Flights and flatulence: when people’s dry-roasted ass is deadly

I love to fly. Really, I do. And recently, I did a ton of it, making my way between the coasts of this lovely country.

I do not love, however, layovers. I usually schedule layovers at Chicago O’Hare because it’s got an aesthetically pleasing area. Never do I go on people-movers till I get to O’Hare because it’s so worth it — kind of mellow chimey-type background music accompanies a gorgeous rainbow light sculpture running the length of the ceiling.

Had the layover from hell in San Francisco. Twice. Never saw a more fucked-up situation, and all I have to say is that I thank my lucky stars that I am able-bodied and healthy and capable of figuring out where to go, how to get there and how not to choke somebody out of sheer frustration.

Yeah, they know when an East Coaster is in the house. 😉

I landed in San Fran from Pittsburgh, and I switched airlines, from U.S. Airways to United. Now, I have to say that my arriving flight was great — the pilot pointed out all kinds of landmarks and told little historical tidbits as we crept westward. My only gripe about U.S. Airways at that point was that I had to purchase headphones to listen to the movie of the day. Bah. But I figured I’d get to use them on the return flight.

Anyway, San Fran was just your average airport. I stopped in the bathroom and realized that O’Hare scored even more points for having automatic everything — flushing, sinks AND a perenially new toilet seat cover for every new behind. But that’s not the worst of it.

It had taken me six million years to get off the plane because I was practically in the trunk of it. Seriously, the next-to-last row. I wanted to beat the people who said, “No reason to rush.” Yeah, they didn’t have a connecting flight.

So, I know I have to change airlines. I wander around, looking for signs. I finally see a sign for United. I went to a girl behind a desk and said I needed to get to United, and how could I do that? She said my name to my face. My name. I was floored — was she psychic? No, she wasn’t psychic — they had tried to hold a shuttle for me, but because it took so damn long for me to deplane, well, it had to go. That’s what she told me. She could have, like, mentioned that they run shuttles every 15 to 20 minutes. But as my layover time was rapidly diminishing, she’s lucky she didn’t. 🙂

So, what had to happen was that I had to walk down a big ole flight of stairs to get to the ground level. No big deal — I’m healthy. But I didn’t see an elevator if I might have wanted to NOT lug my two carry-on on my back down the steps.

Anyway, I was literally outside. Construction everywhere. No signage whatsoever. Felt like I stepped into a twilight zone and I was about to be taken to Alcatraz for execution.

A bus showed up 15 minutes later. It promptly dumped me at the United terminal, but again, no signage. At this point I’m waiting for terrorists to just kidnap me and put me out of my misery. I get to the door and just about get run over by a stampede trying to get on the shuttle. Disoriented and completely disgusted, I had to show my ticket and ID to someone, who let me go through the black, unmarked metal door.

And, oh goody, I got to walk UP two flights of steps. Again, I am perfectly capable and willing to run steps, but come the hell on already — what if I weren’t in passable physical shape and/or getting around without any assistance?

At the top, I pant and wheeze and sort of get lost. But my inner genius kicked in, and I found my gate. Never mind that I had to sit on the floor and the knees of my jeans got muddy because the wing is a shithole, but I got the glorious surprise that the tiny, crap-ass plane would NOT be pulling up to the terminal but, rather, we had to go down even MORE steps to get to the tarmac, where we climbed UP a rickety staircase to board the plane.

Fucking joy.

My “big” carry-on fit perfectly into the overhead bin on the grown-up plane I’d been on earlier. But did it fit in the little ValuJet? Not really. I had a line of people going down the steps, waiting for me to figure out how to wedge that mid-sized bag (full of breakables like my glasses and sunglasses) into that bin. I don’t know how, but I shoved it in pretty well. And thus began an OK flight.

I sat next to this darling elderly woman, who had actually also come from Pittsburgh and was also headed to Oregon. And I wondered how she had managed to get through the obstacle course in one piece — I was incensed at the prospect. But I didn’t ask. I just hoped there was some sort of courtesy shown to our elders.

But, alas, I landed where I was supposed to land. I had window seats each trip, and I marveled at how blue the water and skies were in the West … how green and lush the foliage was. No layer of perpetual pollution like there is above the Eastern cities I haunt. I saw my friend in the airport to come and pick me up, and I knew the hell was overwith.

For the time being.

