Saturday, October 18, 2008

Good thing I clipped my toenails

Wow, I really don't get off my block much. I totally forgot how much of a hassle it is to travel these days.

In the two days it took me to fly from St. Cloud to St. Louis and back I had to take off my shoes and belt 4 different times. If I'm going to get undressed that many times, I'd better either be going to bed or... going to bed. (ifyouknowwhatImeansaynomorenudgenudgewinkwink)

Here are some observations:

ALWAYS were socks that don't have thread-barren ends and a hole where your baby toe sticks out.

Which begs the question... Why do we need to take off our shoes? I had a pair of dress shoes in my carry-on bag and they didn't need to see those. All I can say is I'm thankful Richard Reid didn't try to light his underwear on fire instead. Idiot.

What did they think I was going to do with the half-squozen tube of Aqua Fresh toothpaste they took away from me - run up into the cockpit and squirt it in the pilot's eyes? Maybe they were worried I would whiten somebody against their will.

The best value in beverage choice on an airplane is a can of Mr and Mrs T Bloody Mary Mix because they will give you the whole can as opposed to a portion-sized cup of soda. Probably because you'll be the only one on the plane who thinks that stuff tastes good.

A .85 oz tube of toothpaste at the airport news stand costs more than a 6 oz tube at Walgreens.

TSA agents aren't ALL scary monsters. In fact, the last one to check me in thought he was Don Rickles.

I was behind two other guys in line to be screened. The first guy had bright orange hair and the second guy had a long pony tail. Here's what Mr. Rickles had to say to each one of us after he carefully inspected our driver's license pictures, looked us up and down, and then looked at the picture again:

To the orange-haired guy: "Oh, I see the circus is back in town."
To the pony tail guy: "When did they take this picture... the day you were released?"
To me: "This has to be you. There's no way there are two guys that ugly running around."

So yeah, it was fun.

Especially the part where my knees became intimate with the guy sitting in front of me. Or the part where they made me get off the plane and check my carry-on roller bag because there was no more room in the overhead bins. Or the part where the woman in the seat next to me had to go puke in the bathroom because the little propeller plane that goes between St. Cloud and Minneapolis was bouncing up and down the whole way down there.

But at least I got to see Rickles in the main room for free. Normally those tickets are expensive!


Sandy said...

Yes, the days of "luxury air travel" are long gone.

On our last trip, the attendants were selling mice-sized bags of sundries for $6, but then asked everyone to NOT eat them because someone on board was highly allergic to peanuts.

Whaat? So we got to enjoy our peanut laced snack (at about 25 cents a pop, according to my calculations) after we left the plane, where we could have bought something in a vending machine for a lot less.

Ed said...

I could see you with that toothpaste pointed to the pilots eye and demanding dental floss or something. That was funny Jeff!

Heather said...

I always wonder about the guys who have really foul-smelling feet...I mean, those things could be considered lethal weapons too.

Michelle said...

Oh I SO feel for you on all those items. Did you remember at least to put your deodorant into your quart sized Ziploc?

Oh, and good to know I need to be seated ahead of you on the plane if we're ever on the same one. I'm apparently the other person who goes for the Mrs. T's!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

sandy - I would have asked for a refund. I'm a pain in the ass that way.

ve - I could see if it was that hot cinnamon toothpaste, that could really burn. But this was just Aqua Fresh. How dangerous could that be?

heather - Really. Forget trying to light them on fire, they should make illegal to take your shoes OFF on a plane.

michelle - I did put my stuff in a Ziplock, but I don't get that one either. What difference does it make if it's in a bag? I have so much to learn.

Anonymous said...

Air traveling SUCKS. :)

Elizabeth said...

Ugh, that sounds awful. I hate to travel for the same reasons!

Roger Miller said...

I have always been a fan of air travel, heck I even joined the Air Force because of my love for planes, etc... I mean where else can you been crammed in a metal tube and get a free Diet Coke?

