Planes, much smaller planes, and seat belt extenders

I had to take a trip for work to Leesville, LA. This required me to fly in not one but two planes, which if you know anything about me is about the last thing in the world that I would choose to do. I despise flying. Take a 6’4” claustrophobic, make him cram himself into an enclosed tube crowded with way too many people and bags, and now send that tube hurling through the air at 500 mph and you have a recipe for hilarity (for those around me at least).

I do like to travel and go different places, and have come to accept the fact that flying is a necessary evil, but I definitely wish science would get moving on those teleporters that they’ve been promising us for all these years. I do, however, love going and hanging around in airports, mainly for the people watching. There are certain people that you are almost guaranteed to see on every flight, and this time was no exception:

I saw the person (many of them actually) who needs to be given their own special line through security checkpoints – the painfully slow line. This person usually travels in a group and can often be identified by their constant stopping and remarking to others that “I can’t believe there are so many people here” and by their frequent checking of their boarding pass and worrying remarks about the time. These people should be identified at checking in by asking them these questions in addition to the standard security questions when they check in:

Have you flown recently? Any answer other than an emphatic “yes” qualifies you for the slow line. This includes answers like, “well once back in 1964 I took the Pan Am to visit…”

Can you read and follow simple, clear instructions in the security line, or, are you going to assume that when they say “please remove your shoes and EVERYTHING in your pockets” that this does not apply to you?

Are you going to try and carry on more than the one allowable carryon bag and personal item? (Yes, this includes the 12 bags of Disney souvenirs that you sprung for in the airport Disney store.)

Are you going to complain out loud about the security procedures to nobody in particular while standing in line? (this also qualifies you for the body cavity search line)

Are you going to wear knee high, lace up boots that require a team of specialists to remove and try to get through security?

Wait times for 80% of the flying public would decrease dramatically if these procedures where implemented.

I saw loafers no socks guy talking loudly on his Bluetooth device, pacing back and forth, and waving his arms wildly around. This person is no doubt busy making “deals” and is most definitely a tool.

I saw lady who tries to special order food at the insanely busy airport Chilis. This made me laugh, as her waitress was listening to 4 tables at once and no more heard/remembered the insanely detailed special order that this woman requested. I did not stay long enough to see what actually came out of the kitchen, but I can guarantee you it wasn’t what she asked for.

I saw bartender who interprets the order of “vodka and cranberry” as vodka with just the slightest hint of cranberry essence. The glass of water that I had was a darker color.

I saw pilot who looks like he just recently finished middle school. I prayed that he kept walking past my gate (thankfully he did). Two things about my pilot that I don’t want to see: him being dropped off by his mom for work and/or him stumbling out of the bar a few minutes before my flight.

And finally, I saw lady that asked for the seat belt extender needed to strap her ample girth into the very small airplane seat she purchased, and then watched in horror as she ambled down the aisle and pointed to the empty seat next to me. (Luckily the flight was half full and I was able to move to the empty exit row allowing her to claim both seats for herself. Since I was the only one the row, the flight attendant finished the standard “you are sitting in the exit row” spiel with “in case of emergency, it’s all in your hands.” This was oddly comforting. Also made mental note to exercise even more and adopted “don’t be the passenger who needs the belt extender” as my new workout motto.)

The flight from Orlando to Atlanta was fine, except for the fact that I was in row 45 of a 48 row place. Waiting that extra 20 minutes to get off the plane after you hit the gate is just awesome. When I got to my gate for my connection to LA, I saw that my plane was slightly smaller than my car. Oh joy. Flying on these is extra fun when you are tall since I have to bend at the waste to get into the door and then walk bent at that angle the entire way to my row. Hurrah. Then I discover that my seat is actually the window and not the aisle like I thought, which means that I wouldn’t have the ability to stretch my legs into the aisle occasionally during the trip. Double hurrah. Thankfully it wasn’t a long flight and there wasn’t much turbulence.

As for Lewisville itself, there’s not much too it, but I did have a pretty awesome dinner at a place called Catfish Junction, which was a dead ringer for the Double Deuce in Roadhouse, save for the lack of Swayze and a bad country band. Great plate of fried fish and oysters, served up with a side of etouffee. The southerner in me was one happy kid. One thing that did make me chuckle was the “salad cart,” which had a big bowl of iceberg lettuce, a big bowl of slaw, 3 different kinds of pasta or noodle salads, pickle, some cucumbers, jalapenos and a few different dressings. Veggie toppings were clearly not a priority, but quite frankly if you come to a place called Catfish Junction looking for microgreens and some pickled cauliflower, then you probably try to special order food at crowded airport restaurants and can’t be helped anyway.

Dark, horrible iphone photo of Catfish Junction, aka, the Double Deuce II. The Double Deuce Deuce then?

One note to the airport operators in Alexandria, LA: you need a bar of some kind. Forcing people to fly without a preflight bloody mary is just cruel and unusual punishment.

Does flying bother you as much as it does me? Who is your favorite person to watch at the airport? And have you ever been on a flight when they have to fish out a belt extender for somebody?



Posted on January 12, 2012, in Food and Drink, Tao of JLo and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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