May 3, 2010

Viva Las Vegas

Once again, I have planned my reading materials for a long flight very poorly. Boise is not an easy city to get out of on a Friday. My meeting ended at 11am, which means I missed the 10:30am flight out and had to wait for the later flight, which was a 3:00pm to Vegas. After a three hour layover in Vegas, I am now on a plane headed into New Orleans. I will get home at 12:45am, a solid 13 hours after my meeting ended. I bought a People magazine and a book in the Boise airport and then proceeded to talk on the phone and generally do non-reading activities during my obscenely long wait for the 3:00 flight. I wanted to save the magazine and book for the rest of the trip.

The People lasted for about 30 minutes of the flight to Vegas and then I started on the book, which I finished about 30 minutes into this flight to New Orleans. I blame that on the Vegas airport. The Vegas airport is essentially a trailer park, except the trailers are planes that are shuffling the inhabitants from one place to another.  Before our flight could take off, the airplane crew had to escort not one, but three drunken fliers off the plane.

I wonder what happens when you get taken off a plane for being drunk. Do you get your money back? Do they put you on a later flight? And how do they know you are really drunk? Do they make you take a breathalyzer test? Or do they do the equivalent of a road side sobriety test? Sadly, I did not get to see any of this. I guess it all takes place in some private room where the Southwest employees speak in calm voices and try hard not to shame the passenger in question, while the passenger gets more and more belligerent and indignant.

I would imagine it takes a special kind of person to be a flight attendant. I am not that type of person. If I were a flight attendant, I would carry a cattle prod.  Last week I was on a flight and a woman refused to put her purse under the seat in front of her. The flight attendant calmly and patiently explained to her that FAA regulations required that all bags be under the seat for takeoff and landing. Still, the woman insisted that the floor was too dirty and her purse costs a lot of money. The flight attendant got her a plastic bag to put her purse in and patiently and kindly helped this recalcitrant and obstinate bubble head put her precious purse in a plastic bag. Meanwhile, the guy sitting on the aisle of that same row asked her something and touched her arm for a long time.

At this point, if I were the flight attendant, I would have popped that fucker in the face. I would also not have provided Miss Purse with a bag, unless of course it was the bag I used to suffocate her. I would have taken out my handy cattle prod and shocked some sense and submission into her air head. And then, I would have done the same to a few more people in ear shot just to ensure no one got any funny ideas.
Instead of the friendly skies, it would be the surly skies.

Anyway, back to the Vegas airport. I wanted to do some non-reading activities, but it was hard because essentially there is nothing to do in Vegas except play slot machines and drink, neither of which I do. And since the slot machines are taking up all the prime real estate, there isn’t much shopping to do either. This left people watching. And, while I find fake boobs and hooker shoes fascinating  for a little while, eventually everyone starts to look and sound like the cast Jersey Shore and really, can you blame me for ending that activity so quickly?

I have been on the road for 5 days. I am cranky and tired and wondering why on earth I do what I do. And then I remember, “Oh right, there are no jobs for me in the city I live in.”

Boo, hiss, boo.

New Orleans, you are a hard city to love sometimes. It’s a good thing you have warm weather and interesting locals.

We are on our descent into New Orleans. I wonder where the three passengers are right now who got booted from the flight? Are they drowning their sorrows? Are they face down in an airport holding cell? Or did they decide to stay in Vegas? Maybe they rented a car and, God forbid, are driving back to New Orleans.