JERK OF THE WEEK: Jerks of the Flight - Live Retro Blog
I work every single day. In fact, a "day off" for me is spending 4-5 hours on this Web site. I don't really consider it work though, given that I used to run this site as a hobby in college. Thus, given how much time I put into this, I don't get to go on vacation all that much.
You may remember that I went to the Jersey Shore last July. I had four weeks' worth of jerks despite spending just four days down there. I still have nightmares about Pancake Thief trying to steal my precious pancake. I can't get, "Ey yo, you done wid dis pancake?" out of my head. Make it stop. Please make it stop!
Going into this summer, I figured I would go down the shore again, but another opportunity presented itself in early July - one that would require me to get on an airplane. This is significant because I hadn't flown since I was 14, when I went to Orlando with my family. This trip would also mean I would leave the Eastern time zone for the first time when I was 8 (another family trip to Phoenix and the Grand Canyon).
Why haven't I flown in 15 years, you ask? Several reasons:
1. Why would I leave my area? First of all, I have Oreos and Cheetos in my house, which I can purchase by simply taking a 3-minute walk to Bottom Dollar. For dinner, I can take a short ride to Wawa or Saladworks. Only a fool would venture elsewhere.
2. I like being in control, so boarding a plane doesn't sound too appealing to me. Sure, I can always get into an accident while driving, but at least I'm behind the wheel. My philosophy has always been that I wouldn't fly unless I actually was allowed to pilot the plane. And given that I don't know how to make scrambled eggs - or even where to purchase eggs - that was not a realistic scenario (though I should note that I believe it's easier to pilot a plane than make scrambled eggs.)
3. The most obvious reason is airport security. I never even thought about airplane terrorism prior to Sept. 11, but I was aware that they changed everything. I've heard stories about people being detained and anally probed because they fit the description of a terrorist. For those of you who don't know, terrorists are often white males around my age and white grandmas with walkers because those are the ones who often end up with fingers in their butthole. I value the sanctity of my butthole very much, so I did not want to be anally probed prior to my flight.
So, why did I put myself through the agony of flying? Well, it was my only opportunity to visit Awesome Girl Who Loves Football prior to the commencement of NFL training camp and preseason. I had to make the trip.
I had a great time there - I'll discuss it next week - but my flying experience was even worse than I imagined. So many terrible things happened that I had to create a live retro blog for it, just as I did back on St. Patrick's Day.
3:15: My flight was initially scheduled to depart 5:15 Monday evening, so I arrived at the airport exactly two hours early. I quickly learned, however, that it was postponed to 5:45. No big deal, I thought. That'll give me more time to buy and eat food prior to the flight.
3:20: I checked in and received my boarding pass. I then handed my luggage to the TSA (The Security of Airplanes?) or something like that. I walked up the stairs and followed the sign that said "security."
3:22: I walked down some stairs, continuing to follow the sign. I suddenly was back to the check-in area. What the hell? I walked around, back up the original stairs, and followed the sign back down the stairs again. Again, I was in the check-in area.
Seriously, what sorcery was this? Was the airport a maze, designed to confuse fat passengers like myself so they wouldn't be able to purchase tons of food prior to the flight? I was about to break down into tears when I spotted another sign for security near the transportation to center city. I don't know why there were two security signs, but I was glad that I was one step closer to scarfing down some pepperoni pizza.
3:35: The gate on the boarding pass was A7. Thus, I figured I had to get into Line 7 for security. I asked the security guard, a woman in her 30s with a Russian accent, whether I was walking into Line 6 or 7, since they curved and it was unclear which was which.
Me: Excuse me, is this Line 7?
Russian Security Guard: You mus go Line 6, to please.
Me: Why? My gate is A7.
Russian Security Guard: Line 6 have less peoples, to please.
Me: But my gate is A7!
Russian Security Guard: Gate iz not mean anysing. Go vhere less peoples.
The gate doesn't matter? Then why even print it on my boarding pass? One of two things was going on here. Either Russian Security Guard didn't know what the hell she was talking about or she was part of the conspiracy to keep me from eating lots of pepperoni pizza.
The latter was the more realistic possibility, so I disobeyed Russian Security Guard, opting to remain in Line 7. Russian Security Guard just shook her head and looked at me like I was stupid. I smirked back, knowing I foiled her effort to keep me from devouring food.
3:45: It was finally time for me to enter the security checkpoint. Awesome Girl Who Loves Football warned me that I would have to remove my shoes and take my laptop out of my bag. If this wasn't annoying enough, I also had to take off my belt. Luckily, my fatness prevented my shorts from falling off.
