Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pinky Swear, I'm Not a Terrorist

I just missed my flight.

But don't worry, it gets better…

I missed said flight because while I was rushing to make it to my gate I was "randomly" selected for extra terrorist screenings.

Really? This again?

The lady “helping” me looked like she could be part of some geriatric outreach program as she directed me to the separate screening area. She was being trained by a much younger stone-faced woman. The younger employee assisted the older one as she explained to the other the process of what to do. She took my bag, opened it, and one by one started taking out every piece that was tightly packed inside and swiped it with some cloth which was then put into a machine and scanned for what I assumed was to detect explosive materials.

Now if this were just a fluke one time thing I think I'd be handling the situation much much better, but the truth is that 6 out of 5 times I go to the airport (yes, it's happened twice in one trip) for some reason I am the one always "randomly" selected to a.) get felt up by TSA, repeatedly and b.) receive my 'Most likely to be a terrorist' of the month award (post groping) without recieving as much as a thank you text the next day. 


I have been screened so many times that I have the whole screening script memorized which ends up sounding like a horrible second date that ends with the guy getting slapped across the face, "...and for sensitive areas I will use the back of my hands."

You're right TSA; go ahead, what's mine is yours.

I have good reason to believe I've been black-listed by most major airlines. My email has even been banned from signing up for the Jet Blue rewards program. #truestory

I mean come on... do I really look like a terrorist?

... in my defense #badlighting

So here I wait, in the airport, for 5 more hours until my next flight. To avoid going crazy and unleashing on airport employees and proving TSA's right about profiling me, I went and bought a caramel apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory to calm myself down.


It seems to be working.

As I sit alone on the bench, not caring where the cinnamon from the caramel apple falls, while I'm stranded here, I'll tell you about my recent redeye flight experience.

I like booking red eye flights for a few reasons:

a.) I would be able to sleep on the plane (thank you Ambien.)

b.) I would be able to get to there early and not waste a day traveling #fearofmissingout

I booked my flight with Jet Blue, because lets get real...  Jet Blue gives you the whole can of Coke.

...It's the little things that sway me.

[Interjection: The flight that just left me as an orphan to be savaged by TSA was Delta... just saying.]

When I was booking my flight online I got to the part where you can conveniently choose your own seat, which ironically, turns out is the hardest part, especially when you're the most indecisive human being ever made.

Indecisiveness was just the start of my problems... I found myself over analyzing the whole situation the second that this little guy popped up in front of me on my screen.


Hmmm... where to sit?

The conversation I had with myself for the next few minutes went a little something like this:

Me: Okay I could sit in row 12 and hope that the entire row stays free. Then I could just sprawl out and switch sides of the plane whenever I'd like during the flight. (If you don't treat yourself, who will?)
Me: No, lets be realistic... whoever is in row 13 is going to have a cold, the plague, or worse, children... and end up coughing behind you the entire flight, breathing and launching out their sick particles over your shoulder and onto your lap for roughly four hours and twenty three minutes.
Me: Okay, 12 is out. How about row 15 Seat B, on the left? I could complete the little vertical green bubble train. Fun, no?
Me: OCD much?

After refreshing the page at least three times (you're only allowed 8 minutes to pick your seat before it runs out of time, releases your seats, and makes you start all over again from the beginning) I finally made a decision:



Seat 17D. Aisle Seat.

In hopes that I would be able to spread out my legs a little, use the bathroom whenever I want, and possibly get the whole row to myself if no one else takes the other seats. I thought I had made a pretty good decision.


Oh how painfully wrong I was.

Little did I know that I'd be pick the only seat on the entire aircraft that would end up making me so angry that my ears would literally get red and hot (does that happen to anyone else when they’re mad?)

When I boarded I was the only one in the row and after they made the final boarding calls I thought, "Wow! I really do get the whole aisle to myself!" Sitting across the aisle from me was some baller kid; 6'18", basketball shorts, jersey, sideburn steps, and flat brimmed hat... naturally, it was my social responsibility to hate him a little. To which I obliged. What I didn't know was that he would be the least of my concerns during the flight. Right before they closed the cabin doors... THEY came.

