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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Travel Tips 101

Posted on July 22, 2010 at 9:42 PM

So, I spent another day on the road, heading from Myrtle Beach, SC to Charlotte, NC to Boston, MA to Portsmouth, NH for a Russound event. So far, the northeast has proved to be the driest place I've visited since I've been old enough to drink.


After I discovered my newly Club Lounge access from American Express, I headed to the Boston airport lounge. At the door the woman told me that they didn't have their wine or liquor license, so I was welcome to help myself to a soda or water. In the limo drive to my hotel (oh, and PS limo company; the name is SCIACCA, not SICACA. Seriously, like I didn't get that enough in high school. You have to go and *literally* post it up on a sign and stand outside showing it to people. You want me to have a naked and forgot my homework dream to complete the shame Hat Trick?) there was a cooler filled with...water. Then in my hotel, a Sheraton, part of the Starwood Group (and a waaaaaaay distant relation to the Sweetest Luxury Suite SLS in Beverly Hills) I have access to the Club Level Lounge where normally there is a full service bar and heavy apps. Here there was a TV. And a water cooler. Fortunately Russound picked up the dry ball and doused it in a Bellevedere martini with 4 bleu cheese stuffed olives and a smooth Russian River Pinot.


Anyhow.....this post is about travel tips. I'm traveling today. So here are some things that I learned on today's journey.


1) If your boarding pass says "flight starts boarding at 1:05" do NOT get to the gate at 1:10. You will find that your priority Zone 1 boarding has come and gone and that all overhead bins are full and bags will need to be gate checked. Not cool. This can lead to the encounter described in #7.


2) Just because the woman next to you is holding a Kindle, it does not mean that she is interested in discussing all of the technical shortcomings that you have found with the Kindle. It actually might turn out that she LIKES the Kindle and will try to defend it, which will just result in an awkward moment with you arguing technology with a grandma aged lady that was just looking for a quiet airplane read. Of course, you'll win the argument, crushing the old woman's spirit under your boot like a spent cigarette, but you'll feel bad about it. And you'll still be sitting next to an old lady reading a Kindle.


3) If you are in First Class and they bring around the little snack basket of chips and pretzels and English breakfast cookies, kindly ask the lady if you may take an extra for the road, and then rapidly remove as many items as you can while smiling, nodding and maintaining a constant eye contact. She has been trained to tolerate the bizarre often anti-social behavior of First Class travelers and she will not want to offend you by pulling the basket away. Note: social graces dictate that you leave at least one item per person in the basket.


4) Power connections in airport terminals are rare and precious. If you find one, stake a claim immediately. Better yet, bring along something like the portable Monster Power device that turns one outlet into 4 or 6. This will make you a hero. You will instantly be elevated to tribal leader and have your pick of women. Other travelers will write lyrical poems in your honor and ask if they may have the privilege of naming a child or two after you.


5) There are few things as horrible and frightening as the airport toilet. Obviously, avoid use if possible. Second best would just be to mess your pants. Really, you have a full suitcase of new clothes; you can just throw these away and start over. If those options aren't available, I can only suggest wearing your headphones into the bathroom. Some of the sounds I heard today...they...they'll haunt my dreams forever. And when you leave the stall, etiquette says you keep your eyes glued to the floor. Acknowledge no one. The other people around you are just phantom bit players in your current nightmare as you are in theirs. No one is looking to make a new friend at this moment. Also, if you happen to pass by the janitor, give him the most sincere combination smile/sympathy look you can muster. Unless you are in a small plane that crashes miles from civilization and you are forced to saw your own arm off with the jagged end of your belt buckle and then eat the semi-rotting  remains of the pilot and drink your own recycled urine for days on end to survive, you will never be able to truly understand the hellish mid-world that this man is forced to endure on a daily basis.


6) I used to think that dressing up for a flight would increase my chances of getting a bump to First Class. They won't. You can wear a tuxedo or a thong and it ain't gonna make a difference. Bumps are given out days before the flight. If you haven't been bumped before you get to the airport, it ain't gonna happen.

      a) Alternate rule to this, applicable only to ladies. (And, let's be honest, only the beautiful people need apply...) Ladies, your best chance at a bump is to wear something borderline slutty-hot-classy. The kind of thing that yawns open *just* a bit too much when you bend over to check your bags. Low-cut jeans that offer a coinslot view are also encouraged. Peruse the First Class passengers PRIOR to boarding. Chat up some older single guy. Mention how you'd love to try sitting in the front of the plane. Bend over to fiddle with luggage. Keep fiddling until seat change offer is made.


7) Do NOT make the mistake of calling the black, incredibly butch, super she-male lesbian with hair shaved to the scalp and dyed blonde, "Sir." This will NOT go over well. In fact, it will go a lot like this.

Me (handing over my bag): Thank you, sir.

She-man: What?! What'd you say?!

Me: Oh... Uh... I'm sorry. I, uh, wasn't looking.

She-male: That was your mistake. You shoulda been looking.

Me: Uh, yeah. I'm sorry. I meant ma'am. Thank you ma'am.

Her: Yeah. You are sorry.

At this point you could either say, "You know what you look like, and you know this ain't the first time you've been called sir!" or "I figured a hard-core butch lezzy like you would take that as a compliment! You know you aren't the fem one in the relationship!" or you could just slink off into the plane. Hoping that your bag will make it to Boston. And then forced to spend the rest of the weekend wondering if she used your toothbrush in strange, horrible and unnatural ways. Brushing...and brushing....and brushing...

Categories: July 2010

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