I did not really want to get up when my mother shouted at me to do so this morning, but after a few little naps, I made my way downstairs, through the shower, and into the car where I ate my cheerios and gulped down three espressos. I love espresso.
Since I would have around twelve hours until I took off for Switzerland, I decided to buy some Internet time on my iPad to distract me. I simply can’t stand using the Internet on my cellphone. It works alright, but I don’t have the patience for the tiny screen, slow loading times, and low-resolution screen that makes fonts look funny, so it was a good decision. Unbeknownst to me, though, 250 megabytes go by quite quickly and by the time we were at the Illinois border, I had already used 169. Maybe AT&T’s data plans aren’t the smartest. If the joyous day ever comes when I get myself a shiny new white iPhone, I am surely going to use Verizon.
Jessica slept for probably half of the way, and those first few hours passed by nice and quietly, quickly almost, but the moment she woke up, time ground to a halt and she managed to entertain us in her own very special way. For instance, she asked these questions:
“Are we in Mississippi?”
“Where is Chicago?”
“Is the womb on this side?” As she pounded on her left.
“Is that a lilac?” As she was looking at an iris.
Then she had a fit when we mentioned the word mushrooms. She had a spasm, actually, I believe. She is deeply bothered by the gills of mushrooms because–well, I’d really rather not say.
A few minutes after she woke up, she began howling for food, screaming, smacking and demanding to be fed–she was like an animal in the zoo! She even demanded to be breast fed because she was so hungry. She found this remark of hers to be so funny that she began to pee herself as she laughed.
People have often said to me, “But, Ben, why hasn’t Jessica been institutionalized.” I sigh, and say, “I do not know, no I do not know.”
We stopped at Culver’s for lunch, where I tried not to imagine the grease settling around my heart. There was a woman giving out smoothie samples, and Jessica and I were instantly against her. She was going to run out before she got to us and that was simply not acceptable. We began to mumble, “Bitch, bitch, smoothie bitch. Oh! Is we not good enough for your smoothies?” In the end, she had one. It was gross.
There was also a woman that looked exactly like Tina Chen. If you don’t know who that is, go here! Listen to her song entitled, “MISSOURI.” Genius. Or her cover of Britney’s “Gimme More.” Both are such fun.
We drove through Rock Island, Illinois, for gas and our GPS, named Nancy, had a fit after we deviated from her course. “Turn left, turn left, turn left, turn left, then turn right, turn left.” Every moment made her more enraged and I’m sure that if she had human emotions she would have shouted, “Goddamn bitches! Listen to my goddamn directions! I said turn left, puta!” Nancy is kind of scary.
As I began to sing Dixie, don’t ask me why, that song is alway stuck in my head, I realized that Rock Island Prison is where Ashley was locked away in Gone With The Wind. I really wanted to go see if anything was on the island, then using my best Southern accent, wail the following, “Oh, Ashley. Come back to your Melanie, oh we all miss you so. Even Scarlett.” Melanie was so ignorant, or, maybe she chose to be that blind. Either way, I wanted to try out my Southern accent.
As we drove on, I began to read Bossypants by Tina Fey. Great book, but it belonged to the library, so I only got halfway through it before we pulled into the airport.
What a grey, grimy, sad place this is. I think this every time I come to Chicago, I don’t feel any charm about this place. As much as I want to, I don’t want to sing, “A town so smart, it’s spelling starts, with C, H, I, C–chic!”
Once we found a spot we took a tram then a train and then we checked in. The woman said, “We have an Asian vegetarian meal confirmed,” before looking around for what I can only assume was a very short Asian. It was me, though. It sounded like something fun to try when we picked out special meals.
We said our goodbyes to Ma and Pa and then got in line for security. Little did I know that all my airport dreams were about to come true.
First, I saw the full-body scanner. I love the full-body scanner. I want to see the picture of me as I come through and then use it as my Facebook profile picture. Nothing could possibly be more bitching. It wasn’t that exciting to go through, though, but I did pose fiercely.
My electronic devices were then all inspected and swabbed. I never found out what they were looking for. As they were doing this, one of the guards shouted out “CSS!” I didn’t know what this means, but I was immediately thrilled. I am deeply intrigued by airport security, I don’t know why, as it is not that interesting, but I am. CSS turned out to be a patdown. Yeah! I’ve never had one.
Chris introduced himself to me, told me the protocol, looked bored out of his mind as if he had already said this fourteen thousand times that morning and then began to pat me down. Jessica was watching on in horror, sure that I had suddenly transformed into a criminal. I was enjoying myself, people were watching me suspiciously, and there is nothing quite so much fun as that.
A woman bumped into him as he was inspecting me and he mumbled various vulgar curses at her. It was hilarious.
Then, hello! Chris was investigating my pants. As certain places were examined, I had to fight back the urge to say, “Geeez, buy me a drink first.” It turns out that I have a tremendous need to crack inappropriate jokes around airport patrol.
