Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The "Thing" on the Wing

OK, OK.  I will stop bragging about my three-day vacation in New Orleans.  Even if it was awesome.

Even if we got to eat at Adolfo's.

Adolfo's above the Apple Barrel on Frenchmen Street.

Even if we got to eat some amazing fried chicken at Fiorella's.

So.  Good.

Even if we had beignets and cafe au laits at the Cafe du Monde.

Mmmm... cafe au lait.

Beignets are one of the greasiest, sugariest, awesomest things, ever.

Even though we got to watch the fog rolling in over the river when it finally cooled off at night,

That streak on the left is the ferry during a long exposure.

and drank Pimms cups at Napoleon House,

The cucumber makes this.

and had Mint Juleps at Pat O'Brien's,

Surprisingly tasty considering how much booze they put in.

and some absinthe at Pirate's Alley,

Lip numbing licorice.

and have some jambalaya at my favorite hole in the wall.

Rabbit and sausage jambalaya no less.

EVEN IF I have a lot to brag about.  I totally won't.  See how big I am?


I will tell you about going home.

It was Tuesday.  A week ago today, in fact.  We had stayed up the night before.  On our way home from Adolpho's (eating the amazing food after an incredible wait because, you know, you have to wait for everything in New Orleans) we heard this magical voice drifting out of a bar.

One thing I have noticed in New Orleans is that even the cats can sing on key.  We had stopped in at Checkpoint Charlies for a quick beer as we entered the Quarter and they were having karaoke.  Normally this means run screaming before your ears bleed, but some of these guys were actually worth listening to.  We had a beer and continued up Decatur, when we heard this lady, and we had to stop watch.

Lynn Drury.  I don't think I would normally like this music, but it was perfect for the night.  I have been listening to her music at work all week.
She had a group of five old men that kinda looked like groupies, but may have been stalkers, and she looked happy to see us.  We stuck around until she was done singing.

Anyway, after all that, and then having to ride the streetcar uptown to my friend's house, it was late.

So what I am saying is that we slept in on Tuesday after our AMAZING WEEKEND THAT I AM NOT BRAGGING ABOUT, even though it was only a half day, and our last day in town, we just kinda shitted around the apartment and looked at picture books and packed.  The cab was due at 3PM.

We got to the airport about 2 hours before out flight.  Once again, I was disappointed that my passage through security was incredibly easy and required no pat-downs or naked cancer-inducing pictures of me. TSA seriously needs to stop claiming to be this evil monster of security, and start following through.

We hung out in the airport, and finally boarded.

I have issues on planes.  It's not that I am claustrophobic, but I don't like being around people that much.  It makes me tense.  I try to mitigate this by sitting by the window, but for some reason this plane was curvy in such a way that I kept hitting my head on the window.  I was also right above the wing, and didn't realize until too late that my seat didn't lean back.

Chris and I sat next to each other, quietly reading and waiting for take-off.  The captain came on the speaker, "Sorry about the delay, folks.  There is a lightning storm, so we can't finish loading the baggage until it's safe for the handlers to come out."

I looked out the window.

Ever see that old Twilight Zone episode, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"?  It looked like that.  And while I was pretty sure that it was OK for us to sit in a plane on a big tarmac during a lightning storm, I wasn't positive.

I don't know why I was so nervous, and after a while, I didn't want to look outside, either, because I didn't want to see the thing on the wing that was going to make us crash.  Seriously, if there was some kind of gremlin out there, I didn't want to know.  Go on, dude, chew on those wire, rip out those hydraulics, I don't care.

Or maybe something followed us from the open tomb at the cemetery.

But that meant I had to kind of point my body inward, towards people.

And people make me nervous.

And I didn't want to talk, because I am constantly saying inappropriate things about explosions and guns and whatnot, and I was pretty sure if I opened my mouth on the plane, I was going to be arrested (although, I hear Cuba is pretty this time of year).

After an hour, the flight attendants walked up and down the aisles with water.  I didn't want water.  I wanted food.  I mean, dinner was getting farther and farther away from me as we sat there.

Another hour, and they opened the hatch... to let us off?  Oh no.  They were cramming more people on who had missed their connections.  Because what a plane needs is MORE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME.

I must have looked stressed, because Chris said, "Are you OK?  Is there anything I can do?"

"No..." I said.  I couldn't tell him about the thing that was probably on the wing and how we were going to crash, and if not, I might just start screaming and punching.  I felt ridiculous.  There were children.  Old people.  And everyone else was all calm and collected, talking and doing their thing.  What is wrong with me that I can't do that?

We did eventually take off.

And we didn't die.

There were so many big storms that our cruising altitude ended up being 40,000 feet, so I am pretty sure the pressure froze the gremlin that I didn't see on the wing.  I did take the time to figure out that terminal velocity for a human is about 120 miles per hour, and 40,000 feet is about 7 and a half miles above the ground, so if the plane, say, broke apart, and I was plunging to the earth, it would take (roughly) four minutes to hit the ground.  I was concerned that I didn't know what I should think about for those four minutes, but then I realized that my eyeballs would probably freeze and I would blow up like a balloon in the lack of pressure, so I might not actually survive that long. 

Somehow, this was comforting.

And the two hour delay didn't help me wake up the next day.  Not.  At.  All.

So you see, you don't have to be all jealous of my vacation.  I had an annoying plane ride, and it was all hard to come back to work.

Honestly, I wanted to go out again on Wednesday, and then remembered I was not in New Orleans,  and felt a little sad.


Timmah said...

Well, at least you didn't brag, this time. Are you sure you guys actually did anything other than eat and drink, while you were there?

Leauxra said...

Timmah, I am totally not someone who would ever brag. And it wasn't all eating and drinking. We also walked sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Thank God(dess) I'm not the only one who thinks of that episode every time she flies! And you have educated me today... for some reason, I always thought absinthe was green...

Leauxra said...

Well hoodyhoo, you are actually correct. Absinthe IS green. BUT. When you burn a sugar cube over the top and pour in a little water, it turns this milky creepy color. And this isn't my favorite recipe. I prefer Absinthe, sugar cube, and instead of water, add Coca Cola. It will taste like root beer.

Anonymous said...

IT INVOLVES FIRE??? How can it NOT be your favorite recipe if there's fire? I would eat an actual phone book if I could have it flambe at my table!

Leauxra said...

Oh, they ALL involve fire, just so you know.

The Coffee Snobs said...

It's funny that you add the bit about terminal velocity and how long it would take to hit the ground...etc. I was having that conversation just the other night. Think of this though, IF you were to have a parachute, you would have to wait in free fall for nearly 3 minutes before you could deploy because of the fact that you would not be able to breathe at that altitude. Yeah. Think about that next time. :)