Monday, October 18, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened at 35,000 ft.

First off, let me start by saying I have no idea how high airplanes fly. I also recently discovered I don't care. I randomly guessed "35,000" feet and I'm sticking with it.

On the flight from Vancouver to Montreal, I was changed forever. Air Canada stepped up huge. Here's what happened:

So it was Oct. 10th, Canadian Thanksgiving (we have football up here too, but we're in a rush to eat so the teams only play 3 downs). I sat alone in the Vancouver Airport eating a traditional thanksgiving feast consisting of a $9 turkey sandwich, bottle of water, king size Coffee Crisp, king size Wunderbar and, because I felt I deserved it, some chocolate milk.

(That was far too pathetic to be anything but true)

It was 11:30 pm. It was also shitty. I got on the plane and was thrilled to find out that I was sitting in the emergency exit row and had MASSIVE leg room. I'm tall, so I appreciated that. Even if it comes at the price of having to bust out some heroics in the case of emergency.

("Sorry, can't save anyone. Too comfortable")

So an attractive flight attendant comes over to me and explains to me how to open the emergency exit in case of....peril. I never would've figured it out from the drawings all over the thing explaining what handle goes in what direction. You know, cause I'm a 6 year old...who is also blind.

(NOTE: Was going to put a picture here, but after typing "blind 6 year old" into a google image search, I was so ashamed I had to take a shower. Then I forgot why I was in there and just focused on scrubbin')

So after she gives me the rundown, I smiled at her and told her "don't worry, I got this." I then saw the unmistakeable look in her eyes that said "I don't believe in you, j.Bowman". That look is a real thing btw (my high school teachers perfected it). I get excited though, because there are only 2 seats in my row and the other one is empty. The plane is pretty much boarded and I have a nice, relaxing ride to Montreal. So content was I that I took to Twitter and expressed my delight to all 13 of my followers. That feeling lasted for all of 8 seconds before some bearded asshole gets on the plane and shuffles his scruff to the seat right next to me. I was choked but these things happen, right? Sometimes people sit next to you on planes. And sometimes, as it was in this case, those people happen to smell like wet fart that was trapped in a mummies sarcophagous (my unwillingness to use spellcheck eclipses my unwillingness to embarrass myself). The dude smelled and I did not approve. I even tweeted about that:

"jBowmancouver: the dude beside me on the plane smells like Tom Waits sounds"

And he did. So as I'm sitting there, wondering how to ask if they can drop my oxygen mask down, the stewardess from before comes over to me and hands me a note. Peculiar. The note read: "Come and see me when the seatbelt sign is off". My thought process progressed as such:

"Do they need me for a special mission?"
"Does she need me for sex?"
"Is the special mission sex?

Either way I either did something REALLY right or something REALLY wrong. Thoughts raced through my head as I nervously shuffled my lucky coin through my fingers. My eyes were glued to that sign. As soon as it came off, I unbuckled my seatbelt when a male flight attendant appeared from out of nowhere, looked into my eyes, nodded and indicated I should follow him to the front. Things took a left turn, FAST. I followed though, after all it still could've been a special mission.

The dude whispers to me....."sir, we are going to upgrade you to executive class". I asked if I could go back and grab my stuff, thinking that maybe I had to leave all reminders of my broke ass life behind if they let me into first class. The guys says sure, I go back to round up my belongings when it dawns on me: these fuckers think I'm gonna blow it with the emergency exit. Getting over my hurt feelings I gather my things, take one final look at the world I knew and then proceeded to the other side of the curtain. The guy asked me:

"You know why we upgraded you, right?"

I wanted to say/scream:

"Because you don't think I can deliver under pressure with the fucking exit door do you?! DO YOU?!?!"

But instead I answered:


He replied:

"Because the man next to you is very, very smelly".

Holy shit! The flight attendants follow me on twitter! Or they smelled him too and felt bad for me. I'm thinking it's a little of both. It can be both. So first time in first class. It was awesome, but now I felt a tremendous amount of pressure to belong here. I take off my hat, in the name of manners. After all, one mistake and they might exile me back to "funkatron 9000" back at my old seat. I scroll through the onboard video options, trying to pick something classy. "Last Airbender"? fuck that shit. "Big Bang Theory"? Get that the hell out of first class. We should have "Arrested Development" up there. I think maybe I shouldn't even watch a movie. Perhaps that is a test to see if I'm classy enough for first class. I need to get like a screensaver on my laptop of a Monet painting or something and then make insightful art critiques about it when the cute stewardess walks by. I still haven't given up on the possibility of a special sex mission.