And THEY sat here..

They seemed friendly at first. That is until they opened their mouths. They were two middle aged women that had clearly just come straight from the bar with alcohol on their breath, clothes, and fake Louis Vuitton bags. While everyone was silent in the middle of the night trying to fall asleep for the midnight flight, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum on the other hand would NOT shut up. 90% of what came out of their mouth was complaining and cussing out the other at roughly the decibel level of any kitchen appliance used for mixing things. 

Everyone around us kept looking over to them giving the international "shut up" glare and I was stuck right in the middle of it all. Doing my best to make it apparent that I was in no way part of their group. I looked over to the baller guy to my left as he said, "Dude, I want to kill them. I feel so sorry for you." I agreed.

It didn't stop. 20 minutes into the flight the two bitter drunk chatty Kathy's were now ranting vehemently about how much they hated Zooey Deschanel and how she's wasn't cute and couldn't figure out why anyone would think so. So there I was, sitting next to two big bitter crones bitching about how "ugly" Zooey Deschanel is..

Nope.  Can't do it. No more! 

I have my limits.

Anyone with a heartbeat knows that Zooey Deschanel is adorable. Whether you hate her or not, you know she’s adorable. It’s like a law of nature; sky is blue, fire is hot, and Zooey Deschanel is cute. For some reason, this was the straw that broke the camels back for me. I was more than ready to take my Ambien to peace out and leave the rest of the plane to deal with these two but I reached down only to find out I had drank all the water from my water bottle before going through security. So I had to wait another ten minutes, now listening to “dating” stories, until the seatbelt lights went off. 

The second they did go off, I dashed to the back of the plane and begged the stewardess for a cup of water. She clearly knew with whom I was seated with because she gave me an entire bottle of water accompanied with the most sympathetic look in her eyes.

After I took my sleep aide, the one sitting right next to me started tapping my arm. I looked over and she blasted, “My friend needs to pee.” I passive aggressively glared over as I moved out to the aisle while she got out of the way for her friend, who stumbled out of the seats. I went to go sit back down but the friend didn’t move back into her seat, she kept standing in the aisle between me and my seat. I said excuse me when she looked back and said, “Don’t worry, she’s really fast.” expecting me to wait in the aisle until her friend was done. “No.” I replied as I nudged her out of my way and I sat back down in my seat. She looked appalled and complained to her friend when she made it back from the bathroom about fifteen minutes later when I had to let them both back in.

Around that time the sleeping aide had started to kick in and their chatter slowly faded into the distance before I was out. At some point in the middle of the flight I almost came to conscience as I felt something pushing on my leg. I remember debating in my semi-out-of-it state if I should wake up or if I should go back to sleep. It took me all of two seconds to remember, “No. I hate them.” and drifted back to sleep.

I regained consciousness as we were landing. After we had landed I heard the two women who were not trying hard to hide their whispers, the one sitting next to me said to her friend, “I can’t believe he was asleep and didn’t know what was going on.” The friend sneered back, “Oh.. he knew.” I wasn’t quite sure what I had done to make them so mad at me, which made me nervous and yet extremely pleased at the same time.

As I exiting the plane the two divas continued to glare at me and the 6’18” baller turned around to me and said, “Dude, I’m sorry - they raped you like at least four times during the flight to get out and use the bathroom.” 

Now that I was awake I could remember more what was going on more clearly when they almost woke me up the first time. She wasn’t pushing on my leg. She was straddling my leg trying to cross over me. I laughed and told my new flight friend that I had taken an Ambien and was completely out for all of it. He told me he wished I had an extra one for him because they only got more annoying as the flight went on but that watching them try to wake up the deadweight next to them and crawling over me to use the bathroom over and over again because of all the drinking they had done before the flight was entertainment enough to make up for it. 

While the thought of being straddled by those two while unconscious was incredibly unsettling, the pure joy of payback definitely outweighed the cons.

