Ella and I traveled to St. Louis to visit my parents. They moved there in December of 2008 and five months after starting a new job, my dad got laid-off and they are now moving to Minnesota (which makes more sense as that’s where my brother lives). Anyway, our trip to St. Louis was the first, and probably the last, time I’ll ever be there, however pleasant that it was. Our flight there and back was on a small jet, just two seats on one side and one seat on the other. We have lots of plane stories.
- An older couple sat in the seats behind us. The pilot mentioned that the flight would be bumpy so if we needed to use the bathroom, we should all do so (in the bathroom of course, not right in our seats). The woman started in on her hubby immediately after buckling their belts. “Jesus Christ, Gary! I can’t believe you did this to me. This plane is so small. I do not need to be dealing with this, Gary!” She went on: “You always have to cheap out! You couldn’t have checked the plane size before you bought the tickets? Goddammit, Gary!” and then “Jesus! I can’t believe I said yes to this trip. I could be home fishing today.” As Craig said, you can’t write better dialogue. What I loved most about this one-sided conversation (Gary wasn’t even trying to defend himself) is that the wife presumed that somehow your airfare is based on plane size. Also, what a charmer- she could be home fishing today rather than taking a trip. Now, Ella hears language like that at home, but I draw the line at her hearing it from strangers. Just as I was about to mention to the lady that she should pipe down, she totally did pipe down and we didn’t hear from her the rest of the flight. I assumed that she maybe took some sort of sedative. Or, quite possibly, Gary got her in a sleeper hold. Well done, Gary. Well done. What makes this even funnier is that my dad’s name is Gary. So I spent most of my visit saying “Goddammit, Gary! I could be home fishing today!” Heh.
- Airport food is so crappy. Our flights were during lunchtime and you do not want a hungry kid on a small plane. I packed us a little lunch and we enjoyed airplane sodas along with it. I was pleased to see that a handful of others did the same. I do love a Coke on a plane. I think the altitude does something to a can of Coke and just makes it so yummy. Also, it’s like the only place in the world you can get just a can of soda. Everywhere else you have to buy 47oz bottles forcing you to drink 400 calories of high-fructose corn syrup.
- Kudos to Crayola for making Color Explosion coloring books. They occupied Ella on both flights. Also, it doesn’t hurt to load your iPod with episodes of “Olivia” and “Phineas and Ferb”.
- On our way home, Ella peeked into the cockpit of the tiny plane which looked like an awesome Wii video game set-up. The pilot said “Here!” and handed Ella some stick-on pilot wings. They said Continental, but we were flying American. The pilot said “Don’t tell anyone I gave you those – Continental is the only airline that makes them anymore.” I off-handedly said to Ella “Those wings mean you get to fly the plane!” After take-off Ella whispered “When do I get to fly the plane?” My heart broke in about 5700 pieces. “Um – I meant you can fly it when you grow-up.” Good one, Mama.
-Finally, airlines, please, just charge me an extra $15 on my ticket. I don't want to have to go through paying for checked luggage. Aside from the fact that I think it's un-American that you're charging me for luggage anyway, just add it to the airfare. Please. Thank you.