I noted several things yesterday while flying en route to Washington, D.C.  They are things I have logged in my memory bank before.  But, since I am not a more than once or twice a year air traveller, I don't have to deal with them regularly.  It's the out of sight, out of mind principle at work with the things I noted.

1) There should be a full 25 question written test with a follow up oral interview for anyone who sits in the exit seat.  Yesterday, before take off, the flight attendant stopped at the exit seat which happened to be behind us.  I heard her ask the man, "Sir, in the event of an emergency could you help others exit the plane?"  His response was very solidly definitively weak and made me want to box his ears in.  "Hopefully," the man quivered.  Good Lord!  Just what I wanted to hear - his scarity catness mixed with ambivalence.  The flight attendant was quick to be blunt (a trait I share and admire in any one), "Sir, I need a yes.  If you are not able to state that honestly then I cannot allow you to sit in an exit row."  She nailed him good.  Now I would venture to say that he followed up with a yes solely because of being called on the carpet and probably not with anymore heart or conviction inside.  My Type A personality was already preparing to shove him out of the way if an emergency did occur and man the damn door myself! 

2) "Sky Mall" magazine, which is in the seat back in front of you on every commercial plane from every airline you might ever fly on, is hysterically amusing to me.  Think about it.  You are trapped in that seat for hours and evidently their research has shown that people want to SHOP for overly priced and bizarre products that you may not be able to get while NOT in the air.  The publishers of that magazine must scour the world over to find the bevy of almost ridiculous, who needs them or would really ever use them products and then market them as must haves to people trapped in a seat for 4 hours.  I read it for pure entertainment making snide and sarcastic comments on the items for sale.

3)  Coffee.  If you read this blog, you know that I LOVE coffee, but really only flavored coffee.  Southern Pecan, Macadamia Nut, Vanilla, Anything with a hint of coconut and nuts rolled together.  I will only drink plain old regular coffee if it is as smooth as a baby's butt.  Which, is a rarity!  Airports must be on a trade embargo with any flavored coffee because I have yet to find an airport that will sell a cup of it.  Starbucks usually rules or some other harsh, dark, and ash laden brand of shit.  I tried my search for a cup of flavored coffee yesterday in the Milwaukee airport.  The gal who waited on me and my husband was engaging and I engaged her sportily back.  I asked if they had any flavored coffee and then braced myself for what I knew would be the response, "We can add any flavor you like to the coffee" she said with spark, tattoos and gaged ear lobes.  I laughed as I explained my "flavor" meant a brewed flavor not a sticky sweet syrup pumped into regular coffee.  I don't put sugar in my coffee only cream.  She laughed and offered me a taste of their coffee - their iced coffee as it is watered down by the ice.  I had a dilemma.  I hate iced coffee.  Actually the flavor wasn't bad.  She then gave me a taste of the hot coffee.  YUCK!  OH YUCK!  I declined both even though I was tempted with the iced coffee warmed up in the microwave with half and half to make it light tanish.  I synopsized my coffee in an airport problem.  I asked about her gaging, her parent's reaction, and how long it took to get those lobes gaged to that size.  She was colorful, respectful and clear to say that parents should not let 13 year olds get tattoos (she had many and worked at a tattoo parlor) or piercings till they are older.  Doug ordered a small shitty cup of strong coffee and put enough sugar in it sweeten an entire pie.  He said it was horrid.  I suggested to him while walking through the terminal that we start an airport coffee franchise with flavored coffee.  I think it would be a huge hit!

3)  There is just a spirit of distrust when flying now.  The more crackpotish things that happen either with pilots melting down (Jet Blue) or passengers freaking out in rage or mental illness, everyone is now a suspect.  It makes going through security this heavy dark experience.  I blab while going through it.  As I got through the full body scanner yesterday and was standing at the belt where your belongings and half the clothes you were wearing are waiting, I turned to the business man beside me.  He was putting on his shoes, belt and suit coat.  I remarked, "Airports are about the only place that we get dressed in front of total strangers.  It is just funny and strange."  He laughed and said that he just tries not to think about it.  Sitting at the gate waiting to board everyone sort of visually examines each other.  Wonder where they are going?  Will I have to sit by that baby on the plane?  Seriously who said that outfit was appropriate outside of mowing the yard?  He looks a bit shady, better keep my eye on him. 

4)  Food and snacks aboard flights just ain't what they used to be.  You might, depending on the length of the flight, get a complimentary juice/water/soda/coffee.  One plane I was on gave out 2 Lorna Doone cookies or 4 pretzel sticks that cost less than the individual sized bag they were in.  You had a choice of one or the other, NOT BOTH!  Yesterday, Frontier Airlines came through the cabin with a stack of warmed chocolate chip cookies.  For a brief second I was excited.  That is until I took a bite.  It was warmed cardboard flavored cookie.  Seriously how hard is a cookie to get right. 

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