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Flying for Dummies: The Rematch!

Posted by darren

Let's try this again! My friends have sufficiently bashed my self worth into the ground over my previous gaff of missing my flight to Arkansas while I was anxiously waiting at the gate several hours early, but who will win this time??

Because of my epic failure, I decided to rebook the flight to Little Rock over the Fourth of July weekend. That way I could:

  1. Redeem what little respect I might still retain,
  2. Drink heavily without requiring attendance to those pesky weddings, and
  3. Did I mention drinking?

Morgan told me it wouldn't happen. Fate wanted me to stay in DC forever. The airlines, no God himself, would prevent me from making it to my short vacation destination. He was almost right. Almost. The day started off innocuously enough. I made it through the Reagan airport security gates with relative ease (although my pants almost fell off without my belt, those poor ladies behind me).

After sitting for 15 minutes at my gate, I realized it said Nashville, but my layover was in Memphis....

Knowing full well I could not fail a second time without supreme antagonism, I asked the lady where my flight was going to be. Of course, they moved my flight gate, but neglected to announce the change.

First point, Darren!

I have bested the system! Nothing else could go wrong! I manage to arrive in Memphis with no delays, and no lost luggage. As I am running to my connecting flight, halfway down the terminal they switch gates on the digital departure information... twice....

I have effectively zig-zagged around Terminal B. The three different gates were, of course, on opposite sides.

Yet through these adversities I triumphed. I made it onto the correct flight and arrived in Arkansas.

Second point, Darren!

Now the funny thing about travel is that you're so relieved to get where you're going, you forget that you also have to actually get back to where you started. I planned ahead because I knew that my Saturday partying would leave me with a Sunday hangover, so I got the latest flight I could muster: a 4pm departure.

Again, I made it into the Little Rock terminal with relative ease. Things were finally looking up, minus the airport rickrolling me with their overhead sound system.

It's taking unusually long to start boarding, when we are greeted with, "the plane is experiencing minor technical difficulties, please bare with us as technicians correct the problem."

So this is what God has up his sleeves, to kill me in the air? Nice.

The plane ends up being delayed by 30 minutes, but I would still have 30 minutes to spare for the Memphis connection flight. No worries. I check the times before we leave, and my connecting flight is still "on time," which is airport lingo for 10 minutes behind.

I arrive in Memphis. Again.

I manage to weave through the crowded terminal to get to my gate, but the departure time has been pushed back 15 minutes. Fine, I'm in Memphis, might as well get some barbecue. I get a pulled pork sandwich and come back not five minutes later.

The flight has been delayed from 15 minutes to ONE HOUR. How did I not see that coming? At least I'll have time to enjoy my meal.

After I'm done eating, the departure time has been bumped up again... to TWO HOURS. I'm starting to see a trend.

Then the time was bumped up 30 more minutes! Awesome!

Fortunately I prepared for the delays and brought a video player, where I watched Bleach and Naruto and wished that I was in Japan, where I could take the bullet train everywhere.

Time passes, the plane finally starts to board. Could the adventure be over? Unfortunately no. While we were seating, the pilot informed us that we would be stuck in the aircraft for another hour. Thunderstorms in DC or something of that nature. I would be forced to sit in the plane, and either make small talk with the people next to me or stare into the seat tray.

Every time I fly, I always ask God to bring me a hot, young actress to sit beside me. I imagine her being the one for me, and we'll have 80 kids that all look better looking than your kids.

God apparently doesn't think too highly of my vanity and rewards me with the worst airplane neighbors possible. This time was no exception. The plane is finishing boarding, but the seat to my right is still empty. Who will it be? Selma Hayek? Anne Hathaway? That chick from Iron Man?

Instead of those lovely suggestions, my new single-serving friend is a guy who looks like Michael Moore and is quite possibly four times my size. His sides cover my armrest completely. He smells like old cheese.

I'm sorry for all the morbid details, but I want to illustrate my point for "realism" because everybody experiences bad flights.

For example, mid-flight he took the magazines out of the seat pouch in front of him for two reasons:

  1. So his legs would have more room, and
  2. So he could use the rolled up magazines to insulate his fat arms from his man boobs.

He hid them in his fat folds the way a gerbil hides a seed in his cheek. Later, he did the same thing with his water bottle, even grosser.

When we finally got off the ground, the left part of my body was freezing cold, but the right part of my body (the part closest to Swamp Thing) felt like it was about to melt off. That man put out more heat than an electric blanket. I now know what it feels like to go through menopause.

We finally land, which is a good thing because I'm about to pass out from the extreme temperatures and noxious fumes of armpit. My trip from Little Rock to Washington DC has ended.

And it only took me eight hours to do it.

All in all, I made it to my destination and back. That's a victory right? I thought about it long and hard, did I really "win" this rematch? I still have to say no, because I never want to travel ever again.

Screw you guys.