Okay, so I haven't flown in a while, but...

Actually, I did fly to the Twin Cities last year and I spent more time in the airport than on the actual flight. Damn terrorists won this one, I think.

Whit said...

Hey, you caught Rickles in an Emmy year.

Anonymous said...

"The best value in beverage choice on an airplane is a can of Mr and Mrs T Bloody Mary Mix because they will give you the whole can as opposed to a portion-sized cup of soda."

You do realize that everyone on the plane is assuming you have a secret stash of nips and you are spiking the Bloody Mary Mix.

Just saying :)

cathouse teri said...

I just got off of a plane. I tell ya what, the more I travel, the less I like people.

Ed (zoesdad) said...

CPO Sharkey is still alive??

Did you tell the guy to keep his day job?

Mooselet said...

When will they hurry up and perfect transporters so we can all travel that way instead?

JD at I Do Things said...

HAW! Good one.

And I love that your toothpaste tube was "half-squozen." Perfect.

I'm so doped up when I fly, they could ask me to strip naked and I probably would.

JD at I Do Things

Mom Thumb said...

Hubby and I were lamenting about how lame air travel is now. When we went on our honeymoon (25 years ago), planes would be so overbooked they would ask to bump people. We got bumped for a flight two hours later. For compensation we got two free domestic tickets and we got to fly first class to Minneapolis and they gave us free champagne all the way because we were newlyweds. Last time I flew I got more boob action in security than my last mammogram.

Is squozen really a word?

Kat Mortensen said...

Did they allow you to have the pop top tab from the can - isn't that considered a lethal weapon? I mean you could maybe slash someone, right?

Mr. Warmth would be so proud!

Did you have any zinger comebacks? I'm sure I would not have been able to keep my mouth shut at comments like that. (Says she of the former Japanese Prisoner-of-war driver's license, now proud owner of the demented psycho photo.)


Windyridge said...

They took your toothpaste? Seriously? That's crazy.

Unknown said...

ugh. for the baggage checking hassle and rigamarole I'd have driven from msp.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Sarah♥ - I suppose it's all relative. It would suck worse to drive to St. Louis and would suck even more royally to ride in a covered wagon for a month. How's that for looking at the bright side? ;-)

elizabeth - Ya, I try to avoid any non-vacation traveling as much as possible.

roger - At least there's plenty of restaurants and bars at the airport these days. If you can afford them that is.

whit - Exactly. He was really on his game.

chris c - I wish I had thought of that. A can of Bud Lite was $5.00. That's air robbery!

teri - I think it brings out the worst in people. Something about having to wait for hours on end in uncomfortable chairs.

ed - Actually I kind of wished I could stick around and listen to the rest of his act.

mooselet - What do you mean? They had those things back in the 70s. You're not going to try to tell me Star Trek wasn't real are you?

jd - That doesn't surprise me one bit. After all, most of your flight destinations involve nudist camps anyway.

mom thumb - I agree. I've received my share of free tickets and upgrades in the past myself.
And squozen must be a word. I mean between you and JD and I alone we've used it 3 times already. What more proof do you need?

poetikat - I didn't actually notice about the tab. Are you saying they actually keep them? That would just be too weird. And no, I was told to never talk back to TSA lest they pull you aside and do a full cavity search just for the fun of it.

windyridge - EXACTLY!

gette - It was actually cheaper to fly out of here rather than pay gas and parking for the trip to Mpls. And I'm not a big fan of driving an hour after a grueling day of work and travel.

Jen - Queen of Poo said...

I still love traveling despite all the pains in the butt.

Squozen? lol

Michael from said...

i recently flew and had some of the same experiences. i went to wisconsin but met some good folks at a bar who were from minnesota, and they were asking about my twittering and blogging, so i referred them to you, being from their state and all!
perhaps you'll gain a reader this week. happy travels!

Cerise "Mama" Outhier said...

Let's hear it for road trips!