There was nothing on me and after a few more minutes I had all my possessions back. They had not found a thing nor had they told me what they were looking for. It was all good fun. It gave me the opportunity to write what is now my favorite Facebook status ever, “Went through the full body scanner and then I had a very intimate patdown. Such fun! I think Chris and I are dating now, at least we should be after that.”
I bought overpriced orange juice and peanuts and we proceeded to sit around. There was absolutely nothing to do. All the stores were closed and the art was all modern. I’m not a huge fan of modern art to begin with, but when it’s ugly modern art, I am offended.
I tried to write, but no words came out. My book is so close to being finished, I just want to get it done, but I seem to be mentally blocked right now. The crying baby, nay, screaming baby did not help. It seemed that she screamed as loud as she could for her own amusement. Louder and louder, such a thing should not be able to make a sound like that. It was hours and hours and finally we pushed and shoved into the line to board the plane.
We were in the back of the plane, and when I say back of the plane, I mean the last row. The plane was newer, you could tell that immediately by the slight new car smell that lingered. The first class area was gorgeous, huge seats and televisions and outlets everywhere. Even the business class was tastefully decorated, but then I realized what I thought was business class was economy. I was so excited.
Our seats were incredibly comfortable, spacious, the screens were nice, the blanket wasn’t one of those weird fleece things you usually get, there was a remote that could make phone calls with, the seats reclined at a decent angle, and there was a USB port for everyone. Everyone!
It was a really nice plane and they gave me wine, which was delicious. I’m not usually big on red wine, so I was impressed.
As the plane took off, I tried to watch The Rite, but it was boring, actually couldn’t hear it, so I gave up. I was disappointed as I wanted to see this when it was in theaters. So, instead, I watched Beyonce’s I Am… tour and became Sasha Fierce while flying over Maine. I could not contain myself. I was twirling my left hand, lipsynching like it was the series finale of an all star version of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and bouncing a little in my seat. I think I bit my lip, to prevent myself from singing, when Diva began, so hard that I drew blood. That was a lot of fun.
Now it was dinner time and Jessica began salivating at the sight of the food carts. I was very curious about what I was going to be served. And not too long after, I was presented with this:
I’m not entirely sure what it was, but it wasn’t terrible. There was tofu in the brown stuff and on the other side of the rice was wilted spinach. I really didn’t mind it. The grapes and roll were good. The little brown package was filled with candied fennel. I couldn’t do that. Then the bag on the far left was something with fennel, rice, and something else, but it was so sweet that I couldn’t stomach it.
I enjoyed trying new things even if it did give me a headache. Jessica told me it was probably the LSD they put in it. “MSG?” I asked her, and she just looked confused.
The flight attendant came on and said something in German, I only picked up a few words, flug, bitte, gutte nacht, and a few other things. When he began to speak in English though, it was like a cajun-American was talking. Jessica and I lost our minds at that. It was so funny!
I watched an episode of 30 Rock then tried to sleep. It was decent sleep, but not that great.
We had an hour left until we landed in Zurich, so Jessica and I did a language course that was part of the onboard entertainment. This one was hysterical:
Jessica and I had decided to be Canadian for this trip, in case anything, well, let’s just say unpleasant were to occur during our stay.
Finally we came to a landing in Zurich. This is such a nice airport, everything is logically laid out and it is easy to move. That is, if the bitches on the walking sidewalk could move their asses! They move so that you can, lady, not so you and your ugly husband can catch your breath.
This picture is heavily edited because it was really bright out and the Alps were indistinguishable from the sky. Such a pretty place.
We had to go through security again, which was so quick and easy as you don’t have to remove your shoes. No patdowns or body scanners, though. My bag was investigated again. The lady began to talk to me in rapid German. I had big eyes and thought furiously…I know what to say, I know what to say, I learned German for a reason… “Ich verstehe nicht.” I smiled quite proudly after saying this, and the lady seemed much friendlier after my efforts. I’ve found this is always true, just try a few words and you can soften almost anybody.
Turns out, my iPad stand looks like a knife when it is scanned. Good to know.
As we waited at our gate I found a vending machine that sells espresso. I know!
You could even get an Espresso HELL!
While we waited for our flight, I pretended to be a customs officer so that Jessica could practice her answers in French. She did alright, “J’habite à twenty-two rue Saint-Paul.” She could never remember to translate her numbers.
We got on the plane, which was also very nice, Swiss Airlines is just perfect, and took off. It was only about a forty-five minute flight and passed by quickly. The entire time there was a hidden camera show playing on the screens and it was hysterical, though I think I might have been the only one laughing every time the Ming vase fell from the shelf.
We were given a sandwich of questionable ingredients that tasted alright. I ate mine then looked over at Jessica. She had removed the cheese and was pressing it between napkins to remove the “pickle relish” that she claimed was there, but was in fact nowhere. She tossed the lettuce away from her as if it had offended her, then took the baguette, folded it in half, and nibbled on the top so that the supposed pickle relish would not get to her.
Then, roughly, and with much excitement, we landed.