Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Getting Here is NOT Half the Fun

I knew I was in the Air France line from the smell emanating from the line. How is it that the country that gave us Louis Pasture and the germ theory can’t figure out how to take a daily shower? Actually “line” is something of a misnomer. Besides soap, queuing has not been invented yet in France.

I finally elbowed my way to the front of the line and got onto the plane. I found some French guy sitting in my seat, and already on edge, I ended up shouting at him. The guy quickly surrendered his seat and retreated down the isle. After sitting, I figured out that I had the wrong seat after all, but seeing as I was already occupying the space, and the since the guy didn’t bother to defend himself, I decided to stay where I was.

I settled into the flight and started watching the in-flight Jerry "Louis" movie marathon when the steward and a gentleman dressed in Chef’s whites approached my seat.

“Monsieur, seeing how you had the incident with the seat, we have brought Chef Vichy out to make sure we have appeased you of any remaining anger.”

“You know, I’m not really hungry.”

The chef twisted his mustache nervously. “Perhaps we can tempt the Monsieur with some wine and fromage?”

“You have any Grand Crus?”

“But of course, we have Pomerol, Graves, St. Emillion…”

“What year is the St. Emillion?.

“Um, 2003.”

“What are trying to slough off on me?!!”

The Chef went pale. “I’m sorry, I just happen to remember that the Captain has some 2000 in the cockpit stock.”

“Cockpit stock?”

“He and the co-pilot finish two, sometimes three bottles over dinner. I assure you it is quite good.”

A bolt of turbulence just hit the plane. I ordered and drank the entire bottle. It was quite good and the turbulence seemed to go down with my anxiety. After dinner the aircraft starting filling with smoke, but I stopped worrying when I figured out it was cigarette smoke. I called the steward over. “I thought this was a non-smoking flight?”

“Ah, you Americans are very na├»ve in the ways of culinary art. This is not “smoking”, this is the last course of dinner: the nicotine course.”

Trying to ignore the smoke around me I tried to watch the rest of the Jerry Lewis marathon and fell asleep during “Cinderfella”. Luckily the wine and the movie put me out for the rest of the flight.

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