Finally Take Off – Red Deer Advocate
Let’s see, where was I? Oh yeah, last time I complained about being online forever and ever at an airport with an electronic boarding pass that had no more electrons.
Or, at least, somehow my ticket had disappeared into cyberspace and was nowhere to be found on my phone. That in itself isn’t surprising given that the only things I can seem to find on my phone are things I’m not looking for and things I don’t want to find. But that’s especially problematic when you’re standing in front of a very long queue spitting an apology at someone on board an airline while several dozen (hundreds?) of naturally impatient travelers bubble up intensely and mumble loudly behind you. .
The solution to the problem, of course, is obvious. Find someone between the ages of 12 and 32 and politely ask them to help you with your phone. It will be solved in 10-20 seconds. And it was. The boarding pass was apparently “filed” in some kind of “folder” in my “data” and I was looking for something called “Blue Tooth” or maybe “Black Tongue”. Still not sure. Thing is, the better half and I finally made it through security.
Thereupon we encountered another crowd of tired, grumpy people. All the uncomfortable chairs have been taken and it has just been nonchalantly announced that the flight will be “a little delayed”. Nobody was exceptionally surprised and nobody was particularly happy. And sure enough, the sun was barely rising and the airport’s only restaurant offered cold coffee and stale muffins. At the other end of an airport the size of a small town.
When the plane finally arrived and they opened the can of sardines for us sardines to pack us in there we found that the better half was in row 10 and yours truly was stuffed in the middle seat in row 28. You see, we were traveling “on a budget” and the “ultra-low fare airline” charges 20 smack-a-roos each to choose a seat. And I guess when you don’t shell out the extra bucks, the vengeful computer robot makes sure to reserve your seats as far apart as possible.
And, predictably, in my row, the person sitting by the window was a tall man who liked to spread out, and the person on the other side was a lady who was apparently aiming for the Guinness World Record for an incessant conversation. And I felt sorry for both of them because they were sitting next to me.
So, as one does, I slipped into the space provided for a rather small capuchin monkey and immediately pretended to be sound asleep before we even took off. It did not work.
Push, push, push. The lady sitting in the aisle, giving me a nudge. “I don’t like flying much, do I?” she says. And before I could respond, she casually continued, “I hope you don’t mind if I grab your arm.” ” It was just the beginning.
As the sardine on my left continued to nudge me in the ribs, I learned the whole family history of the sardine on the right, including the fact that she didn’t get along very well with her sister, and when we finally landed bumpy, she did indeed suddenly grab my arm with some pretty sharp fingernails.
But, really, why am I complaining? It was a safe trip and the three airline staff members tried very hard and we were able to go somewhere nice for a short while. And it was an adventure. And what is life without adventure?
Harley Hay is an author and filmmaker from Red Deer. You can email him column ideas at [email protected]