Oh, Don’t Think I WON’T!

Oh, Don't Think I WON'T!
So then…we come barreling down the hall just as the gate agent is about to close the gangway door.

“Wait! Wait! Can we get on this flight?!” I shout.

My co-worker Teresa pleads, “Pleeeeeeeease?”

Our other 2 co-workers, Mike and Matt, are huffing and puffing so much they can’t even speak.

The gate agent looks us over – 4 young corporate kids, all in our late 20’s, with our briefcases and carry-ons hanging off our crumpled suits, as we wheeze and gasp after running through the airport.

Her face wavers between impatience to get the flight on its way – and a tiny bit of pity.

I pounce on that shred of emotion. “Oh please, we BEG of you! We RACED here after the convention, only to find out our flight was delayed cuz of snow and ice — so we booked a different flight back home, ran to THAT gate, only to find out THAT one was delayed too! So they booked us on THIS flight – but it took us FOREVER to run here from the LAST gate!”

Matt clutches his chest and leans against the wall, loosening his tie. (Not sure if he’s doing this for dramatic effect or if he’s really in distress, but it works!)

The gate agent says, “OK, OK, give me your boarding passes and get on the plane quickly.”

We hoot and holler and wave our boarding passes in the air. We scramble quickly down the gangway onto the airplane. A few people are still in the aisle, storing their bags and finding their seats.

“Thank God we made it!” says Teresa.

Mike and Matt high five each other. We’re all beaming.

Matt says, “We’re so lucky we didn’t get stranded at the airport.”

“Yeah,” I say. “But I really hope they serve dinner on this flight. Cuz it’s 5 hours long and we didn’t have time to buy anything in the airport.”

Mike looks stricken. “Dammit. None of us has food?”

We all shake our heads forlornly. We haven’t eaten since the lunch of sandwiches at the convention hall — and now it’s late night.

Teresa says, “Oh, I’m sure they’re gonna serve dinner on this flight!”

She smiles optimistically. I frown skeptically.

We find our seats, stow our bags, and buckle in.

Teresa’s next to me. The guys are in the row behind us.

Later, the flight attendant comes down the aisle, dispensing drinks and dropping a little bag of pretzels on each tray table.

“Will you be serving dinner soon?” I ask.

The attendant says, “There’s no dinner.”

Teresa nearly spits out her Coke. Matt and Mike behind us say loudly, “WHAT?”

“We have pretzels,” she says. “We had peanuts earlier today, but we’re all out now.”

“Omigod, seriously?” I ask. “THIS is it? This is ALL the food?”

“Yes.”

Teresa fumbles with the cards in the seat pocket and asks, “Can we BUY food? Do you have a snack menu or something? We’ll pay! We have MONEY!”

The attendant shakes her head.

Matt calls out, “Is she saying there’s no food?”

I answer loudly, “There are pretzels!” I turn back to the attendant and ask, “Could we please have extra pretzels? We’re starving!

“No, I’m sorry,” she says. “We’re running low. What with the flight delays and cancellations, the airport’s been a mess today — we weren’t able to restock before we left.” She moves on to the rows behind us, distributing the meager fare.

I stand up, lean over my seat back, and hold the packet in front of Matt and Mike.

“Did you guys hear that? THIS is it! THIS is our ENTIRE nutrition on this FIVE HOUR flight!!”

They start laughing and Teresa joins in.

“It’s NOT funny!” I say loudly, still waving my packet around. “I.am.starving! I could eat a horse! And all they give us is this puny packet of pretzels!? I tell you what! You better hope we don’t go down over the Andes, because I will not HESITATE to eat you sorry mofos!”

I plop down into my seat, in a huff, famished and frustrated.

Just then a hand quietly reaches over the aisle and slides a packet of pretzels onto my tray.

My head snaps to the left to see who the donor is – it’s a businessman, with an expression of trepidation.

I say, “Are you sure?”

He nods vigorously.

I nod respectfully, with hooded eyes, and whisper, “Thanks, bro. If we go down, I’ll remember this.”