("Monet...fucking awesome, eh?")

I didn't want to sleep up there. It was like a 6 hour red eye flight at midnight and I was tired from playing hockey mere hours before, however j.Bowman Can't Sleep. I had to keep enjoying this. Until I sell a script or something I won't be sitting in first class ever again. So essentially I won't be sitting in first class ever again. Even though the chair was more comfortable than my bed, I could not allow myself to sleep. I wanna make eye contact with a fellow "first classer" (that's what I'm gonna call them until I come up with something catchier like "fronties"...) So in my head I was hoping me and a Frontie would make eye contact, roll our eyes sarcastically and gesture towards coach. That's when I start fearing that I'm out of touch. I used to be a man of the people, but now I've become everything I hate. 47 minutes in first class and I've changed to the point where I'm unrecognizable (cause I'm actually smiling now). I should start a revolution. Tear down this curtain between us and unite this plane and it's passengers under a banner of equality and--

Then I got passed the menu for first class. That word is not a typo, kids. MENU. I order for breakfast two belgian waffles with maple butter, chicken sausage, cinnamon apple wedges and cranberry. As far as I'm concerned, the people on the other side of the curtain can go rail themselves.

I wanted to say:
"Bring me a monacle and someone named Geeves".

But instead I point to the menu and say:
"I'll have that, please".

Then they bring me, cookies and ice cream (which wasn't gellato or made of hopes and dreams). No manservant named Geeves either, but it'll do. I took a bite of one of those cookies and wouldn't you know it, they were warm. Not like microwave warm, they baked these things up there on the plane. WHAT?! I order milk and they bring me some, but due to the cookies, non-gellato and crisp $20 bills I have laid out everywhere there is no place for the milk to be placed. WRONG! She gently taps a part of the middle console between seats and a whole other section of it comes out for my milk to rest on. I was sitting next to R2D2 the whole time and I didn't even know it.

(There was even a little old man inside!)

It was at this point I felt perhaps I was dead. Maybe I suffocated to death while sitting next to "funkatron 9000" and this is what my heaven is like: 15 feet from where I died. My imagination blows.

I was loving it up there. I kept thinking they should change the velcro sound of the curtain to a cash register sound. Here I thought double fisting Orange Julius at the mall was the most baller thing ever. I have never been so happy to be so wrong. However my screen froze halfway through an episode of "Party Down". The stewardess came over to me and asked:

"You didn't turn off your screen, did you?"

Now, I wanted to say:
"Yeah, that shit ain't plasma. Do you think I'm a chump? What kind of airline is this?!"

But instead I said:

She goes to reset the screen and my mind wanders. She comes back to tell me it's reset and I jump, startled slightly. She apologizes and I feel embarassed. People in first class don't get scared. The only thing that scares them is going back to coach. Then it hits me: I'm going back to coach. I don't belong up here with these people. Now I understand completely what "Avatar" was really about.

("They've got freshly baked cookies in that giant tree? Fuck it, we're going in!")

I am writing a lot in my notebook at this point. I have written 4 pages so far. If anyone comes by and asks what I'm writing, I should just say my bank account balance. My SWISS bank account balance. When I transfer planes in Montreal I now fully expect more awesome things to happen for me on this airline. I better get a note that says "we need you to co-pilot this plane, after you complete a sex mission".

They asked me if I wanted more cookies. I was not aware I could have more cookies. When I inquired as to the amount of cookies I could have. The response was: "as many as you like". Unlimited cookies was the amount. I was satisfied with her answer. Just so I can throw it in this asshole's face:

("Suck it, bitch.")

She brought me more milk and cookies, and I resisted the urge to proposition her. I've been trying to cut back on the whole "propositioning people who give me dessert" thing. Gotta set limits, right? So I said "please" upon request and "thank you" upon delivery of cookies. My goal had now, for no apparent reason, become to be the most polite first class passenger in the history of aviation. I was going to be the Ron Francis of first class.

(The "C" stands for "kind" if you're a really shitty speller.)

At this point I remember that the only reason I'm sitting up here is because I was in the vincinity of someone who smelled like grim death. No matter what, I was not going to be getting any sleep on this flight. Several words of advice (sentences even): If you ever come across someone who is abhorrently smelly, learn from my experience. Don't shun them (to their face), take them with you, wherever you are going. YOU WILL GET FREE SHIT. Smelly people are worth more than stock options. I'm gonna take homeless dudes to Canucks hockey games.

