Bile at 30,000 feet

24 May

Flying used to be all right. But then again I felt that way when I was about six years old and able to curl up in the shoebox sized seat and sleep through a flight with the help of a benedryl administered in a complimentary Ginger Ale by one or both of my parents. By the time I’d come around I was in Hawaii or Mexico or some cherry place.

Now though I’m staring twenty five in it’s beady jaundiced eye and I fly alone.
No one will secretly drug my sodas and carry me to the hotel once the plane lands anymore. No. Now I am a grown woman who must do what claustrophobic grown women do. Which is buy enough Bloody Mary’s to black out for a few hours over the center of the U.S. to, hopefully, come to when the plane lands, sober enough to find my connecting gate.

I’m typing this right now at an altitude of about 34,000 feet from a Southwest Airlines window seat. I like the window seat because if something horrible happens, and I’m always nigh positive it’s going to, I will be sucked out and die a mercifully swift death. The only optimism I will allow myself is that maybe a fat man will be sucked out with me and I’ll cling to him like a monkey in hopes that he will take most of the impact and I can walk away with only a couple broken bones. You may laugh at this but I’m convinced it could work. Remember that scene in The Bourne Identity where Jason Bourne jumped on the back of an obese gangster and rode him down 5 flights during a gunfight to land unharmed? Just saying.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to tell you. Is anyone familiar with Southwest Airlines? Or as I have come to know them “the toilet of the skies”?

You know what. That’s not fair. Southwest is fairly efficient, fairly cheap, fairly timely. Other than an incident a few weeks back where a Southwest plane suddenly developed a “Cocksucking hole” as Hamilton Nolan at Gawker put it, the problem I have with this bastard airline is such:

The stewardesses sing. Songs. They sing fucking songs, do you understand me?

I’m currently on my last leg of the journey from New Orleans back to San Francisco and this was the bullshit I had to listen to while desperately trying to slip into unconsciousness,

The hostess chirped into the intercom. “Hey there, Passengers! So we’re a little tired here today so we’re gonna get right to passing out your complimentary peanuts!” Then burst into a wretched ditty. “OH I WISH I WERE A SOUTHWEST AIRLINES PEANUT, OH THAT IS WHAT I’D TRUELY LIKE TO BEEEEE. FOR IF I WAS A SOUTHWEST AIRLINES PEEEANUT, THEN I’D GET TO FLY AROUND FOR FREEEEEE.

I caught the eye of the man sitting next to me.
“If this continues I will cut my own throat.” I said.
The man only blinked. “Haven’t you flown Southwest before?”

He’s right. I shouldn’t be surprised. On the 8 AM flight from Louie Armstrong in Louisiana to Houston airport the attendants wanted us to sing happy birthday to Doug, the pilot.
Hey, happy birthday and shit Doug, but it is EIGHT FUCKING AM. My pants are only half on from the security check point, most of the mornings coffee is spilled down my cleavage. I’ve just been seated between a teething infant and an obese man who flips his mullet into my eyes every time he turns his head. At this point, Doug, I hope you never have another birthday again.

During preflight checks the flight attendants with their terrifyingly sharp cheek bones and waxy lipstick on their teeth openly condescend to you.

“If you had to spend your money on cramped seats we’re GLAD you spent it on us!” squealed one bleached, horrible attendant.
Wonderful. You have openly admitted to me that you know I’m going to be miserable during my travel and you are not hiding that fact that it makes you HAPPY.

But what can you do save ordering another Bloody and hope the plane springs a hole before another Southwest sing along starts?

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