Monday, March 16, 2009

Farty Planes, OR One Plane Town- The Dirty Old Man Chronicles

So, I flew one of those out to Walla Walla last week, and returned later the same day. I may be at a loss to describe the finer points of the trip. The data center I went out to audit was suitable to the very limited needs I had, so that stuff can proceed, but it was all the other shit I saw that messed with my noodle. I also was reminded that I'm settling into the "old" part of "dirty old man" pretty quickly. Apparently now that I'm old, fat, and broken down in addition to the long-standing funny looking, young college girls don't seem to have any hesitation in bending over in front of me, or adjusting themselves in ways that might cause erections.

The "airport" there is bustling Walla Walla best resembles a largish highway rest stop in the midwest. Sterile, empty, uninspiring, with racks of local brochures detailing local events and "attractions". The Muzak was intolerable. There is one "gate" with a baggage carousel that appears to never have been used. There was once a restaurant there, but it's closed due to economic challenges. There is a morning flight and an afternoon flight. That's it. One airline. Two security screeners from the institute of brilliance, the TSA. I had to rent a car for $75 for the hour I needed it (Hertz- what a value. They try harder to fuck you over, and it shows) because there are no cabs in town.

Walla Walla would no doubt still be totally unheard of and underdeveloped were it not for the burgeoning wine industry. So, into the sleepy little town, pour a lot of money, and throw in some wine snobs, and shake. It was 20F and I saw a guy wearing several shirts, and two coats, a hat, and nylon shorts. I saw another older guy, fully bundled up, riding a bike but his hands weren't on the handlebars exactly- his palms kind of were resting on the grips, because in his hands were two Barbie dolls. For real.

Oh, and the plane(s)? On one, I couldn't stand up fully. The seats were narrower too- my book was wider than the tray table. Thankfully the flight was not fully sold, so I didn't have anyone next to me and could put one butt cheek on each seat on both flights. Having never before flown in a turboprop, I was surprised that one was so quiet and one was so... farty. I also had never boarded a plane without a jetway, which is fine, but I was surprised by the spartan method by which the boarding and luggage were handled. People with luggage, after shlepping them down several flights of stairs and through a maze of service vehicles on the tarmac at Sea-Tac were asked to place them on a big porters cart. From there someone would stow them. Then, after getting out of the plane, the people just stood around on the tarmac waiting for someone to bring by a cart with the luggage. It's just weird to see people get out of a plane and then stand right beside the plane.

The fun part? On the flight out, a lady with helmet hair sits in front of me and says to the other helmet haired lady opposite her "I always throw up on these little planes", and the guy sitting in front of her kinda freaked out. He ended up moving to a different seat. Who could blame him? There should be a "vomit" section in airplanes. Near as I could tell, she didn't throw up.


Blogger Irrelephant said...

HAH! Welcome to my world. Every year I fly to Eugene I have three flights each way, two of them turbo props. Here to DFW, then SeaTac to Eugene. I've stood beside so many damned tiny Bombardiers and Embreairs or whatever they are that I feel like I should snag one of those safety vests, grab a ladder and start washing down the windshield or polishing the propeller blades.

Sadly, I like them FAR more than I like big jets. More personal. Go figure.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Irrelephant said...

I will say this, tho, about Alaska Air/Horizon--never have I been on a flight where a) EVERY crewperson I met was extraordinarily nice and b) each flight had a different FREE microbrew from the area for their drink service. Rock on!

5:50 PM  
Blogger Gordo said...

Hey, the Dash is a roomy plane compared to what Air Ontario used to put on low-sold flights from here to Toronto. I can't remember what it was, but it had 1 seat on each side and the aisle down the middle. I also couldn't stand up straight in it and I couldn't sit up in my seat because of the curve of the cabin wall.

My favourite was the curtain on the cockpit. No door there. That and the co-pilot giving the briefing before takeoff. LOL

7:20 AM  
Blogger The Young Ones said...

Ha! You crack me up. I hate the little props. And unlike the lady, Mason did throw up on our last flight. Good part: we had no waiting to exit plane, it was all clear for us! How nice of everyone! hehe

6:04 AM  

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