Wednesday, January 21, 2009

See You Next Time

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

Sunday afternoon was a fun day for me. I essentially had a bachelor's life in my place of cohabitation. It was only a couple of hours after I dropped Nicky off at LAX. As soon as I returned to the apartment, my pants disappeared. The bong was within reach. Playoff football flashed on the TV screen. The Grateful Dead's Row Jimmy blasted on the speakers. I fired up a couple of online poker tables.

I was raging solo.

And then I fried up some meat to make an official guy's guy day. By the end of the afternoon (one of the benefits of watching football on the west coast), I had won both of my bets. One was small (with Otis) and the other was kinda big (that is to say, big for today's standards, puny compared to what I was wagering two years ago at this time). Yeah, I really fleeced Otis during the NFL playoffs. In all fairness, I was riding the hot team, Arizona, while he was constantly on the other end of those gentlemanly agreements.

Otis' money is the sweetest money.

Nicky had a tough trip to South America. Lots of headaches. LAX. Delayed flights. Small transfer windows. DFW. Broken airplanes. Lost luggage. She arrived safely in Chile which is the most important thing. And her luggage arrived 24 hours after she did. At least she got her clothes and things in a timely matter.

Two Canadian friends of mine are in Australia right now for work assignments. They both had their luggage misplaced. Heck when Marty was in the Bahamas, his luggage arrived five or six days late. We gave him shit because he wore the same pair of cargo shorts and a selection of cheesey souvenir t-shirts that you would never be caught dead in yet you buy them for family members. Anyway, Marty finally got his clean clothes two days before he was supposed to leave Paradise Island and return to Vancouver.

Ah, the downside of business travel. Now if Boeing and Airbus just built planes differently, we could have more space in the overhead. But what do I know? I'm not an engineer. I'm, just a guy who has been flying once a week for the last four years.

Except now. A rarity. I will spend a good month without getting on one plane. I don't hate flying. The bullshit involved with domestic/international air travel in post 9/11 America is a total farce. The reason I get so wasted before I fly is not because of a fear of flying (or even a morbid fear of dying). I slip into the depths of inebriation to deal with the inbred nits, the dullards, and all the retarded people you encounter at the airport while waiting in line after line after line.

And then there's the plane crash in the Hudson, which happened less than 24 hours from the time I left New York City. Folks and pundits all around were calling it a miracle. It totally was and then some. There has never been a water crash landing involving a wide-body jet that did not include a fatality. The Hudson crash was historic because no one died. That pilot saved his crew, his passengers, and the aeronautical industry in one swoop.

I rarely get nervous when I'm on a plane. My fate is in the hands of the pilots and the crew who maintained the plane. If I die, the blood is on their hands, not mine. And I'm highly confident in pilots. The majority of them are former military pilots or fighter pilots with some combat experience which means they are cool and calm in the most dire of situations.

Alas, who knew that a flock of geese were so deadly? That's the Canadian version of a surface to air missile. Yes, when in doubt, if you can't blame the terrorists, then blame Canada.

Here's something that I never wrote about in my jfk > burbank post from last week. When I was eating breakfast at the food court at the brand new JetBlue terminal at JFK, I spotted a JetBlue pilot sitting at an adjacent table. He looked familiar. I didn't make anything of it. We both finished our meals at roughly the same time and happened to meet at the garbage bin. The pilot pointed to my backpack that included a PokerStars patch. That's when I recognized him. He's been my pilot on the JFK > Burbank/Long Beach run on a couple of occasions.

When you disembark the plane, the pilots and flight attendants stand up front and say goodbye. Upon my exit, the pilot saw the PokerStars patch on my backpack... more than once... that he had to say something to me. I suspected that he thought I was a pro.

At this point, I fly JetBlue so much that I recognized some of their flight attendants. I know as soon as I step onto the plane if I'm going to get an attentive one or a rookie. Now, I'm recognizing pilots and vice versa. The pilot said that patch is what stood out. He used to play poker a lot when he was in the air force, but not so much these days. He wanted to know if I was a poker pro. I told him that I was much far south on the poker food chain. I was just a lowly poker writer.

And here's a little tid bit that I picked up on my travels... if you overhear a flight attendant tell a passenger, "See you next time!" they are actually saying something totally different.

"See you next time" is just a code.

C U Next Time = CUNT.

I fuckin' love that. I have used that a couple of times already in public to rude nits. It's my subversive way of calling people a cunt.

See you next time.

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