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Amendments!

Time to amend my airplane rules.

Amendment #1: Don’t bring your yippy dog into the passenger cabin without a tranq. It is an animal and it will be fine in the cargo area. No, you are wrong to debate me. If your animal requires constant contact with your skin, perhaps you should drive to your destination. Or seek therapy. At the very least, don’t torture the rest of us with the constant whining, wailing. Humans rule, yippy dogs on a plane can suck it.

 Amendment #2: Babies can cry, your 6 year old is not allowed to scream. I’m not talking about panicked hysteria. No, I’m telling you, two rows behind me, to cover your kid’s mouth (and nose, if you don’t mind) with your hand and control it. It is not allowed to emit a high-pitched shriek every 16 seconds because it is angry at you for bringing it on the plane. Control the little fucker, grow a pair and discipline your stupid kid. It’s not funny. It will be less funny when I murder your face. Do it!

 Matt will be taking Advil PM tonight for sure… And maybe a tranquilizer the next time I step foot onto a Southwest flight. Buncha peasants.

 Omfg, the fuckin’ kid keeps shrieking… Rage taking over…

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I rarely use this blog to complain about the world, but today I am going to do just that. What prompted this? A douchebag on my plane this morning. So, with my goal being to set a new blogger record for instances of “douche” in my post, here we go:

Rule #1: The poor soul in the middle seat gets the armrests

I typically fly Delta (see why below), so I’m never exiled to a middle seat. Well, these past two weeks I’ve been forced onto United planes and I have no status with them. Guess what you get when you book travel only 3 days in advance on a big jet to a major hub with no status?

That’s right: a fuckin’ middle seat.

They may as well have put my seat in the tank that holds everyone’s piss, shit, used tampons and vomit. With no room to stretch, elbows on either side and sitting in a high-traffic spot: the person in the middle seat gets fucked in every hole. So, don’t be a douche and give them the right of way on the armrest.

Rule #2: Don’t recline your seat

No, don’t try to argue with me on this one. I am right, you are wrong. In fact – this statement is probably true for everything we have discussed, are discussing or ever will discuss.

Know your place!

Ahem. Okay. On most planes, when you recline your seat it drops right into the face of the person behind you. That poor Joe barely has enough room for their drink and they can forget cracking open their laptop. You just doomed them because you are a douchebag.

“But Maaattt – the seats recline, it’s my right!”

Well, I guess it is and nobody can say anything about it… but I still reserve my opinion that this is a douche move. Even if I’m sleeping, I only recline if the seat behind me is empty. Some planes are so bad I cannot even get out of my seat without contortion if the person in front of me is all the way down.

Rule #3: The plane disembarks from the front

If you are in row 15, then row 14 disembarks before you do.

If you are in row 2, then row 1 leaves ahead of you.

This isn’t tricky math. It’s designed to allow for an orderly departure (and to avoid lawsuits for trampled children and senior citizens).

However, invariably, there is some douchebag who thinks he/she is more late than everyone else ahead of them. They shoot forward without care or remorse.

Hey, asshole, did you ever consider that others around you may be just as late for their connecting flight? Maybe they aren’t as vocally agitated over events beyond their control, but that doesn’t make them any less late (or any less important).

When I see this rule being broken, I wish TSA allowed passengers to pack tasers. The punishment for thinking you are better than everyone else on board should be a swift and brutal shock to the jugular. Enjoy the floor, asshat.

And don’t claim ignorance on this one. If you aren’t a frequent flyer, pay attention to your fuckin’ surroundings. When yer out of your element, observe and imitate. That’s what I did for my first-ever delve into the bowels of Chicago’s subway system this morning and I got to my destination on the first try. Observe and imitate – it’s quite simple.

Rule #4: Kids cry

Chances are, you were a kid/baby once. I bet your parents even took you out in public on occasion – maybe even on board a plane or train or other public place. And guess what: you probably cried your little fucking head off.

Like rule #3, my blood starts to boil when I observe some douchebag huffing or complaining about a crying child. Maybe they are angry at the parents for *gasp*, flying on their plane? Maybe they actually have no soul and loathe the baby for reacting in a natural way to a very unnatural atmosphere. Whatever the case, these people deserve the taser too.

I mean, if the mother/father/caretaker/kidnapper is slapping the kid around to get some squeals out of the little shit-maker, then perhaps you have a case. Otherwise, you are just being a grade-A, wholesale, selfish, uncaring bag of douche.

Maybe someday I’ll blog about our trip to Vietnam to adopt our son. But for now, know that I needed to return to the USA for our livelihood and for our daughter. My wife stayed a week longer in Vietnam and flew home alone with my son. He was ~8 months old for that 30 hour airplane-hopping marathon. Shit, after 30 hours, I was ready to ball my eyes out. From my wife’s account, my son only lost his shit once. He cried for a few minutes and some douchebag had the nerve to offer suggestions to my wife to calm the screamer:

“Maybe he’s hungry? Did you change him? Does he need to be burped?”

