everyone in this country have experienced. For example...FLIGHT. I assumed that every adult had taken at least one flight on some kind of plane. I didn't know I had made this assumption until a recent flight when I sat across the aisle from a man in his late thirties or early forties who seemed to be having trouble fastening his seat belt.

I thought, "Oh great. It's a full flight and his belt is broken which means we'll have to deplane and I'll probably miss my connecting flight..." The litany of internal complaining continued until he took out the comically colorful pictogram instruction sheet [you know, the one we fan ourselves with before the air comes on] and followed each step successfully. Then it hit me: This is the FIRST TIME this guy is flying. I nudged the obviously veteran-flying thirty-something couple beside me and we proceeded to witness the greatest in-flight entertainment in 30 years since the movie AIRPLANE!

It was obvious as the plane took off that this guy was a redneck good ol' boy from the trailer park a rural lifestyle. He gripped the seat handles tightly and with a "Oh boy...Wohoo!" we were off. After fifteen minutes looking out the window and then quickly leafing through everything he could read in the seat pocket he quickly realized what we all know: unless we bring our own distractions, commercial flying is boring as hell. He eventually fidgeted himself to sleep after a trip to the bathroom, which he announced was the skinniest he'd ever been in.

But by far the most priceless moment was on landing. As the plane descended we could see both his excitement and anxiety levels rise. With about two minutes to touchdown he asked, "Are we fittin' to land?" Upon hearing that we were, he pulled out his cell phone, called a friend, and narrated the entire landing! "Ok, we're gonna land... here we go... OH HOLY SHIT!... pardon my language [to mom and little girl seated next to him]... Hoooweee that hurt... I'll call you back."

We were cracking up across the aisle. I maintain we weren't laughing at him but sharing the childlike joy and excitement of first-time travel he was experiencing. Ok... we were laughing at him, but it was a sight to behold.

First time for everything.