October 14, 2005

Flying the Friendly Skies To Kona

We’re crammed on to a United flight from LAX to Kona. The seats are so close together, the women in front of me is practically laying in my lap. I can barely flip through the pages of my magazine without slapping her across the face. In fact, I gouge paper cuts into her forehead when I read the latest issue of Triathlete Magazine. We’re flying through so much turbulence I feel like United is trying to shake the loose change out of my pockets – as if they didn’t gauge me enough for the plane tickets, the curbside check-in (which, by the by, they now charge for), the food on the plane and a five-dollar shot of vodka to help me forget about this experience.

Meanwhile, there is a 5 month old baby right in front of me who’s been crying from the moment we took off, and is apparently showing no signs of slowing down. Behind me is an unusually obnoxious four year old who seems to rotate every 10 minutes between kicking my chair and shaking my seat, for no apparent reason whatsoever aside from his apparent social ineptitude. I keep looking behind me and giving his mother the evil eye but she doesn’t really seem to care much about controlling her brat, which makes me suddenly realize why the child is so quickly on the road to an ADD diagnosis. What I really want to do is climb over the seat and strangle the little shit until there is no seat-kicking, chair-shaking ounce of desire left in his annoying little body. Meanwhile, it smells like the aforementioned 5 month old in front of me just took a crap in his pants. If that’s not enough, the waitress is passing around glasses of water which, if you ask me, may not be the most sensible thing to do when you’re in the middle of severe turbulence. Amidst it all, Cat is sitting next to me as calm as can be, writing in her journal, most likely about me looking as if I’m about to tear the limbs off a four year old and beat him with his own legs. Which, considering the state I’m in, doesn’t sound like that bad of an idea after all. On top of all of this, the pilot keeps getting on the intercom to apologize for the turbulence and let us know that it should only go on for another 30 minutes, a promise he’s been repeating for the three hours we’ve been on the damn plane. Whenever he signs off, he thanks us for “flying the friendly skies”. Well let me tell you, if these are the friendly skies, I hate to see them when they’re pissed off.