3:47: The security lady chided the guy in front of me for attempting to bring a snow globe onto the plane with him.
Security Lady: Why you tryin' to brang a snow globe onto the plane wit you?
Snow Globe Guy: Oh. Oops!
Security Lady: You aint allowed to be brangin' a snow slobe onto a plane, what are you stupid or somethin'? It don't matter what size - you can't brang a snow globe onto a plane.
Snow Globe Guy: No! I'm sorry!
Security Lady: Tryin' to brang a snow globe onto the plane, now I've seened everythang. Can you believe this guy tryin' to brangin' a snow globe onto the plane?
Snow Globe Guy looked like he was going to cry, but I didn't pity him. Who the hell carries a snow globe anyway? Those are the most useless things of all time. It'd be cool if you could crack it open, pick up the snow and chuck it at someone stupid, but snow globes don't allow you to do this, unfortunately.
3:49: I retrieved my laptop, shoes and belt. The same security lady looked at me suspiciously, almost as if she wanted to stick some of her fingers into my butthole, but she was still laughing at Snow Globe Guy.
Snow Globe Guy - I don't know what you do for a living, where you're from or even what your name is, but I want to thank you for saving me from an unpleasant afternoon of anal probing.
3:55: I found a bench to sit down and text Awesome Girl Who Loves Football. There was no one around me, save for a girl in her 20s who was sleeping on the other side. With the smell of pepperoni pizza wafting in the air, it seemed like everything would go smoothly...
3:56: I was texting when...
A fat lady sat next to me and shook the whole bench, causing the girl behind me to wake up, completely startled. This behemoth of a woman was disgusting. She must have weighed between 300 and 350 pounds. It's difficult to describe her scent in words, but my best attempt at doing so is "moldy cotton candy that has been unearthed from under a Ferris wheel that hasn't operated in five years." She had so much makeup on her face that she could have posed as a circus clown if she donned a rainbow-colored wig.
3:58: Texting proved to be quite difficult with the fat woman's stench permeating my nostrils. I had problems concentrating. In fact, I could barely breathe. The fat woman picked up her ringing cell phone and spoke in a Russian accent. And thus, she became known as Fat Russian Clown Lady.
4:02: Gasping for air, I finally finished my text. My mom called as soon as I hit send. As I was talking to her on the phone, I observed an Indian man carrying a McDonald's bag walking toward Fat Russian Clown Lady. Without even saying a word to her, he extended the McDonald's bag to her and then continued walking. Fat Russian Clown Lady beamed at the McDonald's bag as though she won the lottery.
4:06: If the Indian gift-giver wasn't weird enough, a small, Indian girl walked by Fat Russian Clown Lady. I was about to yell, "NO, YOU'RE GOING TO BE EATEN!" but then I noticed that she was holding a basket of chicken fingers. She gave them to Fat Russian Clown Lady and continued to walk on by, also never to be seen again.
What the hell was going on here? Why were random Indian people feeding this woman? Did she pay them to buy her food because she didn't feel like wobbling around? Or did she kidnap their families and threaten to devour them if the man and the little girl didn't bring food to her? If so, it's ridiculous that she squeaked through security. If only the security lady wasn't so obsessed with snow globes.
4:10: I noticed this guy eating a slice of pizza. Oh yeah, pizza! I washed my hands and hurried over to the airport pizzeria. I purchased one slice of pepperoni pizza. I normally would have eaten eight or nine, but I was nervous about flying and going on the trip in general.
4:25: I washed my hands and carried the slice of pizza over to my spot on the bench. To my complete dismay, Fat Russian Clown Lady lost about 200 pounds. I'm not kidding. A woman, who had a similar face, wearing the same outfit and makeup as her, was seated in her spot.
I didn't know what to do. It was like I was in the Twilight Zone or something. Was she never fat to begin with? Am I that desperate to make fun of fat women that I see them as 200 pounds heavier than they really are? Or did the McDonald's food and chicken fingers somehow shrink her?
4:27: Never mind. I located Fat Russian Clown Lady, and she was still as big as a nose tackle. She apparently rolled herself to another bench for some reason, and a woman who wore the same outfit and clown makeup as her took her spot.
4:28: I opened my triangular pizza box, trying my best to hide the slice of pizza from Fat Russian Clown Lady's sight. I didn't want her to use her Jedi mind trick and telepathically convince me to give her my food, which is obviously what she did with the two Indians.
4:29: NOM NOM NOM PEPPERONI PIZZA NOM NOM NOM!!!
