The airline industry doesn’t corner the market on crazy. How about Black Friday?
Witnessing human behavior on this day is the most convincing evidence yet supporting the theory that we evolved from primates. It’s like watching monkeys fight over a banana.
Perhaps evolved is the wrong word. Would monkeys mace each other given the chance?
Some of the stores actually seem to perpetuate this behavior.
Word has it (I swear I was not there) that Wal-mart literally saran-wrapped Black Friday items and set them in the aisles.
The store opened at 10 pm and these items were to become “available” at midnight when store employees showed up with scissors to cut open the saran wrap.
As the usual crowd frequenting Wal-mart is given to wearing pajamas at all hours of the day, it must have been like an adult pajama party clamoring for the piñata to break open.
Next year, it won’t be mace smuggled in —
It will be box cutters and a detour to sporting goods for a baseball bat. Before you know it, metal detectors will be standard Black Friday equipage.
Welcome to my World.
We’re cutting the security line at LAX.
Say what you will, having an official ID that allows us to cut in line is like getting waved past the red velvet rope at the Mondrian Sky Bar.
It might not be as glamorous but this is one time we damn near have celebrity status and like the prima donnas of the sky we are, we take full advantage of it. Carry-ons rivaling the Kardashians filled with duty-free liquors and perfumes all smuggled into the front of the line.
And KCM? Not even celebrities enjoy this secret service exclusively for crew members.
Look, I get it. It is so not fun to fly as a regular schlep. In fact, it’s so not fun I refuse to do it so I’m going to let you in on a little secret that will help your travel karma:
Flight crews have extraordinary keen hearing.
We hear you.
In fact, we can carry on a conversation with three other people and automatically note, log and categorize comments with face recognition without even looking at you.
I know, it’s a gift.
I would venture to say it’s not even a conscious skill, but it will automatically come into play when the person making nasty remarks at security crosses the threshold of our flight moments later.
Just like knowing exactly how to time coffee and liquor service with lavatory availability.
You get what I’m saying.
Karma is real. What you give will come back to you ten-fold. Sometimes, it takes a while.
But Travel Karma is Instantaneous.
Now, behind me fellow crew member, Kirk, is placing three extra bags (that’s five if you’re counting) on the belt.
He’s a raw foodie and brings such delicacies as kale, wheat grass and bean curd that looks like it’s strung together with spider webs.
I’d rather eat paste.
We’re headed to Kona but first we have to go through Seattle. Kirk is explaining he had to bring one more food bag of cooked items because Hawai’i “Ag” won’t let all his raw food in.
He’s explaining this while bent over double with an inflatable kayak on his back the size of Iraq (that’s six).
I’m a little concerned about Kirk. He actually smells like kale.
It is whale season after all and quite a few have been spotted off the shore of Maui. I’m not sure if they’ve made it up the channel to Kona yet but I tell Kirk it may be in his best interest to lay off the kale.
At the very least, until after his kayak excursion.
Kirk frowns at me and dumps both kale and kayak on the belt.
The passenger behind him is counting bags.
On descent into Seattle we are bouncing like a toy airplane on a trampoline.
The scent of kale was already making me feel nauseated and this is making it worse. I grip the headrest on the jump seat, forgetting that the velcro is as old as the strip on my grandmother’s sneakers.
The headrest goes tumbling down the first class aisle like a ball in play.
Watching part of the airplane fall off in this turbulence even if it is merely cosmetic is anything but reassuring. Call lights go off. Sick sacks come out. I lurch down the aisle and grab the headrest.
Someone tries to hand me their sick sack. No-no-no–
If I smell that in addition to the kale, I’m going to lose it, too.
We land in Seattle and taxi to the gate.
I throw open the airplane door into the blessed coolness of the jet way. The agent grabs the door from my grip and secures it. For a brief moment that feels like an eternity, I just stand there.
Standing right behind her, is him.
I forget the calculated reaction and smile back.
He holds my smile a moment, then slips out the jet way door into the wind and the rain that is preferable to any further interaction with me.
Thank God I had a good day surfing yesterday.
And a text from Chase: How you feeling today, Gidget?
That smile on my face was real.