You Say Tomato and I Say You Said It Wrong, Dummy

I’m always surprised at how much people hate flying. Although I’m not in the business of arguing with strangers on airplanes, I always think to myself, while listening to someone complain: would you rather take a boat? Dude, it’s possible to fly from one side of the globe to the complete other side in under one freaking day! If my math is correct, that means one could fly clear around the world in under two freaking days! That’s 78 freaking days less than it takes in a hot air balloon! (But only 79 normal days less – freaking days are shorter than normal days). Look, all I’m saying is let’s put things in perspective. Even if you get stuck in security at the airport and you miss your flight and you have to sleep in the terminal and then when you finally get a flight the next day you sit on the runway for three hours and when the plane takes off you get motion sick and throw up on the stewardess and you land and they’ve lost your luggage and you don’t get it until two days later… this is still way, waaaay better than taking a boat.

First off, your travel time – even factoring your delays and losing your luggage – was two weeks less than it would’ve been on a boat. Plus, you only threw up once on the plane – you’d be horking for hours on end when your boat hits a mid-Atlantic storm. Plus, did you get scurvy on the plane? What? No? Oh, that’s what I thought. Did your plane hit an iceberg and sink and leave you floating in the ocean screaming, “Jack! Jack!”? No, it did not, did it. I agree it sucks that you lost your luggage, but odds are the airline finds it in a day or two. No one, on the other hand, will ever find your luggage after you threw it overboard in an attempt to lighten the ship so it won’t sink after it got bombarded by pirates’ cannonballs. Pirates are, of course, better than icebergs, because after tossing your luggage overboard following the pirate attack, you won’t have to scream “Jack! Jack!” unless, I suppose, Jack was in your luggage when you threw it overboard, in which case you’d be justified in screaming “Jack! Jack!” at your luggage. You would also be justified if your luggage was named Jack. Finally, don’t forget that when you’re on a plane, you’re flying. Literally flying. You’re 40,000 feet in the air, flying inside a huge thing with wings. Just to put things in perspective, flying is an awesomer way to get across the ocean than sailing. No sharks in the sky, now, are there? Krakens? Nuh-uh.

On a separate but similar note, when I was at Heathrow waiting for my flight to Glasgow – actually, hold that thought. Can I just say that I so wish I had an awesome accent that allowed me to pronounce “Glasgow” as “Glahz-goh”? My flat American accent insists that it’s pronounced “Glaass-co,” as if it’s a huge, white trash superstore somewhere in Middle America where all your glass needs can be met in one handy stop. Ugh. British/Scottish accents of all kinds are so beautiful. I just try not to speak because my voice is an unwieldy cutlass that punctures the beautiful bubble of gorgeous accents that surrounds me.

British airport worker person with the most wonderful accent in the universe: Where will you be traveling today?

Me: Glaass-co.

Airport worker: I beg your pardon?

Me: Glaass-co!

Airport worker: Glahz-goh?

Me: Glaass-co, Glahz-goh. Tomato, tomahto. Whatever, dude. Look, just let me through. I’m harmless. I don’t even know how to operate a butter knife.

Airport worker: You’re a sad little man. You may pass.

So, back to when I was waiting for my flight to Glaass-co. Just a few minutes before boarding for my flight was to start, I reached into my back pocket for my boarding pass… except there was no boarding pass. Mild panic! Hysteria brewing! I’ve never lost a boarding pass before! I’m not sure what the punishment is. Prison time? Flogging? Being force-fed turnips? You scoff at my naivety, but you have to agree that airports just aren’t like other places. They’re serious, serious locales. I wouldn’t put it past them to exfoliate the undersides of your arms – you know, where all the flab is – with a piece of pumice for losing your boarding pass. I’m serious. I don’t smile in airports. I never skip or crabwalk. I remove all my clothes at security, just in case, and then put back on only the articles that they tell me to put back on. I find it just saves a lot of time and usually gets me tazed, which is all kinds of awesome, and then when I wake up after being beaten senseless by nightsticks, I'm on the plane! Yea! Except that before I can go to my original destination I have to layover in Guantanamo, but, hey, Caribbean layover! Hurray!

Well, it turns out that all you have to do when you lose your boarding pass is go up to a counter and say, “Hey, I lost my boarding pass.” Then they give you a new one. But this tactic wouldn’t work on me if I worked at Burger King and someone came up to the counter and said, “I lost my Whopper.” I’d say, “I lost your money.” And then I’d probably slap them. Just to make sure the pecking order in this mixed up world was clarified somewhat.