Anette said...

this is a classic! And on the spot!

Doozie said...

Well at least you know now, the next time you have to board a puddle jumper, hide your toothpaste in your shoes, wear knee gaurds, make sure your will is current and have your drivers license picture rotated with the "felon of the month club"

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

jen - I do to. Especially when it involves sun, beaches and beer.

muskrat - Thanks. I welcome any and all new readers!

mama o - I like road trips for fun. Not so much for business tho.

annette - Glad you liked it. My woes are always a big hit around here.

doozie - All good advice. If I use your suggestions my next trip should be a breeze.

Maureen said...

Ew. Thanks for reminding me. I am on a plane Thursday to Toronto... but at least it's a big plane with my very own TV.

And the best part? Hubby won't be there to grab the remote!!!!

Tonyia said...

Love the nod to Monty Python...

Anonymous said...

this is shocking

United Studies said...

This is why I only travel much more easier. And it probably costs about the same. We aren't charged for luggage or food or anything.

But yeah, a few years ago I was traveling to Canada for work, and the TSA guy wanted me to take off my shoes (even though I was wearing flat sandals), my belt and my shirt. Even though I had a tank-top on underneath my shirt, I still did not want to take my shirt off. So I looked at him, cursed and said very loudly "No I am not going to strip for you." Everyone turned in our direction and he let me go.

Anonymous said...

LOL I always get tomato juice on a plane too. I normally hate it, but for some reason as soon as I board a plane I begin to crave it. I never noticed others were getting shafted on their Pepsis.

bon bon said...

i cracked over the comment made to you, so i guess that means i owe you an apology.


Anonymous said...

Yep, I agree with everything written, I vowed not to fly again after the last time (two years ago) when they searched my 14 year old daughter while holding us back and refusing to answer questions, real obvious questions like "Why ?".

The really stupid thing here in the UK is that most European holiday resorts are just two hours flying time away - you have to be at the airport three hours before flying to check in, add another hour at the other end for bagage reclaim and car hire and you've got an all day travel programme - you can drive to most resorts in Europe in one day and have more fun doing so.

Mrs. R said...

I think you're brave for flying from St. Cloud to MSP. I HATE the hopper planes.

I wish this country would invest more money in high speed trains.

Dennis said...

I travel by air for business far too often, but I had a full month of not going anywhere. When I got back, things had changed...

Everyone at TSA had brand new blue shirts! I made a compliment on this to one of the 16 TSA agents standing around to help me and the other two people in line run their gauntlet. He had no idea what I was talking about. "The last time I was here," I explained, "your shirts were white. Now they're all blue." "Oh," he replied with all the enthusiasm of, well, a TSA agent, "yeah."

The limit on toothpaste tube sizes is 3.4 oz. You can't buy a 3.4 oz toothpaste tube, but that's the limit. I actually found 3.5 oz toothpaste tubes at the dollar store for the fabulous price of a $1, and have been having fun seeing how many times I can get through with them. I've lost them twice, even when I smile "pretty please?" about the .1 oz overage in the size of the tube which has been half used up, therefore is probably containing somewhere less than the 3.4oz limit... nope, in the can it goes.

The flight attendants have nothing to do anymore- they're charging $2 for a can of soda on a flight these days, and *nobody's* buying. So they sit in the back and do sudoku. How depressing.

Back when they started restricting all the toiletries in carry-ons, it was a blessing for buisiness travelers. Mom and Pop travelers (rookies, we call 'em)hated their toothpaste on display, so they checked their bags. This opened up overhead space for business travelers who no longer worries about having to gate check or rush to get on the plane first. Fabulous!

But NOW they charge $15++ each way to check a bag, so mom and pop cram it all into a carry on roll-away suitcase just like the pros, and everyone on the flight stands in the jetway at the destination trying to identify their suitcases. Silly, silly, silly.

Who'd have thunk that taking the bus or a train could be a step up in luxury>