Issue #128 – “Travel Bugs” – April 7th, 2008

-I was going through security at LAX a few months ago, and a TSA worker was reminding everyone who passed to please remove all coins, keys, and credit cards from their pockets.  When it was my turn, the guy repeated his mantra to me, only this time he said, “Please remove all coins, keys, credit cards, and condoms from your pockets.”  I did a double take.  First of all, can condoms actually set off the metal detector?  Second of all – and more importantly – do I look like the kind of dude who carries condoms onto an airplane?  Granted, that was the look I was going for, but I didn’t think I could pull it off.  Unfortunately, though, in my travels across the country, humorous yet harmless incidents like this one are far outnumbered by heart-wrenchingly annoying ones.  Simply put, travel bugs me.

-What’s that you say?  You’d like to switch seats with me to be closer to your kids on this flight?  You and your wife are on your honeymoon and want to know if I’ll swap so you can sit together?  Well, let’s see, how can I make this clear: Go fuck yourself.  I booked this flight online, chose my seat, and printed a boarding pass at home.  Now you want me to sacrifice my own comfort just because you couldn’t get your shit together?  Not a chance.  Go ahead, let your baby cry – I’m too many rows ahead to give a damn.

-Even if I know exactly what gate I’m going to, why do I still look at every single departures monitor as I walk through the terminal?

-Nothing is more demoralizing than realizing the airport you’re in has a tram.  You get off the plane happy as a clam to have arrived, only to find out you’ve still got a fucking ten-minute monorail ride ahead of you.  Even worse, I always end up squished right against that family I refused to switch seats with earlier.

-Things just haven’t been the same for me since I lost my virginity a few years ago.  I have a totally different outlook on life; even food tastes different.  I’m talking of course about losing my “first class virginity” – the transformation that occurs when you fly first class for the first time and realize what you’ve been missing out on your whole life.  Going back to coach afterward is so horrible by comparison, you almost wish you were never given a fleeting glance at heaven to begin with.

-Two things I love about air travel: and Auntie Anne’s pretzels.  Kayak is so awesome sometimes I go there even when I’m not traveling, just to kinda hang out.  As for Auntie Anne’s, I’ve developed an obsession with it over the past year.  I just crave dipping pretzel into processed cheese.  And since there’s one in pretty much every airport, it’s the first thing I look for when I get off the fucking tram.

-Probably what bugs me most about travel is the teasing – the constant experience of being made to believe things are going smoothly before everything inevitably goes to shit.  Like settling into your coveted aisle seat, only to have the guy in front of you recline his seat into your lap immediately after takeoff.  Or taxiing from the gate in preparation for departure, only to be delayed on the runway because of “weather patterns near Chicago.”  (Seriously, Chicago, when are you gonna get your fucking act together?)  So let’s be honest, we all want to get on and off the plane as quickly as possible.  Unless you’re in first class, a flight can only be satisfactory at best, never enjoyable.  Not to mention that in all my years of flying, I’ve never encountered even the slightest possibility of using those condoms.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-I had a pretty bad cold last week, but the toughest part was figuring out to what lengths I should go in order to avoid getting other people sick.  I mean, what is my obligation?  If someone tries to hug me, should I barrel roll out of their grasp?

-Tax season is weird for comedians.  All my buddies pay taxes of course, but I’m betting none have to call their accountant because they’re missing a 1099 from Ha Ha Shack Inc.

-Since a lot of my favorite shows are off the air, I’ve grown a little rusty at DVR fast-forwarding.  Lately I’ve been errantly fast-forwarding a few seconds past the commercial breaks, which sucks because even at high speeds, the resolutions of the cliffhangers are spoiled.  My remote control has also been sticking, so once I hit fast-forward, sometimes I can’t get it to stop.  True, entire episodes are being ruined.  But at least I’m still not watching commercials.

-If you don’t have a BlackBerry but have always wondered what the hell people who have them are doing when they’re constantly typing, the answer might surprise you.  We’re not emailing, we’re BBM-ing.  BlackBerry Messenger is a program that lets you instant message for free with anyone else who also has a BlackBerry.  In fact, I have a few friends whom I communicate with solely via BBM.  It’s an exclusive, shadowy underworld – and no pansy-ass iPhones are allowed.

-Yesterday I tried to take a shower, only there was no cold water.  I’ve run out of hot water before, but never cold water.  I couldn’t even get any room temperature water.  Which was even weirder, because isn’t that like the default?

-I bought some wraps to make sandwiches for lunch.  The package says, “No Lard.”  I don’t understand that.  Who was thinking about lard?  Why even bring it up?

-The worst kind of April Fools’ Day joke is the one that doesn’t fool you at all.  You say to your friend, “Dude, I know you’re just fucking around.”  But they insist and insist and then finally you’re like, “Really?”  And they say, “No.  April Fools!”  Wow.  I seriously miss March.

-And, finally, my parents recently asked my sister and me if we wanted to go on a family vacation.  I politely declined.  Now don’t get me wrong, I get along great with my parents, and who wouldn’t love a free vacation, but at twenty-eight, I think those days have long since passed.  I can’t be anywhere where my mom is making me put on suntan lotion and my sister and I are sharing a bathroom.  Plus when you go on vacation with your family, and you see other twentysomethings with their families, for some reason it becomes impossible to tell how old any of the kids are.  The presence of parents creates a glitch in the Matrix that really weirds me out.  Besides, if I’m gonna get caught at airport security with a bunch of Trojans in my pocket, the last person I want to witness my embarrassment is my dad.  Once we boarded, he’d probably want to get as far away from me as possible.  Unfortunately, the only way to do that on a plane is, well, by switching seats.  Fuck me.