Thursday, November 13, 2008

Friendly !@#$ Skies.

I should preface this by saying that I generally dislike flying. And by "generally dislike", I mean that I put it into the same category as massive surgical procedures: a royal pain, sometimes necessary, but never fun. I do have a somewhat irrational fear of flying on top of that. So, I usually go into a day of flying anticipating a day of boredom, annoyance, and occasional moments of paralyzing terror. Today was no exception.

It was an eventful day. And when I fly, I really don't like being able to describe the experience as "eventful", unless the events include winning the lottery, which hasn't happened yet. So, here is a random rundown of about 20 things that happened today, thoughts that crossed my frazzled mine, etc:
  1. To the dude sitting on front of me during the 10.5 hour flight from Seattle to Tokyo: Beano. Srsly.
  2. To the lady who was carrying her child up and down the aisle on the same flight: I sympathize. Really. Anything you can do to keep your kid calm and quiet, be my guest. But do me a favor: keep in mind, while carrying him horizontally across your arms, how far his flailing limbs actually stretch. Getting kicked in the cheekbone by a baby shoe is not usually a "plus" for my day.
  3. Televised sumo wrestling is a surprisingly effective way to pass the time waiting for a flight.
  4. I am writing a letter to Congress to propose a law. Henceforth, if you are going up an escalator, and the person in front of you farts in your face, you are hereby required to throw his sorry ass down the rest of the escalator. Subsequently kicking the shit out of him is optional.
  5. It turns out that when the airline (which shall not be named, but rhymes with Shunited Chairlines) titles a meal "hot turkey sandwich", it's actually short for "sandwich containing cheese that is 3 degrees below the temperature of the reactor core at Chernobyl". That blister is going to take a few days to heal...
  6. Attn all American airlines: If you want passengers to pay attention to the stupid safety briefing, present it in the form of goofy cartoons. Japanese airlines, please come on down and pick up your big bucket of WIN.
  7. Don't. Stop. At. The. Bottom. Of. An. Escalator. EVER. This is your one and only warning. Whoever does it again will become intimately acquainted with my left foot.
  8. Why yes, you CAN help me heave this heavy suitcase into the overhead compartment!
  9. Japanese airlines serves their drinks with lids and straws, and they have cupholders in the tray tables. American airlines: not so much. Another big bucket of win for Japan.
  10. I know it's stylish to add stripes that look like "/" after your airline's name when putting together a logo. When your airline is "ANA", such a design is not for you. Thank for you for flying ANA/ Airlines!
  11. In the U.S., planes are typically boarded in an orderly fashion. "Rows 1-10, board. Now rows 11-20. Etc." It takes forfuckingever, and there is plenty of elbowing and impatience. In Japan, we were loaded onto a bus and driven to our plane, where they opened the door and basically said "all aboard!" An entire planeload of suitcase-carrying people started vying for elbow room on a 3-person wide stairwell. The end result? Loaded plane in 10 minutes flat with astonishingly minimal elbowing and chaos.
  12. On the in-flight movie - a Japanese short film of some sort - I just saw an old lady punch a guy out, go running into the bushes, and climb a tree. WHY didn't I pay for the headphones?
  13. Japanese customer service PWNS American customer service. Especially when you have no cash, your Visa is inexplicably not working (yes, there was money in the account), and you have to cough up Y6000 (USD$60) for your oversized suitcase before running to your flight with 15 minutes to spare. I don't know that many US airlines would have said "oh, don't worry about it - we'll check it, we won't charge you, just go." WIN!
  14. To the "Parent of the Year" candidate on my eleventy billion hour flight: I'm certainly no germaphobe, but something tells me that letting your still-bald, barely army-crawling infant squirm his way up and down the aisle is not the healthiest thing in the world, regardless of how cute you may think it is. And besides, even if he has an immune system that would rival Fort Knox, he's probably not immune to someone's foot.
  15. Speaking of parents, kids, and feet: Yep, it sure is cute when your toddler goes thundering up and down the aisle. Even the 47th time, it was cute (sort of). I'm sorry you didn't think it was so cute when I got up to use the lavatory and put my foot out in the aisle before first checking for Kamikaze Kids. (It really was an accident) I will say this, though: his in-flight nosedive was fucking adorable. Watch your kid next time, douchenozzle.
  16. And still on the subject of kids, I learned a valuable lesson about karma today. If a child is being a holy terror in the terminal, DO NOT look at his parents and smugly think "haha, better them than me". Why? Because rest assured, no matter where that child is sitting in the terminal, he WILL be on your flight.
  17. Japanese security does not think it's funny to attempt a wheelie with a luggage cart.
  18. Oh, THAT's what those little bags in the seat pocket are for. (No, it wasn't me)
  19. Turbulence sucks. I mean, it really sucks. When I'm trying to drink a Coke, and the plane decides to play Cloud Hopscotch while I have the can up to my face, sending most of the drink up my nose, I can deal. When the plane is bouncing around so much that the overhead compartments fly open and I have to put my arms up to keep my face from slamming into the seat in front of me, not so much. I'm also not usually one for motion sickness, but I think anyone would get a little queasy when they bounce so hard their spleen crashes into their cerebellum.
  20. An upgrade to business class was $680. Srsly??? I assume there's more to that upgrade than just more legroom and a comfy seat, and I'm reasonably certain that some of those "perks" aren't legal in many countries.

Also, and this deserves its own paragraph rather than a bullet above:

To the flight attendants on my aforementioned transpacific flight: When we encountered that crazy-ass turbulence (this was "spleen hitting cerebellum" crazy) an hour before landing, was it really necessary to remind us that "in the event of an emergency landing, please remember to leave your carry-on items on the plane"? REALLY???

If given the choice between reliving this day, and listening to Gilbert Godfried read the entire "Twilight" series aloud (including "Midnight Sun"), I'd vote for Gilbert.


  1. Glad to see you arrived, safe and relaxed :D

  2. Well. I have no idea what any of that meant, but I demand you email me some more Letoprawn.

  3. Oh...NAO!!! *hitlerface*

  4. OMG I am so going to Hell for laughing so hard when I read that. I feel bad for you really I do and later I will work up some full fledged sympathy but right now I am too busy thinking "better you than me dear"

    And WTF is with people standing at eh bottom of an escalator?

    Oh and is it just me or do you seem to encounter a lot of people with excessive flatulence?

  5. You're SO going to hell, Misa. Meanie. And yes, I DO encounter a lot of people with excessive flatulence. WTF???

    And Ms Papercuts: No Letoprawn for you until I get mah NaNo commentz. *hitlerface*