Morals of Post:
  • Never drink four containers of wine in a box from Walmart before getting on a plane. Everyone will hate you, and mark my words.. you will pay. #karma
  • Never judge a baller by his cover. You just might become best flying friends.

UPDATE I: I recently flew out for a job interview with my work partner who is a little blonde California dame so I thought surely just traveling with her would severely decrease my appearance of being a terrorist. 

Unfortunately, said work partner just so happens to have a Jewish boy's first name and a German last name - which turns out raises about two dozen other red flags. We got stopped and were questioned before they would even let us into the security section. They asked what we did for a living, why we were traveling, blah, blah, blah, beat around the bush, blah, blah, are you a terrorist, blah, blah, okay you can go through, blah blah, but we'll be watching you... so my buddy system of traveling kind of blew up in my face. #noted

UPDATE II: Apparently I missed the 'bring your own meals on the plane' memo. I just had two connecting flights and on the first flight there was an old man who argued with the stewardess wanting to keep his lunch box with him for take off but the stewardess won and made him stow it in the overhead compartment. Mid-flight I look over to see the man back with his lunch box eating a ham and cheese sandwich. 

On the next flight, after take-off, the family infront of me had somehow conjured up fried chicken drumsticks and distributed them to their kids with plates of macaroni and cheese (??) Then the man sitting right next to me started chomping on... well to tell you the truth, I have no idea what he was eating that could possibly be capable of being that loud and crunchy, but he polished off the entire baggie of them. One horse bite at a time. 

Then he stood up on his seat with his bare feet (???) to get into the overhead bin (which he could have easily reached without standing on his seat) and he too pulled out a lunch box/bag. What happened next was definitely a first for me, he pulled out an air sealed bag (like the kind you can do yourself with one of those As Seen On TV machines) with so much turkey inside. He stabbed the bag and sliced it open and started eating the turkey with a fork right out of the bag (????) Who are these people? Then he proceded to pull out at least two liters of water bottles (with what looked like lemonade inside) that he aggressively tried stuffing into the pouch in front of his seat. 

I'm sorry, but how is it that he can make it through security with enough liquid to cross the Mojave desert and I can't even make it through with a just carryon and adhering to all TSA regulations?! #profiling


  1. SO glad I was there for Update II, that guy next to you was indeed cray cray and thanks for taking one for the team by sitting next to him so I didn't have to endure that. But it made for a great blog post addition, yes?

    Also, have you noticed how you've NEVER been flagged/screen/groped/profiled whenever we've flown together? I am the picture of innocence so maybe you should always take me with you on your flying adventures. #justsaying

  2. Sweet mercy. The best AND worst things happen to you. Such is your lot. You are such a champion through it all. When can we travel together? Also, I just tried calling you to catch you during your 5 hour layover. #noluck

  3. Oh brother. I scrolled through this before I read it and was amazed at how long this post is. But, hawkesauce, I read the whole entire thing. Welcome back.

  4. What about the part where you might look like a nice tanned California hippie? My guess is you're being pinned as a medicinal card carrying pot smoker who thinks he can fool tfa and smuggle a few happy joints in his rolled socks. This isnt the first rodeo cowboy. Lay off the sun and opt for a jock look next time, see what happens. Secondly, Utah is the worst for airport security they let everyone pass in NY. In SLC they scrutinize everyone. As for the women? I feel like those people are on every flight, my condolences for sitting next to them. When are you coming back to the east coast friend?

  5. I got profiled in Copenhagen airport. Lost my whole study abroad group and they made me empty ALL the contents of my bags in the middle of the terminal. AS I WAS LEAVING the airport. Guess I look like a terrorist too!


  6. Zooey never impressed me at all. I guess it is that bad movie I saw her in.

  7. Oh Hawk! Your life is always such an adventure! Do you remember when we drove up to Park City to buy Caramel Apples for Mother's Day for your mom at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory? I'm starting to wonder if maybe we really went there for YOU and you just told me they were for you mom...hmm...I learn new things everyday! :)

  8. I get genuinely upset whenever I think about you almost getting R'd by those nasty hoes on the plane. Wait, am I allowed to say hoe?


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