So, I flew back to San Fran — got there at 9:30 p.m. PST and got my connection at 11:30 p.m. (I was wise to have scheduled a longer layover than the first!). Well, by this time, I was old hat at the odyssey, and, all told, the pilgrimage took a mere 25 minutes to make. The initial flight to San Fran was good, despite being crammed into the little jet and having to shove my fucking carry-on into the bin again (and it was even more stuffed with goodies I’d picked up during my journey). Alas, I was in the third row and again had people coming out of my ass, waiting to get to their seats. Whee.

Oh, but wait. There’s more.

I had looked forward to an empty flight during which I could get a restful sleep. Hah.

OK, I busted out my headphones on the plane. But guess what? They didn’t turn on the radio or show any TV or anything like that. So yay, those $5 headphones only got one use.

I was pleased, though, that all the lights in the cabin were turned out so we could just sleep. Hurrah, right?

Nope. First of all, the flight was full. Body to fucking stinking body. But I’ll get to that later.

I was pissed off that there were not enough pillows for everyone. What the hell? It’s a goddamned red-eye flight. Provide, people! But whatever. I had bigger problems. To start, the two women beside me opted to turn on their reading lights and read for hours. Because I loved having the light in my eyes.

But this was heavenly compared to the Flatulator.

Yes, when you’re in coach, you have to put up with a lot of shit. Literally.

I had brought a comfy shawl that I intended to double as a blanket, and that was ingenious of me. The shawl smelled like sea air and salt water, much like my hair and clothes did when we went to the coast. I was cozy and happy, smelling those happy scents.

Until. …

Every five minutes, on the dot, someone left a silent, deadly one. And it would waft straight at me. Gah.

I was so angry. I wanted to kill. I mean, I couldn’t even sleep because, when I’d start to snooze, I’d smell it and jolt awake. At some point, I dropped my cell phone, and when I bent over to retrieve it, I realized that Dry Roasted Ass was RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!! Gaaah!

Here’s what really sucked — I was sick. I was having sinus attacks for days before the flight. So my friend recommended I buy some Afrin and squirt the hell out of my sinuses; otherwise, she said the cabin pressure would make me want to jump out of the plane. I dutifully bought the $10 nasal spray and was thrilled to have clear sinuses.


Should’a left ’em plugged.

Anyway, as if my eight hours behind Dog Ass wasn’t enough, I ran into her funky butt again. Yes, it was a she — probably a 40-year-old female, skinny as all hell (good lord, woman — what the hell are you EATING?!?!) and miserable looking. Anyway, unlike San Francisco’s ghetto bus ride, Pittsburgh has a lovely metro system that takes you to your next terminal.

So, lucky me, I get on with Stinkalicious and her HUSBAND. How the hell did SHE get a man with an ass like THAT?!?! He looked perfectly miserable, though. I wonder if his olfactory nerves went defunct after sharing a bed with that dry roasted ass stench. *gag*

Anyway, yes, she stunk up the light rail car. I honestly just wanted to die.

But, alas, I got my bags and off I went. Mom was gracious enough to pick me up, after having a cop chase her away from the pickup area six times. But as we dumped my luggage into her trunk, we watched a guy give MONEY to the cop, who promptly stopped bothering him to move his car. What the HELL?!?! Since when is THAT ethical? Bah.

Anyway, I’m sure this was too much information, but these are the moments that make a “vacation” anything but!!!

On iTunes: Finger Eleven, “Sad Exchange (Living Torture)”

4 Responses to Flights and flatulence: when people’s dry-roasted ass is deadly

  1. Anonymous :

    apollonaire is rotflmao.

    my gosh.



  2. Anonymous :

    San Francisco airport has been under continuous construction for the last 30 years. It’s a hell-hole, and unless you fly weekly, things radically change each and every time you go.


  3. Anonymous :

    That was funny as hell, you have great comedic verse.

  4. Donna :

    Hi Dawn,
    YOUR TOO FUNNY!!!!I think I would have thrown up !!or asked her to go take a shit and an EXLAX …
    OR thrown $5.00 to her hubby and told him to give her some gasX or BEANO before she eats…What a fiasco..PUKE!!!!! I know flying is a night mare the very few times I have flown..I prefer to drive take my time and enjoy,, stop when I want and listen to my own cds etc.Although you have a time limit then welcome the nightmare AIRLINES ,,ITs the way to GET there faster sometimes with a MIGRAIN or worse .But you get there in 1 day ! or less…lol lol rotflmao..ttfn