Saturday, December 15, 2007

Flying is better in dreams

I just returned from a big haul airline trip. Philadelphia to Chicago to LAX. Philly is the cruelest city for security.

I saw humiliations and missed flights in progress. Wheelchair folks getting felt up! TSAs mocking people's pleas that they would miss their flights. The supervisor got called out to look at my lunch from ShopRite and decided I passed. Everything small in my suitcase was in a plastic bag because they're very hung up about that at this airport. People in line were worrying that they were going to have to take their pants off. Really! I overheard that!

I was allowed to board. Pants on. Lunch intact.

My seat mate, a very cool black chick, told me the Philly airport makes her so mad she tries to trick them everytime she flies out of there, just for fun. (Some like their fun ramped up!)

This time, she said, she'd baked a cake, but knew enough about Philly security that she didn't take the cake in a cake box, she cut it into individual slices and bagged them. But just to prove things she stuck a half-used tube of moisturizer in the middle of the cake slices. Went through undetected. She showed me the tube. Victory? or not? Last time she'd gone through they'd nabbed some new make-up items and she was still mad about losing them. We said goodbye in Chicago where a blizzard was getting underway. I missed her right away.

Sat for an hour on the runway there.

Sat for half an hour when we pulled into LAX. The seats need to be modified to accomodate the new jumbo size human.

I think I like Southwest Air but those snack paks they toss at you are filled with nasty items which you would never eat anywhere but on an airplane because you're bored and hungry. Sugar breadsticks dipped in cheez whiz, with a mega processed salami stick on the side, and experimental chocolate chip crackers to top it off? No child left behind.

I met another black chick who was flying for the first time ever, at age 40 approx. This was in Philly, before the security check. She was really worried, but she told me she thought it would be okay, because she was a Christian. She asked me if flying was like a roller coaster. I told her no, it was more like a medical waiting room, and the worst part was going through the security check. She said her son told her if anyone turned on a cel phone while they were in the air, her plane would crash. And he's seven. But buses were getting impossible, trains too indirect and expensive, so she was forced to fly, Philly to Atlanta to Memphis. We were having a nice talk when the Philly gestapo suddenly separated us, because I'd put my very heavy carry-on on a luggage pusher that had been abandoned, and that meant I had to head down a separate corridor. I had a bad feeling that my Christian pal hadn't allowed enough time for her flight.

ps added the picture a day later, a sketch done on the plane. My hand is wobbly with my favorite pen, a Niji Stylist. I need to draw on paper more often! This was a stream of c picture, remembering Medford Leas, where I spent the last four days. The flying banana peels were inspired by Linda Davick's photos of same. I couldn't figure what the buccaneer ship was about, but the next morning, at Lake Balboa, we saw a mechanized model of one of these ships careening around the lake and it all made sense to me.


sal said...

Love that medical waiting room analogy: perfect!

Namowal said...

Ha! I know what you mean about those over processed snacks Southwest doles out, and how you only eat them because there's nothing better to do.
Security drives me up the wall. Too many guards act like 6th grade hall monitors: enjoying their power but not bright enough to use it efficiently.
Once, while changing planes in Florida, I asked a security clod if he knew where a mailbox was. He pointed to one a few yards away, saw me mail the letter, then insisted I go through security because I'd apparently crossed the magic line that made me suspect again.

Linda said...

Sally, welcome home!

Tom is in Virginia at the moment. A couple hours after I dropped him off at the airport here, he called and said that everyone had boarded, sat out on the runway for an hour, then had to de-board because of mechanical problems. That there was no way he could make his connection in DC. (Turns out he got on another flight to DC and ended up spending the night there.) But he still hasn't told me about the next leg of the flight--he says it was so bad that he can't talk about it yet.

Sally said...

Glad you all get the airport horror- hope Tom's wasn't totally unspeakable, Linda.

Namowal,amazing anecdote. And they still haven't solved the anthrax mysteries of five plus years ago.

Katy said...

Buccaneer ship timing perfect. Sweet mystery of drawing and dreaming.