Thursday, April 27, 2006

More synchronicity: First Class and Lovin' it

Okay, so I do make a career out of kvetching about how the world is stacked against the average proletariat (I'll even go to petit-bourgeouis) schmo who doesn't have enough cash to buy hisself a lobbyist so he can call Bush to take care of his parking ticket or torture chamber sanitary code violations, etc., etc. , and therefore traveling by air tends to put a little more of the b*tch back into Fertilitybitchgoddess.

Anyway, I needed to get to Minneapolis for a book awards ceremony (more in next post) to see if my novel actually won this award or not. Normally, this is something the publisher takes care of, but they were nice enough to send me on a small book tour when the book first came out last year, and my publicity budget, such that it was, was dry as a well in the Gobi desert. I didn't have the cash, and I dubiously concluded I'd have to try frequent flier miles. Normally, the airlines know so many people have so many superfluous miles they have instituted byzantine restrictions and odd blackout dates plus restricted number of seats coupled with mileage-sucking "perks" such as deigning to sit in an exit row until the miles can sometimes be well nigh useless.

I of course chose the cheapest (in miles) seat, and oddly enough, on the outboard route, there must have been a first class seat they couldn't thing you know, FertilityBitchGoddess is riding first class. I was reading The Progressive Populist when my seatmate arrived He offered no verbal or even vaguely gestural greeting to acknowledge we two homo sapiens would be sitting together for the next 3 hours. Instead, he stepped over me, gave me the passive-aggressive hairy eyeball, then proceeded to open his computer with all its groovy graphs of stuff his company is selling (n.b. the guy across from the aisle kept on working even as the announcement "please turn off all electronic equipment so it won't jam our navigational equipment and cause the plane to crash" came on, both during takeoff and landing--sheesh).

Later, when I was reading The Nation, the one with the picture of Bush in the toilet (literally) on the cover, he (my erstwhile seatmate) sneezed, and I sweetly said, "Bless you." He didn't answer (more passive aggression).

Back to my original point, may I say, may I admit I enjoyed the extra legroom? And the salad with fresh basil, some kind of charcuterie, real (extra virgin Italian) olive oil for dressing, kalamata olives already thoughtfully pitted, and Dancing Deer cookies made with real eggs and butter and nary a transfat. Nice snack. Plus wine. The plebes were offered the option of purchasing a $3 snack box of transfatty negatively nutritive Oreos. It made me a bit mad to think again how the rich get richer and they get access to expensive, less toxic and more healthful foods often for free while the poorer people are forced to spend a larger portion of their income on health-destroying crap.

But... I did apportion some time to actually enjoy my experience--when is that ever going to happen again? Carl Pope likes his Ralph Lauren shirts; I think leading a life of complete self denial is a quick route to hemmorhoids and a permanent squinty look. Every once in a while fortune smiles and gives me a little karmic relief and I give her a nice hug back. As we landed, I squirrelled all my little goodies (especially the Dancing Deer brownie--I'm off wheat, but have to give that to someone, it's so cute) in my bag, just as my immigrant dad always did with every stray Saltine package that came with his free lunch at the hospital, thereby earning me another hairy eyeball. I'm cheap, and I'm proud, and I got to ride first class!

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