— Darcy Perdu

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(Ever been so hungry on a flight that cannibalism was an actual consideration? How do you feel about so many airlines abandoning the free meals of yesteryear, but offering snacks and meals for MORE MONEY? Any funny flight delay/cancellation stories? Do tell!)
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47 replies on “Oh, Don’t Think I WON’T!

  1. Ohhhh I did laugh at this.

    The day before my wedding dress fitting (in England), Husby and I got stranded in Ireland (we were visiting his folks) because that blasted volcano in Iceland spewed ash everywhere and stopped all the flights.

    What was meant to be a 1.5hr trip turned into a 12 hour EPIC JOURNEY to get home in time for the fitting. We had to call back his Mum, decided to get a ferry, got rushed across Dublin, arrived with literally two minutes to spare to get on the ferry, then the engines on the ferry broke, so we missed our connecting train, and were required to take three separate trains instead of the direct one back home.

    Fortunately I had my DS with me, so I chronicled the journey as we went. And then he turned it into this funky little video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw6lrXSQ5qI
    Considerer recently posted..And sometimes the book gets youMy Profile

    • Lizzi! That 1 minute video is hilarious! You & your Husby are so funny — I love your pictorial of that hellacious journey!

  2. LOL omg that’s so funny – Thankfully you were up in the air or they might have kicked you all off. :P Hopefully it wasn’t TOO bad and you were able to get food once off the plane!
    AwesomelyOZ recently posted..Finding Purpose in 2014My Profile

    • ha — of course we arrived so late at the airport when we landed that all the food places were closed! we were staaaaarving! poor little travelers! :o)

  3. Sue said:

    I’m a diabetic so I always have food on me. However, I would like to share that I’ve always told my husband to eat me if we go down over the Andes. I’m fat, he’s skinny. He has a son. He’s better at walking the dog than I. It’s just a numbers game really.

    • LOL! I love that you’d martyr yourself because your husband’s better at walking the dog than you are! hilarious!

  4. This is hilarious!! I’m sort of surprised that people didn’t start pitching their pretzel bags into your lap (on the slim chance that y’all crashed and all!!!).
    Don’t you hate it that airlines no longer serve meals?!
    Kim recently posted..Wall-Sits, Planks and National Day of SomethingMy Profile

    • Exactly! It was about to get all “Lord of the Flies” up in here! If we went down, I was going to go all “Lost” and “Survivor” and choose my tribe mates based on their generosity with their pretzel stash!

  5. Paul said:

    This may date me, but do you remember People Express Airlines out of Newark in the 80’s? Ha! They made a bus look like first class transportation – but the prices: WooHoo! You got absolutely nothing from them except a seat on a plane and you got to know Newark’s North Terminal like the back of your hand – all their flights either started or ended there. In all honesty, they were completely up front about what they offered and basically advertized that you got nothing but transportation for a great rate. They were proud that they charged for pretzels. After all if you were high enough class that you expected to be fed pretzels free of charge, why should everyone else be forced to pay higher rates for your pretzels? It became a mark of honor and belonging that you boarded, got seated, paid for your ticket (yep on the plane, no check in crew to pay for) and broke out your lunch/snacks from your bag. There was often sharing of snacks – kind of like a giant picnic at 20,000 feet. Ha! Crashing in the Andes (or, in this case, the Appalachians) was not a problem – everyone came equipped with their own grub.

    I can recall getting laid-over in Houston one summer day when I owned/operated my own tractor-trailer. We hauled oilfield equipment from there to Eastern Canada and it paid very, very well but often entailed waiting for weeks for a load. So, I stored the truck, and hopped on a People Express flight to Boston to spend time with my girlfriend while I waited. I packed a lunch, boarded, paid my $99, and settled in to enjoy the flight. Normally I have no issues flying but for some reason I felt very nervous and it wasn’t long before I figured out why. There was a well-dressed older woman seated beside me and she had never flown before. As soon as the plane took off, the flaps retracted with a slight whirring sound and she jumped and wanted to know what that noise was and if it was normal. I explained and she confessed that she had never flown before but had read about People Express. Apparently the article had not been overly flattering. Ha! She was OK while the flight was level but the landing in Newark took quite a bit of explaining as the various regular noises and thumps occurred – landing gear, flaps down, engine sound change – I’m sure she thought we were crashing a dozen times. She was white as a sheet as the plane approached the runway and was gripping the arm rests with all her strength. As soon as the wheels touched the runway she raised her feet and started to push against the back of the seat ahead. I looked at her quizzically and she blushed and informed me that she was helping the pilot stop the plane. As we rolled to a stop at the gate (with her help), I eagerly looked forward to relaxing without my seat-mate on the flight from Newark to Boston.

