Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Clampetts in First Class

First off, sorry for the "meh" photo quality. I was using my phone, and it just doesn't quite have the chops for photography. Still, for the purposes of recording things for posterity, it'll do. Onward!

So the vacation continues in earnestly earnest fashion, with beach shenanigans, taking pictures of everything in sight, and returning to our room to find our toilet paper mysteriously folded into a cryptic downward pointing arrow. Our hotel, in spite of its gloriously accommodating fa├žade, has ridiculously horrible wireless internet, so my updates will be a little sparse. Aside from the slow wifi, which is truly a minor issue and a first world problem, all is well and it’s going to take a small army to get me on a plane to leave Maui when the trip is over.

Speaking of planes, I’d like to share with my loyal blog minions a tale of air travel madness so shocking, it’ll…I mean, it’ll shock you. Or something.

The tale begins with Eddie and me in the lovely Denver International Airport. We had driven all day the day before to get there, and arrived after stopping twice to scrape the entire insect population of Nebraska and Colorado off the windshield. Seriously, CO and NE, I was in awe. Truly in awe.

And here is a photo of the Denver Airport, or at least its parking garage, with a giant white caterpillar passing by in the background:
 Anywho, we went inside and checked in for our flight. That was when the fateful words appeared on the screen:

“Would you like to upgrade to first class for $[so stupid cheap it should have been illegal]?”

Bitch, please. Of course I want to upgrade to first class for $stupid. With the click of a button (well, okay, the tap of my finger on a touchscreen), we were launched from the back of the plane with all the peasants and livestock to the elite rows in the front. Clearly this was an error, since if the airline had any idea who we were, they would have instead stuck us in the luggage compartment where we wouldn’t disturb or terrify the other passengers. Since I saw two bound-and-gagged elderly people in nice clothing squirming on their way up the conveyor belt between two duffel bags and a guitar case, it’s entirely possible this was the result of a colossal mix-up. Naturally, I just pulled down my window shade, pretended I never saw the old people, and leaned back in my ill-gotten seat in first class.

Once we were in the air, it became clear this was not a universe to which we were accustomed. I had heard the legends, and thought that was all they were, but no. No, they were not just legends, and now we were privy to secrets of this strange, alien world, secrets which we can’t forget. And probably shouldn’t tell. In fact, they’ll be beating down my door in no time for revealing them to you, so let this blog be my legacy should they find me. 

So what was the first tip-off that we weren’t in Kansas anymore?


Not the foil-wrapped, over-salted peanuts they used to hand out in coach before replacing them with foil-wrapped, over-salted pretzels. No, these were almonds. Almonds presented to us in ceramic cups. Which fit neatly into the cup-holder in the mile-wide armrest between us, along with our drinks.

Our drinks that came in actual, legit glasses.

Made of fucking glass.

No joke, people. I saw it, and I photographed it:
But they didn’t stop there. Out came table cloths to cover our tray tables.
And on top of those tray tables?
Dinner. Dinner that came in dishes.
Real, honest to God, dishes.
I wouldn’t lie to you, folks:
 And you know what else they had?  Forks.
Not plastic forks. Not flimsy, safe forks. Bona fide, no-way-in-hell-would-you-get-them-past-security-in-your-carry-on forks.
Oh, but that was just dinner. A simple meal full of revelations and myths come true.  Eddie and I were certain the jig would be up sooner or later and we would be banished back to coach where we belonged. Perhaps the mis-routed old people in the luggage compartment would finally chew through their bindings and make enough noise to be heard, revealing the terrible mistake. Somehow, some way, we would be discovered.

Now, before I go on, I must tell you another story from past air travel. You see, I have spent many a flight shoehorned into coach, and during one particularly cramped, miserable flight, my seatmates and I were commiserating. I mean, when you’re crammed together so tightly you become temporary conjoined triplets, you really have no other choice but to commiserate.

As we peeled back cellophane on our molten hot meals made of the carcasses of unidentifiable animals mixed with the sauce of melted plant matter, we mused that in first class, in the nebulous Great Beyond just past the mysterious curtain at the front of our section, they couldn’t possibly be tolerating such treatment.

“I’ll bet they even have desserts,” my seatmate-to-the-left grumbled in between taking long drinks to extinguish the third degree burns his salad had inflicted on his teeth. “Like, real desserts that don’t taste like sand.”

“No doubt,” my seatmate-to-the-right said as he shanked a roll with a plastic knife. “They probably have ice cream.”

“With sprinkles,” I growled, narrowing my eyes at the curtain as if I could suddenly gain X-ray vision to the paradise beyond. “You know they have motherfucking sprinkles.”

“Yeah,” my seatmates both said. “Those bastards totally have sprinkles.”

Skip ahead some years to this moment when I have infiltrated first class, when my back is to the curtain and my ass is parked in the no-longer-so-nebulous Great Beyond.  The flight attendants have removed our dishes, but advised us to keep our table cloths. After all, there’s more coming.

More? I thought. What could possibly be—

No. No, it can’t really be possible. Can it?

Then I heard some clinking. And clattering. And general sounds of food-making.

I leaned out of my seat and looked ahead.
What’s this? No way. Is that…

Holy shit.

Ice cream.

Glass bowls of goddamned ice cream.

Moments later, the flight attendants emerged from their little hidey-hole with a cart. A cart covered in those bowls of ice cream, but not just that.  Oh no, they don’t just give you vanilla ice cream in first class and then call it a day. You don’t upgrade to first class and get a pristine, unembellished dessert of plain plainness like a very plain thing.

No. No, my loyal blog minions.

You get…

 As much as you want. Any kind you want. Chocolate. Caramel. Strawberries. Cherries. Nuts. Whipped cream. And when you say “Slather that fucker in chocolate”, they don’t just drizzle on a little extra to appease you like they do at Dairy Queen. No, they drown that ice cream until you have, in one single bowl, more liquid than the TSA would ever have let you carry onto the plane by yourself. When you say “Give me some cherries, yo” (though we went with “Some cherries, please” to avoid blowing our cover as the classless twats we are), they don’t just plop a cherry on top and call it good. “Some” means “a few” which means “Is this enough, or would you like some more?”

Damn right I want some more.
 And yes, that’s a metal spoon.
But you know what they didn’t have?
They didn’t have any goddamned sprinkles.


  1. Maybe you have to ask for sprinkles when you make your reservation?

  2. You know if you wrote a book chronicling your adventures to date with pictures, I would be first in line to buy it. :)

    *patiently waiting for pictures of Maui* and how come I haven't seen any pictures of prairie dogs on this here blog? Seriously on your way home stop by one of those prairie dog tourist trap deals and get some. I've joined pinterest so when you so finally do get some pictures of prairie dogs, I'll pin it and it will lead people back here. :)

    Hmmmm... I should browse back and pin a few pictures from Okinawa.

  3. Chris -- Next time, I will demand sprinkles when I make my reservation. :D

    Diana -- I should do that. hehe And I haven't seen any prairie dogs yet...will post pics when I do!

    Maui pics to come soon...having a little difficulty uploading. Grrr...

  4. The man and I were in Spain once and our Zurich flight got cancelled...we somehow were the only ones to get upgraded, for free, to First class on the next flight. To this day I think it's b/c we met and hung out with Woody Harrelson at the kiosk desk but I can't prove it. Our fellow coach passengers about murdered us when they boarded the same flight and saw where we were..... but let me tell one does First class like the Swiss!!! We each had our own cornish game hens for crying out loud, and champagne, and chocolate mousse!