Jeez, asshole, thanks for your wonderful advice. We’ve tried all that already and he just wants to cry. He’s a baby. This is a plane. Give him a fuckin’ moment.

If there is a Heaven, and we meet “5 people we should have thrashed in real life but never got the chance” – I hope I see that guy.

Rule #5: Treat the flight attendants with respect

Flight attendants, in my book, are freakin’ heroes. They are combination customer service reps, ushers, food service slaves, tetris champions, lifeguards, janitors and EMTs.

I have failed in at least 2 of those professions in my time here on earth. Show some respect! Also, they are just there to do their job.

So:

– Turn off yer fucking phone when they ask

– Sit down when they ask

– Don’t yell at them when all the overhead space is gone

– Don’t give them shit when the plane gets delayed

True, they are human and may make some bad judgment calls in certain situations, but don’t be the douchebag on the phone causing a late departure because you think you’re more important than everyone else. While I’m the first to question the validity of the “no electronics” rule, the flight attendant is just doing his/her job. Let them do it and don’t treat them like garbage.

Intermission

Alright – those are my 5 rules. To reward those who suffered through the rant, here are some tips:

Tip #1: Fly Delta

Why? This is why, mutherfukker:

Biscoff cookies – a gift from the Gods.

“When someone asks if you are a god, you say YES!”

Equally as important:

“When a Delta flight attendant asks ‘peanuts, pretzels or cookies’ – you say COOKIES!”

Trust in Matt – he wouldn’t steer you wrong.

Tip #2: If you are a whore, fly United (or fly small planes)

No, not THAT kind of whore. I mean, if you don’t fly too often and will take to the air in whatever is available without care, then fly United. True, the Biscoff cookies are hard to resist on Delta, but you will have stress trying to find a spot for your carry-on bag. Now, I don’t know why the quest for an overhead slot vexes me so, but I loathe it. I would rather check my bag, have my junk fondled by TSA and wake up in a dumpster in Jersey than deal with the shitty carry-on game.

You see, all the airlines (except Southwest, but they suck for other reasons) charge for checking bags. So, everyone and their dirty cousin brings their bags onboard now. And there just ain’t room for it all. The last people on the plane typically have to hunt, stress, hold and ultimately hand their bag over to be checked.

To me, it’s just not worth the stress. Fly United, book a seat at the back of the plane, and remove the stress! You see, United boards from the back of the plane forward. So, while you have a longer wait after the plane lands to disembark, your bag is guaranteed a cozy spot on board.

Or, if you can book small planes, they typically don’t have large enough overhead space for the rolling carry-ons. Your larger bag will get taken from you as you board and then given right back after the plane lands. So, you avoid the overhead space hunt and also the baggage claim hell. Win win!

Tip #3: You want the aisle

For us frequent flyers, this is a no-brainer. But we often forget that we are the minority. The aisle gives you the most leg room and lets you get up to stretch/use the can anytime you want. If you are at the window (or in the dumpy middle seat), you better hope the aisle-guy ain’t sleeping!

In Closing

Though I jest (and officially broke the blog-wide record for uses of “douche”), I think the spirit of these anti-douche rules transcends aircraft. Modify and season to taste whenever you are near your fellow human being. Guess what, kiddies – we’re all in this revolving boat together. Try not to be an asshole and you may find the world a better place.

And to that douchebag who sat next to me this morning: You weren’t a “plus size flyer.” I dunno why you thought you were entitled to the armrest or why your knee kept straying into my zone of control. In short:

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Radio Silence

Here I sit, stranded in Chattanooga Tennessee, aware that it has been some time since my last blog post. Moving in less than a week. Allergies from hell. Workin’ like a maniac. You know – life and all that.

Oh, looks like I’ll at least make it to Atlanta. Here’s hoping I avoid a repeat performance of my Philly baggage claim night.

As I’ve mentioned before, this move into a new, smaller house is all part of my master plan to simplify life. When the dust settles, I shall share my thoughts. We weren’t able to sell any beds at our tag sale, and I was initially bummed that we had to lug all that furniture. Then, the most amazing thing happened – we learned of a single mom and her daughter who were sleeping on the floor. Easy solution – we gave them our old beds, including an antique that has been in the family for generations. May it comfort them as it has me, my mother, my grandmother and my great-grand mother. I cannot think of a better fate for that furniture.

Shit – time to board!

More updates on the flip side.

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Questing in Des Moines

While in Des Moines this week, I was tasked with a holy crusade – to become the “hero vendor!” Well, I’m a title-whore, so I had to take the challenge.

Hold on a sec – are you my wife? If you are my wife, you must stop reading now. Compromising pictures are to follow, and you cannot know what I did behind your back in Iowa.

Not gone yet? No, I’m serious – leave now!

Dammit, why are you so stubborn?

Alright, let’s partake of a little background. My mother-in-law once doubted I could finish off the last pound of mashed potatoes at some family function. Silly mother-in-law. She was unprepared for what followed – a gorging she hadn’t witnessed in many years, since she raised 2 girls. At any moment in time, I can consume an unlimited amount of potato-material. It’s just a fact.

