Thursday, December 20, 2007

Scorpions on a Plane Part 2: The actual story about scorpions...on a plane


This is the way in which words fail me. They used to overfloweth from my mind, but recently the ideas gently boil but never seem to bubble over. I get all anxious and lazy and procrastinate. Then I feel bad about procrastinating which causes more anxiety followed by mild depression. I am pretty sure there are pills for this, but for now I'll settle for excuses.

Which finally, after several months of reluctant whimpering, brings us to part 2 of my bug blog:

(psst, here's part 1 in case you missed it)

I am exhausted. The previous night's dehumanizing battle with the cockroach has left me uneasy and sleepy all at once. Now I am finally tucked in securely between my parents in seat B, waiting for the plane to take off up to altitudes far beyond the flight of the palmetto bug. Passengers are still filing in as my weary head falls on my shoulder.

"What! Are you serious?" I hear some muted commotion breaking out a few rows up. I open my eyes to see what's going on.

A woman is creeping down the aisle, ducking below open luggage bins. She approaches a flight attendant politely.

"Excuse me, sir," she taps on his shoulder," There is a scorpion in the seat next to me, and it just stung my son."

Ok, now it's my turn: "WHAT? Are you serious?" Let's put aside for the moment that I am trapped yet again with a terrifying insect. What is even more shocking is the absurdly calm demeanor of this lady. The way she approached the attendant you'd think she was maybe hoping to get a blanket maybe possibly if it's not too much trouble. Who reacts this way when their child is attacked on a PLANE by a venomous, possibly deadly, creature?

"Oh dear, it seems a hideous scorpion is in my child's seat. Well, isn't that odd? Oh, look at that. He just stung my child in the face. *bzz* (hits attendant paging light). "Don't worry son, I'm sure they'll be with us right after the beverage cart is sorted."

This is sort of a fun game, actually. To help you appreciate the absurdity of this situation, come up with the most far-fetched, horrific attack you can imagine enduring on the plane, and then pretend to respond to that by calmly pushing the attendant light above your head.

*bzz* "Ah, yes. It seems a tiger has mauled my son. Whenever you get a chance an extra napkin would be great."

*bzz* "Oh, hi. Could I get a Ginger Ale, please? Oh and also, it appears that an alien has just exploded through my son's abdomen. Thanks."

That is seriously how flatly and matter-of-factly this lady was. She must have been from the West coast. Anyway, maybe I am just a fear-monger, but if I were her I'd probably react with slightly more arm flailing and substantially more screaming.

Anyway, the jokes didn't come until later. First, there was panic. For all I know if there is one scorpion on the plane there could be more, and suddenly I start having flashbacks of my sleepless night. I feel phantom legs crawling up my arm, curved tails poking through my seat cushion. My cozy comfort zone has suddenly turned into a potential death trap.

The attendant bravely approaches the boy where the scorpion was STILL HANGING OUT, picked it up with some cocktail napkins, put it on the floor and promptly (if with slightly fey sass) gave it a good stomp.

After the scorpion was rendered harmless, the napkin was slowly unfolded and the contents examined by every passenger on board with facial hair.

"Excuse me, I have a beard. Let me take a look."

Although the inspection took place out of earshot, I gathered from the furrowed brows and nodding that the scorpion was not of the deadly variety. I'm sure that sting still hurt like a mothertrucker, but the kid stayed put as we began our pan-american travel.

Needless to say, my sleepless night was followed by a sleepless flight. It was a severe 24-hour case of the creepy crawlies.

So let that be a warning to you. You never know where the hell your plane has flown in from or what kind of extra passengers may be on board. Check your seat before you sit. This is true for most seats, really.


the end.
i feel better about myself now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

this blog has been brought to you by zicam: when getting a cold scares the shit out of you

Scary shit went down at CVS today. I stopped in to the one in Midtown on my way out of work in search of some Zicam (god damn it i can't believe i am getting sick AGAIN this season.)

I was browsing the back aisles immersed in my search for the magical orange box. "Is it with the cold meds? The cough drops? Vitamins?" Finally, I spy a pack of nasal swabs next to the emergen-C, but just as I reach out to grab 'em I am startled by a thunderous commotion at the front of the store. The automated doors have swooshed open and a man (black male, in his 20s) comes barreling in shouting:

"EVERYBODY FREEZE!"

My first reaction was a slow removal of my cellphone out of my purse, but I second guessed myself. He said freeze, maybe I should just comply until this is over. Does he have a gun? I tried peering up the aisle but I couldn't quite see what was going on. The lady next to me did the same. Maybe I can go out the back way? No, he'd see me there. I could dive behind the pharmacy counter if he starts firing...

A million scenarios run through my head in those 10 awkward seconds. I have to say I was more bewildered than scared. Holding up a CVS in broad daylight? When the pharmacy counter in the back had easy access to a phone?

Just as I came to grasps with the reality of the situation, the same man lets out a laugh,
"Naw, that's my girlfriend. I'm just playin'."

What kind of an ass thinks that is funny? I am pretty sure it's illegal...like yelling "fire!" in a theater or something. I can only wonder how the clerks reacted. I am still not sure who he was talking to or if he really pretended to have a gun. It was outrageously irresponsible either way.

At this point the box of Zicam is clutched precariously in my shaking hands as I make my way to register. Apparently, the man is still there waiting in line. I try to act cool, but it's not long before he starts making a scene again.

"That nigger is still working here?" He mocks a young employee that is stocking shelves next to him. "Man, that nigger sold me some mints."

I took a glance at the would-be robbers' eyes which seemed to be slightly glazed over. He's on something, obviously. The older clerk, possibly a manager, asks the man to please settle down.

"Man, I'm just tryin' to buy a lighter."

Then a woman who seems to know the man comes out from the cosmetic section. He shouts something incoherent in her direction and she says,

"Whatever, you called me a bitch in front of all Peachtree."

"GIRL I AIN'T CALLED YOU SHIT....." in a snap he has totally lost it again and starts yelling at this semi-amused semi-stunned lady. Weighing my options I decided that a cold is probably not as a bad as a knife wound, so I inconspicuously rested my Zicam on some Christmas cookies and took off for the door.

I could hear the manager demand that the man leave, and as far as I could hear I think he finally complied. What a mess! It made me see how I would react in a situation like that if it was real... and I honestly I don't think my reflexes were so great.