Mark and I went to his family reunion over the weekend. It was quite a three day party up there in Atlanta. Unfortunately we had to travel there and back. That meant flying. We had thought about driving, and driving looked pretty good to me, but in the end we opted to take Delta. I don't want to single out Delta as a horrible airline because it is no more horrible than any of the others, unless you throw Spirit in there. Spirit is actually an airline that was spawned by Satan to give humans a taste of hell on Earth. We don't take Spirit. Back to the subject at hand, the flying to and from Atlanta. I have finally talked Mark into playing up the invalid angle so that we can board the plane before anyone else. I simply go up to the gate personnel and let them know that Mark needs extra help getting on board. If they seem to be skeptical, I just nod to Mark and he starts to shuffle over to the desk while wheezing and letting out a few coughs. That is usually enough, and Mark doesn't even have to come all the way over and cough on the gate agent. So anyway, flying to Atlanta we were assigned seats behind Porky and Petunia Pig, so obese that they had to keep the armrests in the upright position. Each time they shifted their enormous weight, the flimsy seats would bow backwards and the armrests would dig into my knees. Luckily I had an aisle seat and I was able to stick my knees out in the aisle where they were only slammed by the beverage cart a couple of times.
We didn't fare so well on the return trip. The Atlanta gate agent wasn't nearly as sympathetic as the Fort Lauderdale agent. He took one look at us and assigned us seats, A and B, in row 45. It took us at least ten minutes to walk from the door of the plane to our seats at the bulkhead against the toilets in the rear. After forty minutes of loading, the door was finally closed, the plane was pushed back from the gate, and the pilot came on the speaker to greet his captive audience.
"We welcome you aboard Delta Flight 2446 to Fort Lauderdale. Today's flight to Fort Lauderdale will take us one hour and thirty minutes. The weather in Fort Lauderdale is ninety three degrees and sunny, so it will be a little cooler than Atlanta today. Now please just sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight."
Except I couldn't sit back. The seats at the bulkhead don't recline. The seats directly in front of me did, quite far, but not mine. I couldn't relax because of the constant odor of the toilets wafting out every time the door opened. And as for enjoying the flight? Maybe if I could get a beverage everything would be okay. So about one hour and ten minutes into the flight, Mark woke me up and pushed my head off of his shoulder.
"Here comes the beverage cart. quit drooling on me and put your tray down."
Sure enough, just two rows in front of us the smiling flight attendants were serving passengers frosty beers and cocktails. I sat up straight in anticipation.
"Good afternoon again, this is the captain. We are starting our descent into Fort Lauderdale and will be suspending all cabin service. Please put your tray tables up and return your seats to the full upright position. Flight attendants will be coming by to pick up your cups, wrappers, and any other waste. Thank you again for flying Delta."