    • picnic in the sky! ha! I DO remember People’s Express — and actually have a very funny story about one of their flights, so I will post it one day soon!

      and thank goodness you were there to help that older lady with her first flight!

      • Paul said:

        I was just thinking – a plane trip would be a great adventure for the bear that appeared in your blog a while back – great learning experience for kids.It can be scary the first time out.

        • Ha! I think that little bear has documented his flying experience!

  6. I’m giggling right now!!! Very funny, this coming from a woman who also gets hostile when I don’t have food. Once in carpool I got RAVENOUS. All I had was a bag of fishes I’d grabbed from the pantry the day before to feed my starving 6yo. It was still a pretty full bag. I ate the entire thing.
    Beth Teliho recently posted..What Do Women REALLY want?My Profile

    • perfectly justified! on the plane, they tell you to put your OWN oxygen mask on FIRST, THEN put your child’s mask on —
      the same goes for eating snack goldfish!

  7. Loved this post and the flashback it gave me! :D Years ago, I flew with my cousin to see her mom in Miami. Our layover was in Pittsburgh – it was winter and weather was delaying flights. While we waited, we stopped in a gift store where I bought a bag of jelly beans for my aunt (her favorite kind) and then my cousin and I proceeded to have a few drinks. And then a few drinks more. By the time the flight boarded, we were feeling no pain but hunger. We weren’t five minutes into the air before that jelly bean bag was opened – ate ’em all the way to Miami – one at a time so they would last (in case we went down over the Andes). My cousin would say, “May I have a jelly bean please?” And I would hand her one. Was a big joke and oh how we laughed. :) Not a bean was left by the time we touched down. Best flight I’ve ever taken! Thanks for reminding me! :)
    Marcia/Blogitudes recently posted..Kicking Off 2014 With Happiness and GratitudeMy Profile

    • HA! I can you just picture you two girls, happily tipsy, doling out those precious jelly beans, one by one!
      And how kind of you to share! If we go down over the Andes, I’d definitely want you on my survival team! :o)

  8. Hmm….I once sat next to a guy that smelled like Chili Cheese Fritos (and yet, he did not have an open bag of Chili Cheese Fritos). The funk got so bad that at one point during the flight, I actually wished the plane would crash so the oxygen mask would drop.
    Cary recently posted..Blind Murphy’s PageMy Profile

    • Yikes! That’s some stinky-stanky Chili Cheese Fritos!
      One time I sat down next to a guy on a plane and within a few minutes, I asked him, “Do you have cats?”
      He looked so surprised and said, “Yes! 3! How did you know?”
      I said, “I’m psychic. And also my breathing tube is closing up. You seem like a delightful fellow, but if I continue to sit here, I will cease breathing all together, which would be awkward for both of us, so please excuse me.”
      So I moved to another seat far away and lived to tell this tale.
      There are 2 things we can learn from this experience:
      1) Next time you sit next to a Chili Cheese Fritos guy on a plane, pretend you have a very specific allergy to that particular thing and vamoose to a new seat.
      2) I actually AM deathly allergic to cats and have the asthma and 3 ER visits to prove it — so if YOU, Cary, the Reluctant Cat Owner, were to invite me out for margaritas with you and your partner (and why the hell HAVEN’T you? even though we live on opposite sides of the country) — anyway, I could only attend if you agreed to be stripped and steam-cleaned to ensure no stray molecules of cat dander accidentally lingered on your person then transferred to me (most likely during our rockin’ karaoke rendition of “Summer Nights” ala Travolta and Newton-John), thereby making you the instigator of my demise and saddling yourself forever after with the moniker, “Cary the Reluctant Cat Owner and Muhhhhh-derer.”

