Never Refuse Peanut Butter Crackers

As I raced out the door, Jeff kindly offered me some peanut butter crackers. “Take a few. Put them in your purse. For a snack” Haughtily, I refused. “Oh, I’m fine. I’ll get something at the airport”.

Traffic was slow but I did manage to arrive at Logan with time to spare. I paid my $2 to check my bag at the curb, headed inside, took off my shoes and shuffled my way through security. I found the gate, found a seat, then realized my cell phone was dead, gathered my purse and my laptop, my book and my knitting and went in search of spot near an electrical outlet. Finally I sat.

Not too much later, I realized I was thirsty, really thirsty, from all the shuffling and lugging. I checked my phone. It was almost charged. I called Jeff, told him I’d arrived safely and now I was dying of thirst, so I was off to find some water. He wished me good luck. I unplugged my phone, gathered up my possessions and walked until I found a stand selling water. The stand also sold beautiful apples and bananas and turkey sandwiches wrapped in plastic. I ignored all this bounty and bought just one bottle of water. With my computer, my files, iPod, phone, power cords, book, knitting, and purse, I couldn’t carry much more. “I’ll eat on the plane”, I thought.

I boarded the plane, found my seat, buckled my seatbelt, stowed my belongings, pulled out my book, took a sip of water and settled back for the flight. We moved about 500 feet, when the captain announced we were in a ground hold, waiting out a major line of storms from Maine to New Jersey. No westbound flights were allowed to fly. It being Boston and all, that means pretty much everyone was stuck. The waiting was inconvenient, but I had my knitting and a good book, so heck, I was ok with waiting. But I was getting hungry. I should have taken the peanut butter crackers. I searched my purse and found a few mints and three pieces of gum. I popped the gum in my mouth and opened my book. Then I knit. Then I read some more.

Finally, three hours later, we were airborne. At 32,000 feet, the flight attendant announced that the passengers in the main cabin (a.k.a. the peasants) were welcome to purchase a snack – salads for $5, chips and candy for $3 each. A snack?! She’s kidding right? Not even a little bag of pretzels? Nothing?! It had to be my imagination, but I swear I could hear the first class passengers laughing at us over the clink of their china plates and silver flatware.

I watched closely as the food cart inched its way toward me, straining to count the exact number of Asian chicken salads piled on top, at the same time scanning the passengers in front of me, trying to calculate the percentage that would choose salad over potato chips or a Three Musketeers bar. The salads were going fast, but I tried to remain hopeful.

Sadly, the very last salad went to the young girl in the seat next to me. We were in row 23. There are 36 rows on the plane. Even sadder, a bald guy in row 22 scored the last plastic fork, so it looked like the poor girl would have to eat her salad with her hands. She was resourceful though. She bought some chips too. “Maybe I can use them as a shovel”, she proclaimed.

I was next. I scowled at the flight attendant as she charged me $3 for a candy bar and I swear she did a little jig and trilled merrily, “we are only as good as our caterers”. Oh yeah, that’s reassuring. American Airlines is only as good as its caterer. The caterer who is unable to master the mathematic complexity involved in supplying one fork with each salad, never mind providing enough substantial food for over 100 passengers. Yeah, I feel much better now.

Asian chicken salad girl was very kind. She shared her chips with me.

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