4:30: NOM NOM NOM PEPPERONI PIZZA NOM NOM NOM!!!
4:31: NOM NOM NOM PEPP... wait... where the hell is my boarding pass!?
My boarding pass was missing. I was holding it before, but now it was gone. Did I forget it at the pizzeria? Did I leave it in the bathroom? Or did Fat Russian Clown Lady accidentally swallow it as she was engulfing her chicken fingers?
4:35: I looked in the pizzeria, but found nothing. I then walked toward the bathroom, when this Mexican guy held up a boarding pass and asked me if it was mine. Phew. My boarding pass was not lodged in Fat Russian Clown Lady's stomach next to McDonald's food and chicken fingers.
4:37: NOM NOM NOM PEPPERONI PIZZA NOM NOM NOM!!!
5:07: I spent the next half hour texting and observing potential jerks. Unfortunately, the best I found was an old lady sporting a turban and a gray mustache. She didn't do anything that I could have made fun of, unfortunately. And to make matters worse, she obviously did not have fingers shoved up her butthole because she had a turban on her head.
5:10: The people behind the counter made an announcement for the passengers to check their bags. Check their bags? Weren't we supposed to do that when we first arrived at the airport? Wait, did I give my bag to the wrong people? Is my bag on its way to the other side of the world right now?
5:15: I approached the Mexican guy behind the desk. I asked him what would happen if we checked our bags when we first walked into the airport. He looked at me like I was an idiot and said that the bags would be on the plane.
That was a relief, but I still don't understand what happened. Why did we have to check in our bags downstairs when we could have done so at the gate? Seems kind of stupid, no? Whatever. I'm sure it's all a plan to keep passengers from eating tasty food, but I've already eluded their plot to screw me over - and I haven't even flown in 15 years! Noobs.
5:30: All aboard Frontier Airlines! They called us up to be seated. I was so nervous that I nearly crapped my pants.
5:35: I sat down. My seat was sandwiched between one belonging to a 50-year-old woman and another that was occupied by a 40-year-old wearing tons of makeup. I was puzzled as to why most of the women at the airport thought that it would be a good idea to make themselves look like clowns on this particular day. Is this a new fad? And why can't us men be involved? People say men and women are equal, so why aren't men allowed to dump makeup on our faces to look like clowns? It's not fair.
5:40: I noticed that the "fasten seatbelt" sign was on, so I figured I should fasten my seat belt. Unfortunately, I couldn't do it. Seriously. I tried sticking the tongue into the buckle, and it kept undoing itself. I tried it five times, and I kept getting the same result. The 50-year-old woman gave me a "what the f*** is wrong with you" look.
Me: I think it's broken!
50-Year-Old Woman: No, it's not.
Me: Yes it is! It won't go in. I can't stick it into the hole!
50-Year-Old Woman: That's because you have the buckle facing the wrong way.
Oops. I flipped the buckle around, and the tongue went in flawlessly. Completely embarrassed, I decided that I was never flying ever again.
5:45: Time for takeoff! I texted my parents, sister and Awesome Girl Who Loves Football that my plane was about to leave the ground.
5:55: Still on the ground.
6:00: Still on the ground.
6:05: Still on the ground. Finally, the pilot announced, "We have some maintenance issues that we hope will be resolved in a matter of minutes."
A matter of minutes? That doesn't sound too bad. The 50-year-old woman, however, was more pessimistic.
50-Year-Old Woman: Ugh. The last time I flew Frontier, they made everyone get off the plane because of maintenance and then they ultimately canceled the flight.
Me: Really? Well they said a "matter of minutes."
50-Year-Old Woman: You honestly believe that? We're going to be here all night.
Me: But. I. But. Need to fly out. Vacation. Pepperoni Pizza.
50-Year-Old Woman: Yep. We're going to be here awhile.
6:15: One of the stewardesses addressed us: "There's a maintenance issue with the plane. We're going to ask everyone to get off the plane while the problem is being fixed."
Everyone moaned and groaned. Someone in the back even yelled, "F*** Frontier, they f***ing did this to me again!"
6:25: Once everyone was off the plane, a tall, skinny guy wearing a green Frontier Airlines polo shirt made an announcement: "Don't venture far from the gate. We're working on this problem right now, and we hope to have it fixed in an hour. Don't worry - our crew is fresh!"
Some of the responses I heard from people standing around me:
"Who the f*** cares about the crew being fresh!? We want to f***ing fly already!"
"Ugh, not this again! F*** you Frontier!"