  9. Yep. You definitely jogged a few memories loose but at the top of the pile is the time my friend L and I were on a flight to Paris– I wanted Pepsi and more than they would give me in that tiny cup. I recalled the days of my youth when you got your very own can if you asked for it. But now they just had these 1 liter bottles.

    It was the middle of the night so I decided to sneak up to the stewardess station and steal the almost-full bottle of Pepsi (I’d paid for the flight, I was entitled, right???) but the stewardess popped out of nowhere so I threw it towards my seat.
    Where it promptly exploded.
    I had to sit on my jacket the remaining 5 hours of the flight, and it soaked through to my pants.

    Moral of the story: Don’t steal.
    Aussa Lorens recently posted..AT&T: The Pantless WonderMy Profile

    • That is a hilarious morality tale, Aussa! You made your bed, now lie in it. (Or — You spilled your Pepsi, now sit in it.)
      I bet the flight attendants had a good chuckle about that!
      Although, better to have Pepsi pants — than NO pants at all — like your customer in your funny story AT&T The Pantless Wonder! So funny!

    • ha! that guy was shakin’ in his wingtips! :o)

  10. Hilarious! Once I was on a flight when a peanut allergy(!) was on board. Apparently people become their allergies. The flight attendant came back through and collected the peanuts she had handed out. She tried to give me pretzels but I (jokingly) told her I was a pretzel allergy. Do not do this. It is akin to saying you have a bomb.

    • hahaha! LOVE that you said that to her!! LOVE that she was not amused! That’s hilarious!

  11. Oh, that’s so awesome. I’d have been there, holding a toothbrush upside down to random throats and demanding offerings to the potential future zombies. I’d likely have gotten arrested, but who hasn’t these days? Exactly. Keep making me giggle. Please. Seriously..I have plenty of toothbrushes.

    • You’re officially on my team! I could use a feisty broad with a limitless supply of toothbrushes!

      • Well, I didn’t say “limitless”, but over 6 is damn close. You are my blog star (which is way cooler than a modern day rock star so go ahead and glow lol).

        • 6 will be plenty, Fierce One! We shall reign SUPREME!!! AAAARGH!
          (and thanks for the lovely compliment! I AM glowing now!) :o)

  12. Paul said:

    I got a great laugh out of the comments on your post and noticed they were all about the passengers. I have an amusing story about a flight crew. I was sitting in the boarding area with about 200 other passengers in Vancouver waiting for a plane to Toronto. It was early – 6:00 am and the first flight of the day. The flight crew came walking down the concourse led by the captain. He was accompanied by his first officer and about 8 stewardesses. As they marched in formation towards the gate, swinging briefcases and carry-ons, they looked like a duck family with the mother in the lead and all the little ducklings following behind (my mind tends to create stories at that time of the morning). They marched past the young female gate agent and disappeared down the ramp. About 3 minutes later they all came marching back up the ramp to the gate.

    The captain was furious as he stopped at the gate agent’s desk and said in a loud voice:
    “WHERE’S MY PLANE!?”

    Agent: “Ummm, there’s no plane there?”

    This was getting interesting – I could just picture the captain at the end of the ramp with one foot in mid-air and his crew holding onto his jacket to keep him from falling to the tarmac. Ha! I had my hand over my mouth to keep from laughing out loud at his indignation. Imagine- someone TOOK HIS plane!

    Captain: “ARE YOU QUESTIONING ME!?!?”

    Agent: “No sir, I’ll check right away.”

    (Some unheard conversation on a two-way radio.)

    Agent: “I’m sorry sir, it seems that Maintenance thought it was a good chance to get a few items repaired on the plane. They are bringing it back right now, sir.”

    Captain: “THEY TOOK MY PLANE WITHOUT ASKING!?”

    I’m close to cracking up now (picturing a two year old throwing a fit) and quite a few grins are appearing among the passengers.

    Agent: “They are bringing it back immediately, sir.”

    Captain: “SOME HEADS WILL ROLL OVER THIS, I ASSURE YOU!”

