An airport employee is directly to my right, talking loudly on her cell phone in a language I cannot understand. She has removed her shoes. It could be a while before this gibberish ceases. Once, many minutes ago, this corner of SeaTac in the B concourse was nice and peaceful, a place I could write and work and daydream simultaneously. Now, however, my slice of Utopia has been infiltrated by loud cell phone talkers.
It’s 10:18 a.m. I’m getting ready to board a plane that will take me to Los Angeles. From there, I’ll be hopping in a car with some friends and driving down to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl. I won’t be back in Seattle until Monday, January 3. Along the way, I’ll chronicle this journey both in writing and in video. Most of the video footage will consist of an open, anything-goes competition of skills between myself (Seattle Sportsnet) and my friend Bailey (Breakin It Down With Bailey). I’m confident I can win, in spite of the fact that there aren’t really any rules. And if nothing else, it should at least be fun to watch.
The lady to my left is now on her phone, as well. She’s older, borderline plump, probably late-fifties. Horrible laugh on this woman. The kind of laugh that makes you stop what you’re doing, look up, and question whether this person is a) choking, b) giggling, or c) making that noise that Jabba the Hutt made right before he died.
Oh no. People are sitting next to me now. We’ll see if they start reading this over my shoulder. Could be an interesting situation if they do. Hey, you, old man. You reading this right now? If you are, get up and move.
Crisis avoided. Old man is still talking to his wife. I don’t think they’re reading this.
You ever notice how any time you’re on a plane and you start watching a movie on a portable device of your own (laptop, DVD player, etc.), everyone around you starts watching, too? This is why I pick and choose what movies I take on planes with me. I own The Holiday, for example. But would I watch that on a plane? No. People around me might get the wrong idea. So instead I bring The Hangover, Anchorman, Chappelle’s Show, things like that. Movies and shows I still enjoy thoroughly, but that are more or less universally loved by all over-the-shoulder plane viewers.
I have this theory that if you were to start watching porn on a plane, everyone would notice but nobody would ask you to turn it off. I mean, what do you really say to somebody who has their headphones on and happens to be enjoying a good porno? Sure, there might be a moral dilemma for some people, but there’s really nothing you can do about this person’s movie selection.
Once upon a time, I went to the Vancouver (the one in Canada) International Airport and witnessed a dude sitting in the middle of the terminal in a suit, shoes off, feet propped up, all by himself, flipping through a nudie mag. He wasn’t hiding what he was doing. He wasn’t shy about his public porn consumption. And yet all you could was shrug your shoulders and move on. It’s not like he had his dick out, or anything. Though why you’d consume porn in a setting that doesn’t necessarily behoove boners is beyond me.
My favorite thing about flying is watching the drink cart come down the aisle. When I see the drink cart coming, I get excited. Just like I get excited in a movie theater when the lights dim. As that drink cart nears, I’m confident my patience will be rewarded. When it finally arrives, I like to find out what the weirdest free drink they have in their possession is, then get that. Or Coke. Sometimes I just get a Coke. But if a drink cart happened to have Crystal Pepsi, Grape Fanta, Surge, or something along those lines, I’d definitely hit that.
I printed my boarding pass yesterday and noticed an ad for Monster Energy Drink on the bottom half of the page. “Just $3 on board,” it said. Right. Because that’s what you want. An entire plane full of people that are hopped up on Monster. Can you imagine the panic situation that would unfold if the plane started going down? Even under the slightest amount of turbulence I can picture someone freaking out in the exit row, throwing the door open, and bailing.
“Holy crap! How many Monsters did that man have?!”
“I don’t know. At least seven. It’s okay though. It only cost him $21. And he’s gone now, anyways.”
The old folks sitting near me found some friends. Their friends are also old. Watching old people encounter one another is always fun.
I was running at Greenlake once and witnessed a crowd of old men who were out for a group walk. They happened to run into a fellow old man friend of theirs who was walking in the other direction. This friend of theirs was named Bob Wall. How do I know this? Because every single old man in the group called out Bob Wall by Bob Wall’s full name. That’s how old people greet each other, apparently. Full names only.
“Hey, is that Bob Wall?”
“Well, whaddayaknow? It’s Bob Wall!”
“Bob Wall! I haven’t seen you in ages!”
“Who’s that over there? Bob Wall? It is! It is Bob Wall!”
I felt like introducing myself. Excuse me. Are you Bob Wall? THE Bob Wall? Holy sh*t, it’s a pleasure to meet you.
You ever see a high school kid wearing a sweatshirt with his last name on the back and shout out to him to see if he’s paying attention?
“Hey! Gonzalez! Interlake Wrestling sucks!”
Then, when he turns around to look and see who knows his name, you turn around and look behind you, as if to indicate that you are looking for the culprit, as well. Who said that, anyways? Hmmm. Let this be a lesson to all of you out there who wear your surname on your apparel. You’re only asking for trouble.
I’m debating whether to put my sunglasses on right now, before I get on the plane. Nobody messes with a dude in aviators on a plane. I could probably just park my ass in first class with those specs on and not get moved.
“No, no, no,” the flight attendants would whisper, “just leave him alone. I think he’s the deputy pilot or something.”
You wouldn’t expect the big black dude wearing baggy sweats in front of me in the security screening line to get selected for an enhanced pat down, but what do you know, it happened. I’m not gonna lie. That’s why I got behind him. He basically took a bullet for me. Thank you, sir. For the record, it’s always a good idea to get behind someone darker than you when walking through airport security. Somehow, those folks always get randomly selected for the weirdest sh*t.
Good news. I just checked Seattle Sportsnet’s Facebook fan page, and we’ve picked up another “like.” Shout out to Amy Lynn Trenkamp, liker No. 189. My only hope is that you read this.
Remember when Seattle Sportsnet used to have 4,000 friends on Facebook? Those were the days. Apparently, people love gaining friends but are extremely hesitant to click “Like”. If you’re reading this, happen to be on Facebook (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), and haven’t “liked” the page yet, I would be extremely touched if you did that. Just click the link in the previous paragraph, then click “Like” on the ensuing page and you’ll be good to go. I’m not gonna lie. I’m a whore for “likes”.
Okay. It’s time. Not to board the plane. To go get water. I’m dehydrated. I also need gum. Word to the wise: always carry gum. You never know when someone will randomly want to make out with you. And if that moment presents itself and you are without gum, you will probably regret it. So do yourself a favor and pick up some gum.
More to come later.
Peace out, yo.