Unfinished Business


I forgot I wrote this. See what happens when you get home late from a delayed flight, drunk on wine and full of fish?

And, yes, I know I haven’t updated in like six weeks. Yes, I know that only too well. Perhaps someday I’ll entertain you about my recent bout with “the viral infection,” and explain what it’s like to have snot come out of your eyes—although I’m assuming you’d rather hear about travelling through the Caribbean and rescuing people from the sea, drinking too much rum, sleeping not at all enough and the joy of shopping for cheap jewelry only to find out that you can get the same crap on-line for the same cost.

Meanwhile, here’s truth in advertising for you; I wrote this over a month ago and recently rediscovered it. So it’s not really new, but like they say on NBC, “It’s New To You!”

As I write this, I am travelling 20,000 feet above… somewhere. Not sure, actually. I’m aboard a Boeing 727 and pretty buzzed, I must say , so my typing skills are for shit. Thank God for spell checkers.

I am returning from Omaha, Nebraska where I consulted with a client about their Internet Web site launch on January 1st. True to form, I ain’t gonna tell you who they are or what their URL is because I continue to be paranoid about cross-dressing my personal site (this) with my professional life. All I’ll tell you is it’s a bank so you won’t be seeing anything that could in any way be considered "sexy," since the point is to appear professional and trustworthy. "Sexy" is not often equated with "trustworthy," so it’s best if I keep my big mouth shut.

My working partner, John, sits next to me slightly dozing. His head keeps wagging back and forth, but that may be due to the amount of wine we have both consumed to this point. See, we’re traveling First Class because the difference between First Class and Coach (the poor people) was so slim for a three-day, no-Saturday-stay-over plane ticket, we managed to get this ticket. And I think I mentioned somewhere that First Class is just so much nicer than Coach, or even Business Class.

Here’s some things about First Class which make it great for assholes (me) to travel:

  • They give you all the free booze you can handle, so they expect you to be loud and obnoxious
  • The magazines are right there, so you barely have to move your ass from your seat
  • You have personal waitresses—I mean, flight attendants who await your every desire. I’m not shitting you. They give you better meals (I just had a swordfish entrée and I’m pretty sure I smell McDonald’s special sauce wafting forward from the "poor seats") with real glass salt and pepper shakers and they serve the drinks also in glass (plastic for take off, how gauche!) and you get this linen "tray cloth" so your plastic dinner tray doesn’t touch the plastic "tray table" (the thing that normally must be stowed for takeoff and landing) and real silverware and everything!
  • The seats are wide enough that your ass can actually fit very comfortably in the seat
  • I would normally have plenty of leg room but they sat me facing the bulkhead by the kitchen so I’m a little pissed about that
  • Lastly, I (my company, billable to my client) paid in excess of $1,300.00 for this seat and I learned that for less money I could have a ten-day vacation to Australia, so I feel a wee bit cheated about that, too.

John is apparently dreaming about hitting people because his arm just moved and he nearly knocked his Chardonnay into my laptop (also company supplied, and yes I know what a great deal I have going here, thank you very much). John, who’s not a design geek but a database geek (totally different animal, but related genus) has a book about Karate with him to read during our trip. I brought no book, intending instead to open this laptop and write this chronicle you are no doubt incredibly fascinated by and as for me, I’m simply wondering if it will make any sense considering how drunk I am.

I should point out that I have every right to be drunk. Our flight out of Atlanta (Delta from Omaha to Boston via Atlanta—the only option is via Cleveland, which I did last time) was delayed two hours because they shut the door on the gantry and broke it on our first plane (you’d think they’d have that procedure down by now) and they had to herd the whole lot of us who wanted to get to Boston to another gate and another plane entirely so what were we to do except get drunk?

Anyway, John’s book chronicles the beginning of Karate this way: Once upon a time there was an Indian prince. He wondered, for whatever reason, what were the pressure points on the human body that would actually kill someone. Apparently, Indian princes have a lot of time on their hands and these sorts of quandaries occur to them. At any rate, he lined up a bunch of slaves and started poking them, recording which pokes merely annoyed them and which ones cause them to convulse and fall to the Persian carpet, spitting up blood and rolling up their eyes in their heads. I assume there was another slave there to record all these results so the prince did not forget where he had previously poked his slaves, thus showing himself to be ill-bred and slightly stupid.

At the end of this exercise, the prince had a chart (and several dead slaves) illustrating where one might want to strike a person (presumably someone you didn’t like or a slave) to kill them.

As you may imagine, John and I enjoyed a good many hours of re-enacting this procedure which goes something like this:

Prince: (poke)

Slave27: Ow!

Prince: (poke)

Slave27: Ow!

Prince: (poke)

Slave27: Ow! Um, hey! (klunk)

Prince: Hmm Did you get that? Right here, under the sternum? Okay? Yes? Great. Next! (poke)

Slave28: Ow!

So he and I have enjoyed countless moments poking the bulkhead with our pointed fingers and pretending to be Indian princes doing our endless coterie of slaves grievous harm by poking them repeatedly until they fell over, dead.

You just gotta love the human race.

Currently, I’m getting a headache. They two guys behind me are pretty loud, and carrying on about laptops. Can I just say that this is possibly the most boring subject one might elect to engage a stranger in conversation about? Admittedly, here in First Class there’s this unspoken camaraderie because we’re just that much more special than all those people behind us who had to wait to board until we were seated (and with drinkies) before they could deign approach the gate. Plus, we paid a premium for these seats and we could just as easily be in Australia than flying from Atlanta to Boston, you know.

John’s pretty much asleep. I’m still typing this thing.

Air flight is fairly dull. Even in first class, there’s only so much free wine you can drink and only so many times the flight attendants can ask if they can get you something before you just want to be on the ground waiting for the damn shuttle to take you back to your own bed. Total time in the air from Boston to Omaha is about 5 hours, but it just wears you out.

We just passed Washington DC. I know this because the Captain felt it was necessary to point out that the left side of the plane can look out and see it. I, however, am on the right side and all I can see is a big bunch of blackness. I need to pee.

Omaha is a big, flat place. It’s the biggest city in thousands of square miles, because those square miles are filled with ranches. (I would call them farms, but I learned that some ranchers consider being called farmers derogatory, just so when you’re in Omaha picking up a Big Mac you know not to call anyone a "farmer.") There’s Mutual of Omaha there, and Boy’s Town. And can I just mention that they have great beef? Because they do. Great beef. Tender and juicy. I mean, if you think you’ve been eating great filets or great prime rib or other cow parts and you haven’t been to Omaha (or Kansas, I guess) than take it from me, you haven’t. Yes. I know it’s terribly bad to be eating slaughtered animales of any sort but can I just say that for those of us who still enjoy a nice bloody piece of mammal muscle au jus with a baked potato and sour cream, one could do a lot worse than stopping in Omaha and ordering a 14oz. cut of medium rare at Brother Sebastians

That’s where it ends, I’m afraid. I assume it was about that time that the Captain advised us to put our electronic devices away and lock our tray tables and so forth. Either that or all the wine finally took its toll and I passed out, drooling on my screen. Probably the latter.

December 14, 1998

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