Leaving on a Jet Plane

As I was leaving DC recently, I was struck with great appreciation for meeting such an eclectic mix of people and was grateful to have many thoughtful, intelligent conversations with each of them. DC folks love their conversations, as well as their debates. After partaking in so many wonderful discussions over the past week or so, I decided to strike up the following chat with my mom while I was waiting at the airport to depart back to JAX. However, I was waiting for my friend to come pick me up because I volunteered to be bumped from an oversold flight, in exchange for travel voucher and rescheduled on a flight leaving the next morning:

Me: Okay so they are still oversold by 2 seats, but they haven’t received any volunteers yet to change flights. However, they are currently boarding all rows. Soooooo what’s gonna happen when 2 people don’t have anywhere to sit???

Mom: Well, if you are the last 2 on, you aren’t getting a seat!!! Stick around for that drama!!

Me: I will probably still be here because my friend had to run an errand, so I am working on my homework (which I do now every frickin’ day for 3 hours and I still don’t get why imaginary numbers are so interesting that we have to learn how to use them to solve equations. If they are imaginary, shouldn’t I just be able to make up the answer and pretend to get an A in the class?!)

Mom: Hahaha well, stay far enough away so you are out of the firing range in case suitcases are thrown!!!

Me: There is a dipwad sitting next to me, who is supposedly on the JAX flight, but he is just talking like a redneck on his phone. He said, “he will just wait to see what happens” to whomever he is speaking with.

Me: Dude – you are gonna get bumped and NOT get a voucher, because you are lazy!

Mom: He is definitely one of the two.

Me: They are boarding all rows, and he is not making any effort to get his fat ass up, so yes I think so.

At this point, he hung up and got onto yet another phone call. This time, he covered his mouth when he spoke, pretending to be secretive, yet he has the same affliction that many people do here down in the South. They just don’t seem to understand that covering your mouth does nothing to lower the volume of your voice. You have to actually lower the sound, otherwise we can all still hear you! Before things could get ugly, a couple volunteered to be bumped, yet his fat ass still didn’t move, even though the flight is supposedly leaving any minute now…..I keep waiting for them to call him over the intercom “paging Mr. Dip Shit, get on de plane, de plane”

Instead of checking in – he wandered off to go plug his phone in to recharge it, probably because he had been rambling for so long…….he did not make the flight and he didn’t seem to be remotely aware of that fact. Instead, he bullied another couple for their table closer to where he could also plug in his laptop.

A few minutes later I heard another flight paging passengers that they are also oversold – how does this happen? Are you not required to have basic math skills to work in reservations for airlines? Or do they not know how many seats are available in reality vs. perception? Maybe the reservation agents can tutor me on imaginary numbers…

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Weinergate

Recently, I had the pleasure of staying with a dear friend in DC for 10 days. I had not been to DC since I was 11 – for a 6th grade field trip. We toured all of the proper historical sites that a 6th grader should when they are learning about the establishment of our country. The DC I stayed in during that time was dirty, dilapidated, disgusting, and a sorry homage to our founding fathers. Present day DC is a much nicer, neat and clean place to visit/live. I was very impressed with how sparkly the city has become over the past couple of decades (holy shit, I am dating myself, aren’t I?!)

The city has also gone the extra mile to upgrade their tour guides from the dull, monotone guides I was subjected to during my field trip (long ago, in a galaxy far, far away…..). In fact, I would go so far as to say that our guide was one of the most interesting tour guides I have ever come across in any place I have visited, thus far. Bill has lived in DC for the past 20 years, so he can appreciate how good ol’ Marion Barry has cleaned up the place. He remembers the days of livin’ in the ghetto. Regardless of the significant trade-offs, Mr. Barry was able to decrease the crime rates tremendously – ah, the advantages to having friends in the Mafia…..

My friend had befriended Bill on a Yoga Retreat/Teacher Training a few years back. She was immediately intrigued by him because he was: A.) the only black person amongst the retreat members; B.) he was enraged at the fact that he was even there; C.) he was participating in a sold out training without having ever practiced yoga. He ruminated about the retreat because there was no smoking or drinking allowed, and definitely NO meat! Here he was in beautiful Mexico, without the opportunity to drink copious amounts of tequila, smoke himself silly and then eat a greasy burrito to sober himself back up – I would be pissed too. In fact, I would probably leave and ask for a full refund – for clean living is definitely not on the brochure from the Mexico Tourism Bureau. He explained that he was forced into this predicament because he lost a bet. Bill should not gamble, ever again. Nor does he practice yoga either.

After splitting a sundae and story telling, our personalized tour began in Embassy Row. Bill has a wonderful reputation in the community because he has an all access pass to most people’s homes in the area. We toured a lovely home of a friend of his that he said he was house-sitting for. Although, I was curious as to why he continued to allow the mail to pile up outside on the front porch, I decided it was not my business to ask – after all, these people were wealthy enough, they most likely had hired a separate “mail sitter” while they’re out of town. People who have met (and been photographed) with every President since Carter can afford such luxuries that I couldn’t not justify, given my current “employment” status.

Upon leaving Embassy Row, we ventured over to Adams Morgan – the area where Bill has resided for much of his time in DC. He was adamant that he show us some of the “real” history he had experienced in DC as a young hoodlum. We made our way to one of his old haunts. To gain entry to this particular venue, one must know their membership number, the owner’s name and the secret password, plus order a beer before they would consider you worthy enough to play pool in their establishment. As a Harvard graduate and first African-American man to be accepted to Eaton, I had to appreciate that he also added Hustler to his already impressive resume.

Another one of her friends I met loves to make movies as a hobby, but produces Public Service Announcements for various government agencies by trade. I had a couple of things in common with him: Number 1.) We have both lived in Colorado and Number 2.) Neither one of us understands why. When I asked him why he left Colorado, his reply was simple, “I moved back to the city, from Telluride, because I missed two things – Crime and Art.” He doesn’t seem to be totally sold on living in DC either, however, because he says he doesn’t fit in for a few reasons: “He is not old; He is not white; and He plus his 7 co-workers can fit into one elevator.”