Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wine, gun control and Obama

My eyes are barely open. If it wasn't for my computer telling me it is 'Wed' I would be at a complete loss as to what day it is.

But I am home. In South Africa. Safe and more or less sound.

Less sound?

Why yes, less sound happens when the entertainment system of a massive plane that just took off from Atlanta and will fly for 16 hours to Johannesburg, malfunctions and leaves the entire plane completely entertainmentless. No movies or games for anyone. On a plane that is practically full.

What do most people do in such a situation?

They eat and sleep.

What does Extranjera do?

She figures out she can't really read that book she has at the ready since she has already spent three hours flying from Albuquerque to Atlanta, and then overdosed on Starbucks at the Atlanta airport during the six hours she spent there, and her concentration is consequently just a tad off the mark. It also seems the sudoku she attempts for a while is not an activity to be done high on the equivalent of eight shots of espresso, and after having been awakened at 5am. So, naturally, she decides to chat up the old fella from Mississippi who is sitting next to her and they take turns getting more wine from the galley.

It quickly transpires that Extranjera and the old fella don't quite see eye to eye.

On anything.

And that the old fella is a bit hard of hearing. To put it mildly. But Extranjera is feeling the horrifying void of nothing to do and proceeds to dig out that American lurking in her brain and talks loudly and E-NUN-CIA-TES with the best of them.

Gun control somehow comes up.

So does Obama.

The discussion spins out of control.

Red wine is spilled. And dried up with the pillow the airline is kind enough to provide. What else? A napkin? Bah humbug.

The pair decide to consult the threesome of South African engineers sitting behind them on the question of gun control as well as the lack of entertainment. The engineers have been having some wine as well, and Extranjera should have known better: The engineers all love hunting. She is outnumbered and attempts to enlist the help of the stewardess who is not amused and very clearly wishes the galley would run out of wine already, but is also unnerved by the thought of this happening.

Writing comes up. Extranjera cannot, for some inexplicable reason, keep her mouth shut about the blog and promises the old fella that he can defend his views on Obama and gun control when she writes about the issues. She gives him her actual email, before realizing she should have given him the 'blog' one. The one that is not made up of her full name. Her very special, one of a kind, full name.

Finally Extranjera feels Mr. Sandman beckoning. Too bad her ears are so swollen and sore from the cartilage piercings she so intelligently decided to get just before leaving the US, that she cannot rest her head comfortably on pretty much anything. And that pillow is soaked in wine.

Extranjera pretends to fall asleep. The discussion has gotten far too out of hand.

Eventually she does sleep. Only to repeatedly wake up to a throbbing swollen ear that is starting to resemble an alien life form, and might, in fact, be growing its very own brain.

The next morning in the line to immigration Extranjera is not at all embarrassed and no one is looking at her funny. No one. Absolutely no one.

She is sure she hears snickers when the old fella reminds her of her promise and asks her to 'drop him a line' when she comes up with that 'article'.

And it is very likely that no one at all notices that her suitcase passes her by twice on the conveyor belt before she realizes that it is hers.

This might actually be my ear. Not kidding.

Silver lining: For once she is not stopped at customs.


omchelsea said...

Ooh, piercings! I had a sudden and inexplicable urge to maim my anatomy yesterday, but I held on to the chair very tightly until the desire passed. Every now and again it hits me though... that or a tattoo. (I know, SO unoriginal). I love the post. When I grow up I'm gonna write like that. Yeh.

M.J. said...

Politics and planes definitely don't mix. Add red wine and you're headed straight for disaster.

M.J. said...

Uhhh...Extranjera, whatta ya trying to do to me? I just got "dying" for the word verification when I left that comment. I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little freaked out right now. I may never be able to visit your blog again.

K13 said...

Perfect in-laws arrived last night and the first thing my Father in Law asked me was who I voted for in the Presidential election?!?! Who asks that!?! We are NOT close, so I don't know why in the world he felt it was ok to ask such a thing.

Anonymous said...

wow, interesting flight. Mine are always so

Tay said...

Wow, you certainly managed to entertain yourself.

My flights generally involve an elderly Canadian lady sitting next to me, removing her socks and loudly complaining about her bunions.

Polly said...

oh this does sound like a journey from hell! you should have come to bc 1.5 instead, 16 hours on a plane is lethal with or without entertainment system

and I hope your ear gets better or at least changes its colour soon...

Erin P said...

Agh. Grueling! Glad you made it home. I usually end up silent when politics come up and the other person is a staunch republican because all I can think of to say are comments on their grasp on reality, denseness, intelligence level, etc. A little wine and I'd be making enemies!

I'm Kim, by the way said...

Is it wrong that I really wish I could have seen this?

Glad you're home safe!

Optimistic Pessimist said...

sounds like a very dangerous flight. glad you made it safely home.

WV: optermed - instead of taking medicine for your throbbing ear you opt to self medicate with wine.

example: I was going to call the doctor but decided to optermed first.

Not So Glamorous Housewife said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Not So Glamorous Housewife said...

One time on a flight back to Chicago from London we had a large Russian man accost the flight attendant and try to open the hatch in mid-air. It was quite frightening....but not as frightening as the sailboat trip to some private islands where our passports were taken hostage by the captain.....seems more dramatic than I remember now that I put it into words. Oh, and finally, on the topic of American Government. My grandfather was a well known lobbyist for many years and the other day my grandmother summed up our government as thus. "U.S. government is like taking blood from one arm, transfusing it into the other, and dropping a pint along the way." Glad you are home safe. If you get a chance I had some pretty awesome hate mail the other day and blogged it.

8:00 PM

Michael Malone said...

Usual funny stuff, thank you. I've nominated you for a Kreative Blogger Award. See my most recent post on for details.

caroldiane said...

As one who might possibly be considered an "elderly Canadian lady" (ok, not quite elderly and I definitely don't have bunions!!), I commend you on finding sufficient entertainment to get you back across the ocean and not getting into any physical altercations which might prevent you from entering your country of choice, or ever flying again. Fabulous blog as we have come to expect and adore from you!!
Welcome home! said...

Anytime you can entertain yourself!

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omchelsea said...


Andi Smith I live in said...

I am terribly sorry, I mean I actually can relate to this. The white cracka jack republicans always have to say something and then the liberals say something. And I just watch in confusing fearful amazment.

My name is Erin. said...

I find myself missing the days when I didn't pay attention to politics and current events at all. Ignorance IS bliss and all this thinking is exhausting.