Likewise, I can usually polish-off any quantity of cheesy macaroni. So, when I was challenged this week to finish an entire bowl of macaroni gratin at some floofy french restaurant, I rose to the occasion.

Armed with my furnace-stomach and unhealthy love for the macaroni, I eyed the bowl as it was placed before me:

The enemy. Human hand is in there for reference. It's larger than it looks! (the bowl, not the hand)

Ahhh… heart attack in a bowl. My favorite.

Let’s elapse some time here:

Halfway there! Ugh...

Did I mention there were large bits of bacon waiting inside as well? Who knew the french could make such hearty food!

I was surprised to learn I would be the first to pass the challenge. Now, I’m small of stature, so this fact surprised me. As the end neared, I knew I was going to taste victory, even if the Marriott bathroom would be soon declared “ground zero” after the attack upon my system.

Fin!

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Novi, MI: hellz yeah!

Look what I found in Michigan!

Novi, MI - Alpha Zulu 1700 hours, near-ish the contested Canadian Border

An ugly, bald dude? No, look behind the bald dude. BM! Hellz yeah.

For those of you who don’t know me, I have an addiction… as sickness, really. You see, for some reason that cannot be identified (or explained), I love Boston Market! Comfort food just hits the spot, and BM serves it all up for me.

Rotisserie chicken? Can’t get enough.

Meatloaf? Munch munch.

Mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, stuffing, broccoli, mac-n-cheese? Drool.

Pot pie? Fuckin’ jackPOT!

So, yes, shortly after finding my hotel I typically punch “Boston Market” into my Garmin to find the nearest one. Don’t believe me?

(warning: the following pictures contain graphic baldness. Not suitable for all viewers)

Atlanta, last year

No clue where the frak this one is

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The Value of Time Travel

(A note from Matt: Mike finished this nanoseconds before my latest post. I’m publishing it now because the first paragraph was relevant for a few minutes there. As usual, Mike is a great Yin to my Yang… or something. GREAT counterpoints, Mike!)

Where the hell is Matt?  Why no blog posts?  There must be something interesting to say about Green Bay, especially this week.  Anyway, in his apparent absence and considering that my job blows and hasn’t “approved” me to work from home, I think I’m gonna make my own snow/homework day, and while I’m up, I might as well play Devil’s Advocate here for time travel.

Now I completely understand what Matt is talking about in regards to Heroes.  I was one of the folks who told Matt it was fantastic but took a very sharp and sudden decline.  You could blame a lot of that on time traveling samurai, but I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that they were completely directionless and their yearly bad guy plots were about 10 times worse than *my* worst D&D campaign.  I’ll also agree that Star Trek has egregiously abused time travel almost at every corner and that the best thing that could be said about the latest movie was that “the time travel didn’t get in the way.”

Ahh… but what about mankind’s dream of time travel?  The reason that it shows up so much in TV, Movies and Literature is because it is a concept that has fascinated us for a very long time.  Is it fair to call H.G. Wells Time Machine trite?  I don’t think so – Wells warns of the perils of society gone mad as well as abuse of technology – both arguments that were ahead of his time and influenced literature and society for the future.  In a way, Wells influence on the future DID allow him to time travel – I can’t discount that.

Even going back to Star Trek, what about the original series Episode, City on The Edge of Forever, written by award winning Sci-Fi author Harlan Ellison?  It’s argued to be the best Star Trek episode ever written and even won a Hugo award.  Sure, this is what started Star Trek down the slippery slope of time travel, but the original is a piece of art.

What about humor and nostalgia?  Time travel certainly was responsible for some of my favorite shows and movies growing up.  Back to The Future, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Quantum Leap, Voyagers! For someone who waxes nostalgic about watching Voltron, Matt sure easily forget about some of these.  As kids, we loved these shows and movies.

It’s hard to narrow it down to what it is that makes you like Time Travel and makes you understand why authors keep going to that well.  Maybe it’s a love of history?  Maybe hope for the future?  The wish to correct mistakes?  Maybe you’re British?

Anyway, I still think Time Travel has merit, certainly and can be very well done.

M1k3

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Ode to my iPad

Oh iPad, oh iPad,

Where have you been all my life?

You have changed me today,

Would you consider replacing my wife?

—-

I once wrote on the plane with my laptop,

But douchebags in front of me always lowered their seats.

Couldn’t they see I was working?

What a bunch of rat-dick-meats.

—-

Speaking of meat that is smelly,

I love how Pages knows English perfectly.

Good-bye forever Micro$oft Word,

You have failed me as an ally like Italy.

—-

I know there are things you cannot do,

Like multi-tasking and working with files.

I’m willing to forgive those flaws,

But only for a while.

—-

Yes, as you can see,

I am a fickle sort.

Just ask anyone who plays games with me,

Of their criticism I have no retort.

—-

** – No Italians were harmed in the making of this Ode

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