Monday, April 10, 2006

From the plane...

I’m about to tell you how to construct the most productive vacation you can possibly have. What you’ll be learning here will revolutionize the way you make travel plans. You’ll never schedule a trip again, for as long as you live, without the advice I’m about to give you running around your head. It’s just that important.

See, what you have to do is book every vacation you take so that you stay about a day-and-a-half too long. Thirty-six hours is just about right for the purpose. What you want to do is to wait until you cross over the line of demarcation between the period where you’re having fun, and the time when the entire thing becomes tedium, stay for another day-and-a-half, and then bolt for home as fast as your sorry ass can move.

Why do this? Because for each day you spend away, once you’ve crossed into the tedium zone, you’re gaining at least a month of productivity. That’s “Clint’s” theory, and it’s a damned good one as far as I’m concerned. If you leave on Monday, and come home the following Sunday, what you want is to start getting antsy by Friday night. What you want to think is, “One more day of this, and I can get home and start working.”

Because if you were to leave on Thursday, you wouldn’t yet want to go home, and you’d be defeating the purpose of going away in the first place. You’d pine away for your vacation spot, instead of getting motivated by being sick of it.

So what you do, is you get right up to that line, cross it, and then wait it out. Even though where you are is comfortable, and the person you’ve been staying with has gone well out of his way to accommodate you, you want to come to that singular moment when you simply need your own bed. Your own shower. Your own food. When the next dump you take just has to be on your own throne.

And thirty-six hours seems to be the right figure, timewise. It’s long enough to have you chomping at the bit to get to the airport, but not quite long enough to alienate you from your friends. You haven’t begun grating on one another just yet. Anything over that magic thirty-six, however, and you will, and it’s bound to get ugly. Cap the thing at thirty-six, and you’re good to go.

Things Not To Do On Planes:

Don’t be the asswipe who takes too long to pull your carry-on bag(s) out of the overhead compartment. You know exactly who you are, and you did this on the first leg of my return trip, and we were all packed in uncomfortably behind you while you dicked around with the bag you didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting down by yourself. If it’s going to take you any more than, say, fifteen seconds to get your shit together and get moving, do us all a favor and check the bag.

Don’t be a loud laugher. It seems wherever I go – no matter what airline I choose, or how much I pay for a ticket – there’s always some dick who has to sit there cackling at the top of his lungs for the entirety of the flight. Nothing could possibly be that funny, with the possible exception of you suddenly finding yourself toothless.

be a loud talker, either. This should go without saying. If anyone other than the person with whom you’re speaking can hear your stupid story – especially if your voice can be heard over my headphones, for chrissakes – you’re simply too loud, and you need to be shut down. Violently, if possible. And, umm, not to show off my xenophobia or anything, but the validity of this concept increases exponentially if you’re not shouting in English.

When getting up out of your seat – assuming you’re an able-bodied man here – use the pull down armrests in your own row. Don’t grab the back of my seat, pull my head six inches back, then snap me forward and wake me up.

Keep your fucking kids quiet. There’s no reason why, by the time your little fuckers have turned three, they can’t have been trained to shut the fuck up in public. You let your kids rampage on a plane, you’re a detriment to my orderly society and I want to end your life.

Okay, yeah, so this was the first plane flight I’ve ever taken with my new Dell notebook, so I didn’t know you’re supposed to take it out of the bag at the TSA checkpoint. But you know what? I’m fast. And I had the thing out of the bag and in the tray within ten seconds – bonus time I had more than earned because of the speed with which I had kicked off my shoes, and the efficiency with which I’d packed my carry-on. So, asshole, you didn’t need to try to get past me so aggressively, and it’s your own fault you took that shot. I’m a big strong guy. You’re not, so that didn’t really work out too well for you, did it? Next time have a tad more patience and we’ll all be happier.

Don’t read my laptop over my shoulder. That’s bullshit.

If our flight is overbooked, and we end up thrown together in the back of the plane, and you happen to be the obese woman seated next to me, please sit fucking still. Unless you’re physically handicapped – in which case you’d be boarding first and wouldn’t be sitting anywhere near me – there shouldn’t be any reason for you to be in perpetual motion of the duration of a four hour plane flight. Did you see me doing that? No, you didn’t. And do you know why you didn’t see me doing that? Because I know it irritates the shit out of the person sitting next to me. Thanks for reciprocating, asshole.

People shouldn’t be permitted to purchase cell phones unless they use them for speaking exclusively in English. American English. This is because people who don’t speak American English tend to yell into their phones, making me want to stab them in the Adam’s apple. This happens often at the airport. You know, me wanting to stab people in the throat.

Look at you. I want to wear your ass as a hat. That should not be allowed.