QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Flying is funny, and Chicago needs porta pots

Right after a long road trip home from Thanksgiving in Atlanta (everyone else on I-95 left at the same time as we did, apparently), I left the next morning for a business trip to Chicago on United Airlines, whose hub is Chicago O'Hare. That's not necessarily important, but someday you might get that on a trivia question or something, so I'm just trying to educate here...

chapter 1. After 12 1/2 hours in the car with 5 other family members the previous day (no offense to any of y'all), the very last thing I wanted to do on my flight was chat incessantly (or really at all) with the person next to me. I sat down on the plane the next morning, strapped in to my window seat, and took out a book (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), clue # 1 that I am not interested in chatting.

Friendly but apparently blind and/or stupid, the guy next to me chuckled: "guess I'm the guy in the middle," as if it were a title or something. I think he wanted me to switch with him, which was not going to happen in a million, gadzillion years. nfw, buddy.

I am not apt to be rude, so I answered as concisely as I could: "yeah. sucks." I said it in a nice way. I did.

Hint not taken. He launched into his life story. I wasn't interested. I nodded my head courteously and kept my head pointed toward my book.

Finally, I said: "well, I'm gonna get back to my book," which prompted him to ask me ABOUT the book I was reading and ALL of the books I've ever read in my life. For crying out loud, buddy. Bring something to entertain yourself next time. I don't care what it is. But I am not your entertainment. capiche? I finally had to close my eyes and take a short nap to shut him up. Thank goodness it's only an hour and a half flight.

Chapter 2 - in which I run (among myriad other runners and cyclers) 11 miles along the lake front on a bucolic morning at 6 am, lake on one side of me, perfectly beautiful blue sky as the sun is rising, and gorgeous Chicago skyline on the other side. ahhhh. These are the days that make me love running and being a runner. If only there had been a porta potty, it would have been perfection. Luckily, um, there was a bird sanctuary which offered some cover.

Chapter 3 - We saw The Blind Side over Turkey Day break, and it was fabulous. My 11-year-old sat up in the front of the theatre away from the rest of us (don't ask). I have a little habit of laughing out loud at a pretty high volume in movie theaters (and everywhere... thus the title of my blog, partially) and a little longer than everyone else. At the end of the movie, when we reconvened with the 11-year-old, he said: "Mom, I heard you laughing really loudly...and I thought to myself, 'that's my mom...' "

I told you that story to make this story more meaningful.

So I'm on my United airlines flight home. As everyone was boarding, the head flight attendant did a "destination check," the humorous perspective of which I have heard before.

"Folks," he explained, "this is a flight to the land of pleasant living, which is Baltimore, Maryland. If that's not where you're going, you have a problem. Look around, grab your belongings and anyone who's with you and see if you can figure out where you're going."

I had heard a similar version of this before, so I was mildly amused - but then he kept going.

"People," he continued, "turn and look over your shoulder as you are, no doubt, trying to fit the oversized bag you refused to check into the overhead bin. You'll notice that, almost assuredly, there are people behind you. Waiting for you. If you could kindly step into the row and let those people pass so that they could, in turn, block other people, we would very much appreciate it."

Well that did it for me. I busted out laughing pretty loudly and noticed that no one else was. What a bunch of dorks. It was funny, people...

As we were coming in for a landing I also loved the variation in his spiel: "Thanks for flying the friendly skies with us," he said. "We realize you have your choice of financially-strapped airlines, and we're glad you chose United."

I need to fly United more often.


  1. I LOVE flight attendants with a sense of humor. I seem to mainly encounter the snarky ones, but on the rare occasion I meet someone pleasant and humorous, I am overjoyed.

    P.S. I hate O'Hare. No good restaurants. I know that was not the point of this tale, but I just wanted to share that with you.

  2. Oh yeah; the bane of my running existence...the need for a potty somewhere close by.

    I must have the leave me alone aura...no one ever tries to strike up a conversation with me on an airplane. It's a gift I suppose. I'd like to sit next to you though and chat about books. Wow, I just read this comment over and it is me me me. oops.

    Good wordage!

  3. LMAO! I love it! I'm also a loud laugher & my 4 year old has sadly taken in my footsteps. I'm sure he'll figure out by 11 that he needs to sit on the other side of the theater...and the other end of the plane. HA!

  4. Sometimes all you can do is laugh.

    I know what you mean about needing the porta-potty on a run!

  5. LOL....too funny! Thanks, I needed a good before going to sleep laugh. :)

  6. Those moments when you are the lone chuckler prove that you're smarter than most people, despite the fact that you peed in the bushes at the Chicago lakefront.

    FYI; I'm the person who takes a book so I WON'T talk them to death. If we ever sit together on a plane you'll be very pleased.

  7. Well if it means anything, I thought the flight attendent's speech was funny; I'd have been laughing right along with you. I like sarcasm, it suits me! Oh and the book, "The girl with the dragon tattoo" is pretty awesome. Also it is a relatively heavy book so next time just smash it into the side of the guys face and I'll bet he'll leave you alone!

  8. Awesome.

    I was once on a SouthWest flight where the guy made us wave to all the other planes next to us and then stick our tongues out at them because they all overpaid and we didn't.

    Man...being a gay male flight attendant must be great.

  9. Great post! I'm laughing out loud right now. No pun intended, really.

    And yes, running in Chicago is great. My favorite city in the world. Give me the Lakeshore trail, and I'd never have to run anywhere else again.

  10. gotta love fun airlines, when you think about it, must be hard to spice things up flight after flight.

    sounds like a great run in Chicago! My husband was there this week for work as well, hope he brought me something better than an airport present!

  11. Southwest Airlines is known for that kind of stuff. Always nice to see others with a sense of humor.

  12. Funny guy! My husband would have guffawed right along with you. He's got some serious decibels on his laugh.

  13. I do the SAME laughing thing. So much so that I often get the response of turn-around-and-look-at-the-loud-laughing-girl.

  14. You need one of these...


    Don't ask me how I know they exist because I'm definitely no runner!

  15. Flying has become such a miserable experience that any, even bad, humor is appreciated (I'm elite on two different carriers). Laughter definitely beats someone near me farting all the way to Vegas (i.e., 3.5 hours of relentless methane). On that flight, the middle exit seat beside me was open and I actually thought, mistaken as always, it might be a pleasant trip.


Please feel free to let me know what you think - especially if you like it. If not, please reconsider (just kidding!) I can take constructive criticism! Really I can...