Last week was finals week at The Ohio State University, which, for me, meant a steady diet of energy drinks and 5-hour energy shots, writing papers, studying, and procrastination. A couple of nights ago, I had a six page philosophy paper* to write. I probably only spent like two hours actually writing the paper, but I ended up staying awake all night because rather than just crank it out quickly, I spent my time watching WWE, Super Dave Osborne, Kill Bill, Hoarders, and Dooley and Pals. As I write this, I've been awake for 60 of the last 64 hours, so if I begin to ramble on in a manner that resembles a crazed individual, that's the reason.
*When I went to turn the paper in at my teacher's office, I realized that I had stapled the last three pages in the wrong order. He wasn't there, so I asked a woman at a desk nearby if I could borrow her stapler. She gave me a somewhat perturbed look, and then said, "Yes, but only one staple." I was so shocked that I didn't even have a retort. How much does a staple cost? Like .000000001 cent? I've probably paid enough in tuition already for her to buy like a billion staples. It was absolutely the Jewiest display I've ever seen.
I do have a soft spot for the elderly … but no amount of generosity could allow me to tolerate this 77-year-old bitch. So I was extremely tired when I arrived at the airport for my flight home to Minneapolis. I absolutely despise airports. They have everything I hate: long lines, large crowds, and the possibility of a terrorist attack. I got my boarding pass and headed towards security. The lady who was checking the boarding passes asked the same question that every person at the airport always asks me: "Going home from college?" I always want to explain that I'm actually from Cincinnati, and my parents moved to Minnesota right before I went to college, and I've never actually lived there, and yada, yada, yada…but instead I decided to make things easy and just reply, "Yes."
I put my bags through the scanners, and I heard a beeping noise. The guard asked me if the bags in question were mine, and I answered in the affirmative. At that point, I was thinking I had made a mistake similar to the one I made at LAX when I accidentally left some toothpaste in my bag. But to my surprise, the guard said the flagged item was in my bookbag, not my suitcase. He said, "Well, it looks like a can. I bet you're a Mountain Dew type guy, aren't you?" So they took my bag down to the end of the line, opened it up, and guess what they found? A Natty can. I guess I had left it in there after my Mirror Lake jump.
Now, I was actually kind of worried that I was going to get in real trouble. I mean, I'm not 21, and those security people are kind of law enforcement officials, and I was scared that I had committed some type of federal crime or something. Anyway, I explained the Mirror Lake story to the guard, to which he replied, "At least we beat Michigan, right? Go Bucks!" and handed my bag back to me. Crisis averted.
As I went to sit at the gate, my mind was racing. I wouldn't really say I'm afraid of flying, but I definitely get a little bit worried. Plus, I had heard reports of like a foot of snow in Minnesota. So I kept having visions of both Steve Martin spending the night in some random airport in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and the crash scene in Castaway. The thing about flying that scares me is that I don't really understand it. Like, you can explain the history of the Wright Brothers, and the physics behind flight and all that shit, but I still don't think we should be riding in huge objects in the sky. It just doesn't sit well. It's like when Heinz came out with blue ketchup. It's weird, and you're kind of afraid to try it. In your heart you know it's probably all right, but you're tentative, nonetheless. But it's like Larry David says: "Nobody likes to fly. I don't even like to drive. And I don't like walking. So occasionally I don't know which mode of transportation to use." Seriously, though, if I had my car in Columbus, I would much rather have spent 13 hours driving than 3 hours in the airport/plane.
Once I finally got on the plane, I managed to have a couple of minor incidents before we even took off. I asked this middle-aged woman across the aisle from me if I could have a piece of gum. The air pressure in planes really gets to me for some reason. (When I flew to California, it was really bad—everything was intensely muted for like two weeks.) Now, about ten seconds earlier, this woman had given her husband a piece of gum, and I could see that her pack was almost entirely full. But when I asked, she replied, "No, I don't have any more." I”ll be the first to admit that I routinely lie about my gum quantities, but only when I have few pieces left. This woman had an obvious surplus of gum, and she couldn't share any? Unbelievable.
The other "run-in" occurred when the flight attendant (most of whom I usually find to be very obnoxious) told me my bag was too big and would have to be checked. Now, there was no way I was paying like forty bucks to check that bag. So there I was trying to shove it up above while she was trying to grab it back down—eventually I won. Unfortunately, to get her revenge, she then skipped me the first time she came around for drinks. (Don't you hate how soon they come around with the trash bag? You get your drink and about five seconds later they expect you to be finished with it.)
For the duration of the flight, I was seated next to a 77-year-old woman (yes, she told me her age). Even though I'm usually an asshole to everyone, I do have a soft spot for the elderly—probably because my grandparents are the shit. My grandpa was a Marine who got his leg run over by a goddamn tank, and he also was involved in the preparations for the Bay of Pigs (epic fail, but whatever). One of my grandmas is 1/8 Native American ("Cherokee Nay-tion! Cherokee Tri-hibe!" Sorry, I had to invoke Tim McGraw there). And my other grandma sends me a card for every holiday. I don't just mean the big ones, every holiday. We're talking Labor Day, Memorial Day, even Arbor Day. Last time I checked, I'm not an employed person, a dead soldier, or a tree hugger.
But no amount of generosity could allow me to tolerate this 77-year-old bitch. She talked the whole time. And I mean the whole fucking time. She talked about her son, who used to be a pilot, his three children, how he's now a consultant, and OH MY GOD KILL ME NOW. She played up the old person stereotype by telling me really obvious things. For example, she was telling me about her time in Europe, and she was like, "Did you know they drive on the left side of the road?" No. Fucking. Way. I didn't know that basic fact. Thank you for sharing it, you delusional old bag. And to make matters worse, she was obviously hard of hearing. Plus the plane was loud. So she didn't talk loud enough, and I probably missed like 75% of what she said anyway. And the few times I could offer a response, she couldn't hear me either, so basically it was a just a cluster-fuck of nods, pretend laughter, and acting like we could understand each other.
She finally let up for the last fifteenish minutes, so in all I got to read like ten pages of my book. Great. I do love landing on airplanes, though. Being in a window seat and watching the landing gear come down is the shit. It's like being inside a Transformer. When we got off the plane, the old woman was sort of lagging behind me. I decided to wait for her, and as she approached I said, "It was nice talking to you." She barely even looked at me, uttered "Yeah," and kept moving. Now, here I am, just trying to be nice to this old sack of shit after she just made my plane ride a living hell, and this is all she can muster? Not even a "Nice talking to you, too"? At least feign friendliness, you cunt. The end.