    With a background of chuckling passengers, he and his ducklings marched back down the ramp to wait for their plane. We did depart on time.

    • Ha! I love how you paint a picture, Paul! I could just picture that whole scenario unfolding! So funny!

      I can just imagine pilots are NOT happy if their planes ain’t where they parked ’em! :o)

  13. Darcy, when my sister and I were little, about a hundred years ago, (when all meals on flights were still free) we went on a flight without our parents. My sister told me to decline all food because she did not know that it was free. I was starving! To top it all, there was a terrible storm and we had the bumpiest flight ever.
    Vivian Pitschlitz recently posted..Merry merry and Happy happyMy Profile

    • Omigosh, what a flight! That’s so funny your sister was afraid to accept the food for fear there was a fee!

      In my childhood, we rarely flew because we were a family of 7 — so when we did fly, my Dad made sure we ALL ate every morsel of our airplane meals because “it’s included in the price! don’t waste the food!” Some of the airplane food in those days was highly dubious — sort of a sub-par Swanson’s TV dinner crossed with school cafeteria food — but we obediently complied! :o)

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  15. Plus, have you ever noticed that those pretzel bags only contain like 5 pretzels each. Well, you probably that day! ;)-Ashley

    • yes, I DID notice that! I STILL have PTSD from it! :o)

  16. William Kendall said:

    You do have to garnish with honey mustard when pulling an Andes Soccer Team Flight act of cannibalism, of course.

    • Ha! Good point. I should travel with little packets of honey mustard, just in case!

  17. Jill Kaplan said:

    Story: I was flying home from England, but the weather in Boston was NOT cooperating. There’d been a massive three day snowstorm all over NE. I desperately wanted to get back home, I’ll admit it had something to do with a boy. I was supposed to hang out with him earlier that break, but things didn’t pan out. We were gonna try and see each other just to hang out before we both went back to school on Sunday. Because of the snowstorm and Logan airport shutdown, we ended up switching flights to a day later, assuming the flight we were scheduled for would be cancelled. It wasn’t and the flight we rescheduled to was, in fact, delayed. My teenage self was devastated– I was positive that my entire life was going to implode. (It hasn’t. Yet.)

    And as for food services on flights, Delta gets ALL THE PONIES. (At least for overseas travel).

    • Ah, teen love and longing! Your tale sounds like the beginning of a rom-com!
      As for your comment about Delta, is that a typo? Or is Delta serving pony-meat to their passengers? What the what?

  18. Reindlgator said:

    Omg Darcy. I just flew from SoCal to Florida and was reminded of you the whole way. I typically will not eat before I fly so my anti-anxiety meds will work faster. So here comes the nice lady with the drinks and there were no pretzels to be had. I must have asked my husband a dozen times if they just forgot to give them to us. It seems crazy that I wanted my 3 pretzels so bad, but flying is such a nightmare that I need that reward like my dog needs treats. At least the meds worked and I was able to share your story with my husband (he is so tall and thin he was in no danger of being the first one eaten if we crashed.)

    Keep the laughs coming,

    Amy

    • Ha, I laughed out loud when you said your hubby was in no danger of being eaten if you crashed! Sorry there were no pretzels to be had! — anti-anxiety meds for everyone!

  19. MaryHS said:

    My husband hates to fly — always has, and getting older has not mellowed him.

    This fall he got sent on a business trip out west. The conference center was extremely far out into the countryside….so far that when they called for a car to take them to the airport, the taxi driver asked THEM how to get to the airport. “Hello we live 3000 miles away. You live here. You drive for a living. Don’t you have a GPS!?”

    Needless to say they were late getting to the airport despite leaving early. They made it to the plane with no time to spare — and yes, there were no bananas. One package of pretzels to get them to Denver, and a little Sprite, and they were so delayed they had no time to buy food there either. One more package of pretzels to get them to NYC!

    • lol! “yes, there were no bananas” — so funny! as if flying isn’t stressful enough, all they give us is pretzels! they should be doling out big bowls of stress-relievers like chocolate, ice cream, pasta, popcorn, beer and wine! for free! FREE, I tell ya!
      :o)