6:30: The people who were going to this particular location were mad enough. Those who really had a beef with this delay were the ones who were reconnecting to a different flight. They were really screwed over. The Frontier employees asked the "reconnecters" to stand in line so they could redirect them to a different flight.
The guy in the polo shirt then said something that really pissed people off: "I apologize, but we won't be able to get your bags off this plane, so you'll have to retrieve them on a later date if you book a different flight. This is what we call Voluntary Bag Separation."
This nearly caused a riot. If the "reconnecters" had pitchforks and torches, they would have lynched the guy in the polo shirt right on the spot. A short, fat, eunuch with an ugly tattoo on its leg standing in that line commented, "Sounds like involuntary separation to me. F***ing idiots."
6:40: As the "reconnecter" line moved slowly, the polo shirt guy made another announcement: "There's a chip on one of the blades. The maintenance crew is working on it, and we have to hear back from headquarters to get the green light."
We've been delayed for an hour and a half because of a freaking chip on one of the blades? Can't they just fix it with Scotch tape or Elmer's glue? Why is it taking them this long?
6:45: No one seemed to buy that we were boarding soon. People continuously asked the polo shirt guy if he knew when we would be leaving, but he kept saying, "We should hear back from headquarters any minute."
7:05: "Any minute" transformed into 20 minutes. I stood next to the 50-year-old woman, whom I overheard mention that there was another flight out to my destination at 8:45. We figured it was better than not going at all, so we got in line to see if they would be able to rebook us on that plane.
7:20: We finally were able to speak to one of the Frontier employees.
Me: Hi, is there a flight out to the same destination on United Airlines at 8:45.
Frontier Employee: Yes there is!
50-Year-Old Woman: Can we book a flight on there if the blade isn't fixed in an hour?
Frontier Employee: No, I'm sorry, but we won't be able to do that.
Me: What? Why not?
Frontier Employee: That's not our policy. If you want a ticket, you'll have to buy one from United Airlines. Their terminal is on your left, down the hall.
Not your policy, eh? So what exactly is your policy? We quickly found out.
7:30: The Mexican guy behind the counter made an announcement that he hoped would please everyone: "Attention, Frontier passengers! We appreciate your patience with our delay. We wish to reimburse you for this, so we'd like to give you a $50 voucher that you can use on your next flight with Frontier!"
You can imagine what the reaction was. More moaning, more groaning, more swearing. Multiple people shouted, "Not going to use it because I'm never flying f***ing Frontier again!"
I was equally appalled. Seriously, $50? What the hell is that all about? No one flying on this plane - if it would even leave the ground - would ever choose Frontier again. What they should have done is give a voucher for a free flight anytime in the future. People would have used that because it was free, and if Frontier didn't screwed up that next time, they would have regained confidence in the company. But not this way. I'm personally never choosing Frontier ever again.
7:40: The polo shirt guy made another announcement: "There was a small chip on one of the blades. It's being fixed, and we're just waiting for the green light from headquarters."
This angered more people, including one guy who shouted, "We know that, you f***ing idiot!"
Oh, and what is this green light from headquarters? Seriously, if it's fixed, why can't we just fly? This bureaucratic bulls**t is why nothing ever gets done. I was so frustrated that I was about to check out United Airlines when...
7:43: "Frontier passengers, the problem has been fixed, and we are now boarding!"
So, they were fixing the chip three minutes ago, but they suddenly repaired it and heard back from headquarters? Well, that was quick. Or maybe the guy in the polo shirt was simply kept out of the loop, which frustrated everyone because he had no news to report.
7:48: I walked onto the plane. The Mexican guy handed me the $50 voucher, as promised. I would later wipe my a** with it after dropping a deuce.
8:05: Once everyone was seated, the guy in the polo shirt made his final announcement of the evening: "Thanks for your patience. If there is anything we can do to make your flight more uncomfort... I mean comfortable..."
Everyone erupted in laughter upon his Freudian slip. I'm not even sure what he said afterward because his voice was drowned out because everyone was making fun of him. He was completely frazzled, stuttering through the rest of his announcement. Good. He can rot inside Fat Russian Clown Woman's stomach as far as I'm concerned.
11:45: Three hours of my life were lost because of some stupid chip on one of the blades. And then there were the four hours on the plane. The 50-year-old woman snored, the 40-year-old woman breathed into my face when she was sleeping, and I'm sure the Fat Russian Clown Lady was eating all of the food somewhere in the back.
But the good news was that I finally arrived to my destination. I had a great time, yet still encountered many jerks. I'll discuss them next week.