Sunday, May 16, 2004

Pre-flight Checklist

I fight my way to the bar, picking my way past the other weary travelers surrounded by their baggage. I find a seat and sit.

'Oh, a new person at the four drink minimum seat' quips the bartender. I flash him a smile, 'Double jack and diet, please.'

Psssht, click. Psssht, click. I listen to the automated shot pourer, angry at its efficency. I'm already a bit drunk from the happy hour drinks with B, but the allure of an airport bar is too much for me to turn down. After all I have to go through my 'seeing the parents' routine.

When I'm going to see the parents, I stop at the airport bar and take down three or four double jack and diets, so I can slip into sweet oblivion during that cross country flight, and usually not wake up until we touch down. However this time, the flight is only an hour since we are meeting at the OC. This calculation takes a bit more care, I still need to drink enough to be comfortable on the plane, yet not too much so as to be sober enough to deal with my parents, who will be picking me up at John Wayne. I carefully calculate that I've probably passed that point sometime during happy hour, but there's nothing more comforting than habit.

'Taste that,' the bartender asks. I sip on the cocktail and look at the bartender quizzically. 'I thought so. The color didn't look right.' He takes the drink back. Psssht, click, the shot pourer goes for the third time. I choose not explain to him that he has poured me the proper drink, it's just that I've lost the ability to react to the amount of whiskey in a drink. I watch the NBA playoffs for a bit, and get an idea in my head. I slam the drink and head back to my gate.

I situate myself where I have a view of all the children that are running around the gate(Oh this flight will be a joy), and dial up Fiona. We chat until I start seeing the queue form and I join it. I had already printed out a web checkin. However I don't trust this thing, this ratty tattered print out(paper doesn't survive well in my care), when everyone else has nice official cardboard boarding pass. I get to the head of the line, and I hand this thing over, feeling like a schoolchild trying to get out of gym with a mother's note. It passes inspection and head down the gangway.

Luckily I'm in the last row, and the plane isn't full. After takeoff I'm able to curl up on the seats and pass out, hoping that my liver will be able to get me back to some degree of soberness.

1 Comments:

Blogger ratty said...

stupefying drunkenness is the only thing that's going to get me through the flight to alaska in july. bring on the booze!

9:11 AM  

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