If Your Carry On Is a Garbage Bag, You’ve Failed in Life and Other Travel Observations

It’s been almost two years since I’ve flown, and ohhhhh, how I missed being around idiot tourists, weirdos and near-do-wells. I’ve done Newark to Phoenix with a two hour layovers, let’s get some thoughts down to pass the time.

I took NJ Transit to Newark Airport, not the quickest way, but it’s cheap and somewhat reliable. The toughest part of the journey is the block walk from the shebeen to the train station. I have my mobile train ticket. Another lady has luggage as well and sits across from me  — no ticket. The conductor starts to scold her, which you want before you travel, and she says, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know you have to buy a ticket before you get on the train.” I’m going to leave that little nugget there for you.

Then, on NJ Transit, you can move between cars, you just need to press the big green button that says PRESS HERE TO OPEN DOOR. A man struggled to grasp this concept as a tried to pull the door open manually for 10 seconds as I watched him. I yelled, “Press the button!” And he did and walked though. The struggle is real.

Check-in and TSA pre-check was normal. The metal buttons on my shirt set off the beeper. The guy let me through anyway.

Since this was a last minute trip, I got stuck in the middle seat for the 4+ hour flight, which I’m fine with. I’m not picky or fidgety. The man in the window was already there and he was on the phone. And I swear everything I’m telling you is true, this was his conversation on the phone, told in louder then normal voice, “Snookums, don’t worry about it … baby, I’ll be back … I know … I know … that guy is just a schmuck … he’s a suit …. he’s just a suit …. I’m telling you he’s a suit … I hear you, but he’s a suit.”

I felt like grabbing the phone and yelling into it, “Bitch, he’s a suit!”

He gets off the phone and says, “Hello.” I say “Hello” back. I noticed that has a Whole Foods shopping bag between his legs. “They made me check in my stuff at the gate, can you believe that?”

I said, “Okay.” That deflated the guy, because he was hoping I would join him in a rebellion over checked carry-on.

Then the man in the aisle seat arrived, he was carrying a white garbage bag as his carry on. Okay, if you can afford a Uniqlo puffer jacket and Oakelys, you can spring for a $20 backpack at Target for your shit.

We take off, I get out my book (Oral History of the Daily Show) and settle in for the flight. Both dudes fall asleep, which is fine by me. Window guy wakes up, fumbled through his grocery bag and gets out gum. One falls on the floor and he sort of screams (a tad above normal speaking voice), “Mother fuckers!” (plural) Loud enough that the guy in front of him turned around. Yes, all the outrage because your gum fell on the floor.

We land, window guy asks me if I’m from Phoenix. I said, “No.” He then asks if I play golf. I said, “No.”

Don’t know what he was trying to get at, but I’m glad he’s not moving onto Vancouver.

More to come…


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