Saturday, June 14, 2008

What Happens in Vegas...

...Doesn't happen until I get there.

I'm writing this while on the US Airways flight 571 to Las Vegas. In my rush to get to my 7:45 p.m. takeoff I didn't notice that its departure wasn't actually until 8:45. I could have finished the compulsive house cleaning I always do before I go on a trip. I don't know how the habit developed but I first noticed it when I lived in Lexington, Kentucky. For some reason I couldn't leave the house with a clear conscience unless the home was clean. Weird.

The vacuuming sends the cat into a panic. She runs off and hides and doesn't come out until after it's time for me to leave. Maybe the whole cleaning thing is just a way to avoid the tearful goodbye. I didn't know cats could cry, either. She will appreciate the clean toilet upstairs, though. I've caught her using it as a watering hole. I can't imagine what she thinks when she catches me using it as a toilet.

A copy of the St. Petersburg Times helped me kill the extra hour. Only $.25 and with two crossword puzzles, that deal is hard to beat. Sunday's paper costs only $.50 and it has three crosswords plus the usual motherlode of coupons that easily pay for the paper.

If only time would pass so easily on the flight itself.

The in-flight movie is Fool's Gold, in which Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson play the same roles they play in all their movies. At least that's what I gather from watching without sound. I didn't pay $5 for the privilege of listening to this epic through the airline supplied earphones. They set this version at sea for the apparent purpose of not having to work as hard to contrive reasons to show McConaughey without his shirt on. Hudson must not fill out a bikini too well because there's another actress who serves as the primary guy candy. No one has yet contrived a reason to show her without her shirt on.

Random bit of trivia noticed in a US Airways Magazine ad: "Barry Manilow is a registered trademark of Hastings, Clayton & Tucker, Inc. All rights reserved."

The pilot has interrupted the movie to announce that we are passing over northern Louisiana. It's clear from the frozen frame on the video screens that they're playing the movie from a VHS tape. The plane's in-flight entertainment system is probably newer than its engines. The second disturbing thing I glean from this announcement is that we're only about a third of the way through the flight. And I thought time on the treadmill went slowly.

Most people who have headphones aren't hearing the movie any more than I am. They brought their own. The guy sitting next to me, a 20-something artistic-looking type with small wire-rimmed glasses, is either listening to a comedy album or he's freaking insane because he keeps laughing. It's odd to hear laughter and not know its source. I mean, I know it's that he's listening to someting but I don't know what it is.

Note to self: If you see a Best Buy in Vegas, drop in and buy some earbuds. Try to download some comedy too. I do have a flash drive with about 5GB of mp3 music files to amuse myself with my laptop. The battery will last only about half the flight but between that and the crossword puzzles, I'll get by. Heck, the flight home is an overnighter so maybe I'll be so zonked that I fall asleep despite the back spasms these seats seem determined to cause.

Update: A scene in Fool's Gold features McConaughey and Hudson in bathing suits. It looks like the wrong one of them is wearing the bikini top. He has a bigger chest than she. She does have a luminous smile, though. Still I was wise to save my $5.

I'm lucky I got my drink for free. That luxury will disappear soon, according to an article in the aforementioned S.P. Times. And I'll be getting my last free checked piece of luggage on the return flight. Most airlines that haven't started charging for every checked bag will do so soon. As it is, I'm glad I brought some peanut butter crackers or I'd be hungry as well as bored.

Random bit of wisdom whose context I don't feel like explaining: Do not wear a necktie to a riot.

It's 11:50 p.m. Eastern Time. Less than an hour left. If you're reading this it means we're going to land safely.

Update: The pilot has announced that we're passing Albuquerque, New Mexico, 499 miles from Vegas. I have obviously botched my ETA calculation. Fargin' time zones. We still have more than 90 minutes to go and the flight attendants are beginning to deliver another round of drinks.

1 comment:

Gwen said...

I have the compulsive cleaning thing too. I scrub my house top to bottom before going on a trip. I don't like the idea of it being dirty while I'm gone. And it's nice to return to a clean house. Although it's annoying to do all that cleaning, get home, and realize you already have to dust again.

Thanks for taking me along to the Dam!