I’m not an asshole. I swear to god I’m not. But I was sitting in first class today when “the incident” happened. In fact, it was my first time in first class and since you can probably look at the records and figure it out anyway, yes, I didn’t pay for a first class seat. I was upgraded for free. The woman at the counter said it was something to do with an oversold flight and space and my “nice face” but I think it had more to do with the way I looked in my new jeans. They’re Armani! I found them on the sale rack at Marshalls. And for those of you who know Marshalls, yes, getting an item on sale at Marshalls is the ultimate discount. It’s like finding a hooker that pays you for sex. But back to the incident…
Let me start from the beginning. I got on the plane and the flight attendant offered me a drink before we even took off! After a brief conversation, I learned about the greatest perk of first class, the drinks are free and you get as many as you want. I got a jack and coke. Delicious. (And free) So I started to formulate a plan. This flight cost me 300 bucks and I’m about to get all that money back. Now I realize this might not be something you want to hear. You have a business to run. I understand that. But you’ve got to see things from where I’m sitting… and on this day I was sitting in first class. So after about five minutes a guy gets on the plane and sits down next to me and without a word from the flight attendant he ordered a screwdriver with no ice. I thought…this guy’s obviously been here before.
The stewardess brought us our drinks…that’s right I called her a stewardess. And don’t start telling me that’s politically incorrect because I already know that. In fact, that’s why I said it. I fly first class now. I can do what I want. So we’re drinking our drinks and watching the rest of the passengers walk by to their seats in coach. What an amazing feeling! Each time a passenger walked by I could see the envy in their eyes and I swear to you it actually made my drink taste better. It was like their envy was fermented into some delicious jealousy tears liquor and now I was drinking it.
Once everyone finally got on the plane the stewardess made an announcement that we were just waiting on one more passenger and then we would be ready to go…early. Everything
was coming up Greg! After a short wait our final passenger finally appeared. It was a man in a wheelchair, maybe 55, being pushed by one of those ladies that works at the airport and gets pissed off and sighs loudly every time someone asks her to stop texting and “work” for five minutes. (I said “work” like that because I think it’s unfair to call pushing someone 300 yards in a wheelchair 5 times a day “work” when there are children who actually work a full day pulling diamonds out of river mud in Africa. I’m just saying, let’s have a little perspective people. See, this is why I’m not an asshole, because I see the forest for the trees. Even from my seat in first class I never lose sight of the little people. In this case the little people are actually physically small people because they’re children but you get my point. Little African diamond picking children keep up the good work…I salute you!)
Back to the story. So the guy in the wheelchair appeared at the door of the plane and as the wheelchair was pushed across the threshold, the wheels must have stuck on the lip because the chair tipped forward and the man just flew out of the chair and went to the floor with a thud. The guy next to me yelled out “Oh my God!” and I looked toward him and we locked eyes. “I spilled on my pants,” he said. I looked down and there it was, a giant orange juice and vodka stain on his beautifully tailored gray linen pants. It was horrible really, as I think about it now. Do you guys have a policy for that? I mean if one of your drinks, on one of your planes, in one of your first class seats stains a guy’s pants do you make it right? Do you buy him new pants? I don’t know, it’s something to think about.
So anyway, this guy is on the floor and the entire crew is rushing around trying to figure out what happened and what to do next. I meanwhile, was asking myself, how long do I have to wait before I can order another drink? But don’t judge me, I wasn’t actually going to say anything. A man is injured! But then I noticed that I wasn’t alone because “screwdriver no ice” wanted a drink too. Then he did something I could never imagine. He did something so bold that only a true visionary, a captain of industry, a person who flies in first class could conjure it up. He raised his glass and gave the flight attendant “the shake”. I couldn’t believe it! I’d never seen anything like it. A man was lying on the floor injured and this guy’s shaking his drink… And you can be damn sure that I was going to shake mine too. My hand shot up like a bullet and I shook that thing like it was cinqo de mayo.
So the stewardess saw the shakes and mixed our drinks. Once they were ready she carefully stepped over the man on the floor and amazingly managed to do it without spilling a drop. You’ve got to commend her professionalism. And you know what the guy next to me did when we got the drinks? He held his up to toast. He actually wanted to toast! So I looked at “screwdriver no ice” and I looked down at the guy on the floor looking all pathetic and a million thoughts ran through my head. Do I toast with this guy, do I not toast with this guy? I don’t know. What do I do?! I decided to toast with him. And I’ll tell you why. I decided to toast because when you fly first class for the first time you just want to fit in. It’s like the first time you have sex. You don’t want to try anything crazy, you just go through the basic moves and hope you do everything well enough to get another shot. If I screw up the drinks in first class, I’ll never be invited back! So our glasses touched and the “clink” echoed throughout the first class cabin. I like to think the sound traveled to the back of the plane and inspired the passengers in coach to work a little harder at life and climb out of their cabin of aviationery squalor.
Finally, after 2 hours (so much for our early departure) they let this guy get up off the floor. This was the first time that I got to see this man’s handicap, which from where I was sitting appeared to be 300 pounds of body fat. And after a long discussion, the crew decided to put him in an empty seat in the first row of first class. So now, with the door closed, and everyone in their seats, we were ready to go. As the plane pushed back I noticed that screwdriver no ice” was shaking his head and staring at the man from the floor. I turned to him so he could unburden himself and he said, “Some people will do anything for a free seat in first class.” And what else could I say but, “Tell me about it.”
Wait, I think I got a little off track here. What did you guys want me to write about? You wanted to know about the guy in the wheelchair and whose fault it was, right? Oh yeah, they just dumped him on the floor. It was definitely the airline’s fault.