I’m currently on what I’m sure is going to be the most miserable flight of my life. Since I’m traveling alone and have no one to commiserate with, I’ve decided to semi-live blog it:
10:45am CST: I’m sitting in my window seat, minding my own business. I got on the plane 15 minutes ago when everyone was supposed to board. By now, the flight attendants are doing their final cabin checks, and since I know that you’re supposed to be on board 20 minutes before the plane takes off, I’m assuming that I’ve got the row to myself all the way to Detroit. Not so. In comes a woman in a burgundy velvet track suit hustling down the aisle, and naturally she sits down next to me. The kicker is that she has a dog in a carrier. The same dog I’ve been hearing yelp for the last hour and a half in the terminal. Great.
10:48am CST: I’m about 98.7% sure that that thing is a gremlin, not a dog. At first it was making ape-like noises, but now I’m leaning toward gremlin.
10:50am CST: I’m debating telling the flight attendant that I’m deathly afraid of dogs and couldn’t possibly sit next to one for the next couple of hours.
10:51am CST: The only other empty seat on the plane is right across the aisle, still in range of the yelping noises. I would feel too guilty if they asked someone else to move and they got stuck next to the gremlin. Instead, I’ve resorted to trying to catch the flight attendant’s eye with the horrified look on my face.
10:53am CST: The dog’s name is Prissy. What on earth would possess someone to name an animal that?
10:55am CST: This woman needs to stay on her side of the armrest. I have a bubble.
10:58am CST: We’re pulling away from the gate. It’s time to set my watch back to Eastern time. I can no longer twitter. This is sad for me.
12:01pm EST: Woah. We literally pulled away from the gate, turned one corner, and the next thing I knew, we were pedal to the medal. I didn’t even have time to whisper our traditional “lock and load.” This is very different from Metro on Friday where we taxied for at least 15 minutes. I could’ve sworn that we were driving to New Orleans instead of flying.
12:03pm EST: The takeoff seems to have shut the gremlin up at least temporarily. Maybe the G-forces on that sharp right-hand turn we took knocked it out.
12:06pm EST: Oh thank god I can use my headphones now.
12:07pm EST: Now the woman is sending text messages on her blackberry. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t one of the approved electronic devices that they just listed off.
12:10pm EST: More text messages. Nice.
12:22pm EST: I should really be writing my paper instead of doing this.
12:27pm EST: I’m going to try to leverage this into an extra Coke. Delta/Northwest owes me big time.
12:29pm EST: Still nothing out of the dog. At least that I can hear. I’ve got my specially made Louisiana playlist playing on iTunes right now.
12:30pm EST: The woman’s been studying the US route map intently for the last 10 minutes. What could possibly be so interesting?
12:35pm EST: The woman’s asleep now. The gremlin appears to be sleeping as well. Of course, I’m pretty sure it’s just pretending to sleep while it plots death and destruction. I’m keeping my eye on it.
12:34pm EST: Again with the texting.
12:45pm EST: What? I thought we got pretzels and cookies. I hate peanuts. Unless, of course, the peanuts are in peanut butter. In that case, I’m all about them.
12:47pm EST: We’ve initiated a conversation about my desktop picture of Penny. My dog is far superior to whatever creature is lurking in that carrier. For starters, I could kick a field goal with that thing, which automatically disqualifies it from being a real dog in my mind. She once again referred to it as a dog, but I’m still not convinced that it’s not a gremlin.
12:51pm EST: The woman is now baby talking to the gremlin. Someone get me an airsickness bag.
12:54pm EST: More texting. Uh oh, the flight attendant just walked by. The woman made a quick move to hide the phone. Back to texting as soon as the attendant is past us. She's slick.
1:08pm EST: Either the woman is snoring or the gremlin is growling. I can’t tell without taking my headphones off, and I’m not willing to do that.
1:10pm EST: I keep thinking about how my friends and family are going to be rolling on the floor laughing when I tell them this story when I get home.
1:13pm EST: Now she’s reading the Times-Picayune. The front page of their Metro section’s top headline reads “Historic building rotting in limbo” with a picture of a 100 year old building below it. That’s not even news in Detroit.
1:15pm EST: Her phone’s in the pocket of her velvet track jacket, which is unzipped so that the pocket hangs onto my lap. I can feel her phone vibrating. What are the odds of me surviving a jump from 30,000 feet?
1:30pm EST: The gremlin is now on her lap and she’s baby-talking to it. I very tentatively let it lick my hand. I figured it would be a good idea to get on its good side when it inevitably is unleashed throughout the cabin.
1:44pm EST: We’re going through some turbulence now. The gremlin is starting to get restless.
At that point, my battery died and I had to resort to writing in my diary for the last 45 minutes of the flight.
Some random notes from New Orleans:
- I found all kinds of racks of beads for sports teams, but none for the Wings. There were a handful of hockey teams represented, but nothing for Detroit. I did see some Lions and Pistons ones, but my two teams—Wings and Tigers—had nothing. I invented some excuse in my head about how we’re just too classy for beads, but really I know that it’s because there aren’t nearly enough hockey fans out there.
- Saturday night, the friend who I was sharing a hotel room with called another mutual friend of ours from Chicago. He decided to pick a fight with me by insulting the Wings. I, of course, shot back with a logical and well-reasoned argument that debunked all of his points and insulted his intelligence all in one (This is a lie. I actually called Patrick Kane names. We like to bicker like children.). This lasted a minute until my poor friend who was relaying the messages on the phone finally yelled, “I am NOT having your hockey fights for you. Do that on your own time.” At that point, we had little choice but to return to mocking people we used to work with.
- I have to thank the folks who were DMing me score updates during the game on Friday night. It made my life. It was also a step, I think, toward convincing my friends that twitter can be a force for good.
- It’s always when I travel that I wish there was more national coverage of hockey. All I ask is to be able to flip on ESPN in the hotel at night and see some hockey highlights. But no, we have to talk about the stupid basketball tournament. They even managed to bring up football, which isn’t even in season right now as of the last time I checked. At least I like baseball.
- They were playing rap music at the Hard Rock Café. I was confused and annoyed. Combined with the screaming high schoolers, it significantly lowered my dining experience.
- Today’s USA Today has a headline about the Pirates seeking to end a bad stretch over a picture of the Pirates stretching. It was blowing my mind.
- I still haven’t gotten to catch up on the games I missed. I’m so disappointed that I wasn’t around for the back to back buzzer beaters.
- I was not expecting New Orleans to turn out to be as much of a history geek fest as it was. And I didn’t even get to half of the historical places that I wanted to. Guess that means I need a return trip someday.