Did I mention I could upgrade on the SF -> Memphis leg of my flight? I dipped my credit card into the check-in machine, and after confirming I was me, it told me I could upgrade to first class for a hundred bucks. Was it worth it a hundred bucks not to stand in the very long security line? To have more leg- and arm-space? Who cares, I was just so thrilled at being selected I instantly punched yes. So then of course I rationalized it was worth it. Cuz it was.
So after passing the plebs in the normal security line (now stretching miles), I end up in my comfy spacious seat next to this MD specialist in thrombosis who is about to meet up with his girlfriend and give some lectures in Berlin, who becomes very talkative and proceeds in the space of two hours drink four or five glasses of Shiraz, served to us by a flight attendant so wide-eyed perkily enjoying her job of doing first class by herself and finding time to help out in the main cabin that we both suspect she's on crystal meth. Especially when she started saying she thought she was hearing a dog in the unheated parts of the cargo bulkhead.
My seat neighbor then proceeds to tell me how he loves going to Amsterdam to get stoned (I get that a lot when people find out about my history, since I am Dutch and lived in Amsterdam stoners always figure I must be totally down with the chronic and that they can tell me anything because of course I am a member of the club) and that he is actually just doing the stop-over in Amsterdam to pick up some grass and then take a plane to Berlin. Because with the EC they don't do customs checks and stuff, right? As we fly over the heartland of the US I proceed to tell him that I think trying to take weed into Germany by plane is just a stupid idea, and he should just buy some in Berlin already.We eat nice food and he asks for another glas of Shiraz. And a refill.
Some time during this flight he shows me his new cellphone which is on. As we get ready to land he tries to switch it off, but it is so new he doesn't know how. I know the FAA is 99% full of shit when they say cellphones will interfere with cockpit equipment, but I decide that we are so not taking the chance I am wrong during This landing, and offer to shut the thing down for him. I shut that Motorola down the only way a Nokia engineer who doesn't know how they work and where the on/off switch is, knows how: yank off the cover and pull out the battery. I put it back together and give it back and he considers my cleverness to be a sign I must be his new best friend. He thinks we should find a way to upgrade me the second leg of the trip. I tell him I doubt it will happen, he says he will just ask when they get on the plane, and I then think the wine is indeed doing its magic.
After we land it won't switch on again. Oops. Of course, I am not sure how it is supposed to switch on, but it doesn't. I make shit up and tell him it will in Europe, since he told me that is where he bought it for. My actual guess is that its battery was low in the first place and it doesn't have enough charge for the initial power-up. We have to hurry anyway to make our connection, and while he fiddles and gets stuck in the gate check, I hurry into the cabin. Ok, so I'll be stuck in Economy class for this Memphis -> Amsterdam flight, while he is in First or Business or whatever, which sucks because I would have loved to that longer leg in more luxury. But at least some relief was mixed in.