"Excuse me sir, who is that unkempt man beside you?"
"Oh, that's Manny. Doesn't he smell terrible?"
"Indeed he does. How would you like to play left wing on the fourth line tonight?"

I ask where the bathroom is. The stewardess tells me it's up at the front, "right through that curtain". ANOTHER CURTAIN? Awesome. Last curtain I walked through transported me to the magical land of first class. If I go through this one, I'll probably end up in Narnia, only with more cookies. A guy got up and headed through the curtain to the bathroom at the back of the plane. What an idiot. Who let this douche in first class? Sadly the first class bathroom didn't have a bidet. But I've had a good life so far not having water shot up my ass, so I didn't really mind.

("Show me on the doll where the water touched you")

At this point in the flight, I get a little comfier. I unbutton my shirt a little. I take off my shoes. I took off my hat when I first got up there. Not classy. Top Hat? Different story. I wonder exactly how comfortable I can get away with being up here? I wish I brought sweatpants in my carry on. Stupid! If someone up here takes off their pants and hangs them on a little rack, I'm going for it too.

Then my Ipod randomly played what I've decided is my official "first class jam". Fernando by Abba. Shit's tight. There was indeed "something in the air tonight". That something was me. I wondered if Fernando was classy enough for first class. Maybe "Thriller" would be better? If the cute stewardess asks me what I'm listening to (which she probably would cause I am rocking the fuck out at 4:26 am) I've got a plan:

"What are you listening to?
"The symphony"
"Really? Which one"
"....all of them."

I then realize the classiest sounding music on my ipod (5700 songs) is the "Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" soundtrack. If any girls are reading this, please forget I ever said that.

(Link: Travels through time, saves the land of Hyrule and ruins my chances with women. Skills.)

At that point I wonder why they even have a "no smoking" sign on an airplane. We get it. It ain't new. I think about what would happen if they turned it off, just for like 3 minutes or something. All the smokers would probably nervously look around, unsure if they should go for it or not. DO IT! THERE IS NO LIGHT TELLING YOU OTHERWISE! Then they would go into the bags and cautiously place a cigarette in their mouths, scanning the area to see if anyone would stop them. Nobody does. OH the looks on their faces when they'd realize you can't have lighters or matches on planes. What a pricktease that would be.

It was very important to me to impress the flight attendants on this journey. I wanted them to think they made the right decision by calling me up to the bigs. I like to think their options were

A) Throw the smelly dude out the airlock or

2)Let the pale nerdy guy go to first class.

I was determined not to fuck up. I ALSO SMELLED WAFFLES! They delivered my breakfast to me and the majority of it was awesome. However I took a bite of a kiwi and it sucked. I spit it out on the plate, and then immediately worry about cute stewardess seeing it, thinking I'm gross and cancelling the sex mission. So I improvised and hid it in the container my butter was in. BOOM! It is difficult for me to convey how delicious those waffles were, so I will say this:

On my wedding night, I will think only of these waffles. God damn magnificent.

I actually ate too many cookies earlier and struggle to finish. I crushed 1 waffle but the second guy was a bastard. The stewardess would keep coming by to see if I was done and I'd defensively raise my knife and fork as if I was still eating...but I was decimated. If it were a boxing match, it would've been stopped. Way too full. I didn't want them to think I was a pussy though so I ate a yogurt I wasnt intending to eat, then I hid the remaining bit of waffles inside the empty yogurt container. BOOM! Put a scrunched up napkin inside too, to further the disguise. Stewardess came and took my plate, probably impressed that I ate 7 cookies and was able to finish my waffles without puking. That impresses women right? I kinda wanted to puke to see if they have a dude that comes out and cleans you up after. I'm sure he is up there somewhere...right next to the fella baking cookies.

And then that was it. The Captain came on the speakers and said we were starting our decent into Montreal (which normally would be a good thing cause there are some fine people there) and I knew my time in first class was coming to the end. I felt crushed. It'd be like if at the end of every episode of "The Jeffersons" they got moved back on down.

And at no point did anyone send George or Wheezy on a sex mission.

(Mission: Impossible)

Thanks for reading



  1. M. Laverman can't do homework when you write shit as funny as this. You've inspired me to experiment with the No-smoking light once I get settled into my airline job.


  2. This is some funny stuff.