Written on the airplane to Denver

I used one of my upgrade certificates and got into first class, which is mostly empty. While awaiting takeoff, the row behind me had some seat assignment confusion, and of course, the guy there actually was supposed to be in my row.

Big round-shaved-head guy with Stone Temple Pilot mini-beard and wraparound shades. Won’t let me get up to let him in and drunkenly (aha, it’s immediately apparent) pushes in. Orders another screwdriver (“thanks sweetheart”) and introduces himself, and asks me what I do, telling me that he is the fuckin’ Ozzy Osbourne of the mayonnaise business. (Full disclosure – he later tells me I look like Ozzy. Full disclosure 2 – while boarding the aircraft, the greeting attendant said I had nice hair and actually flipped it with her hand). Rob, as he is named, talks about his business a bit while I make the odd comment, and then he turns left into something about Bush, going to war, fucking Mecca festival, right, RIGHT? Ya know what I’m saying?????? He’s actually spraying while saying. He’s a republican now, was a democrat, why the fuck should I be afraid at the Superbowl, getting patted and shit (this is demonstrated with one meaty paw on my tender chest for a too-long moment), let’s tell them, right, we’re going to fucking bomb their festival, right? Ya know what I’m saying???????? I mean, when some GUY blows up a fucking nuclear bomb in BOSTON, just for fun. Right???????

At this point, the guy in the captain’s uniform who is in the row in front of us turns around and says in a very very controlled voice “Excuse me. If you’re going to use language like that. I would ask that you do keep your voice. down.” I could feel Rob (who is reminding me more and more of Chris Farley) looking at me with a “Phhht” look on his face and I struggle to keep reading the book jacket or anything but not look at him. He leans in and says “Arabic!” indicating the slightly dark skinned captain guy. I said something mutter-y, and he said “don’t ya think? Arabic?” At this point he taps him on the shoulder and I am VERY concerned, but Rob just wanted to apologize.

Rob is now sleeping, occasionally snorting, but he’s no longer a threat. They did NOT want to wake him up before takeoff to get his seat-back up, but they did. Landing, however, is still a few hours away.

We’ll see if we do the business card swap at the end of the flight. [We did not – SP]


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