mardi 11 novembre 2008

Rock and rollers

I don't know what I did on my flight home - maybe I managed to piss off the check-in agent? Who knows. But I got to security at O'Hare and the security guy uttered those words that everyone loves to hear:

"You've been selected for extra security checks today, sir". And he said it like "You've been selected to win one million dollars today, sir". Great.

So once I'd gone through the ridiculousness of taking off shoes, belt, watch, harness, etc, I had to follow him to a small booth in the corner. Memories of Israel are coming back to me at this point.

There wasn't much in the way of politeness as he went through my pockets, opened my bag, fanned his way through my books - all without asking permission. Then he opened up my laptop and turned it on.

"Shouldn't you be asking if I mind you doing this?" I said. I was pretty outraged by the way he was going through all of my things without a please, thank you or may I. I was thinking that - if I wasn't onto a promise in Phoenix - I'd never be darkening these shores again.

He ignored my question - mute? - and took swabs from all available surfaces - including my hands, my shirt and the soles of my shoes. he processed them through his little explosive/drug detector machine. Nothing came up, obviously - although, I was a bit worried about what I may have trodden on in the night club last night.

Finally I got away and had to run to my gate for the flight to Detroit. In Detroit I had no time again and had to run to the gate for the Paris flight. Luckily I had time to stop and buy some 'night time' extra strength cough medicine (I'm suffering, folks. I'm suffering).

On the way out - the daylight flight - NWA had put me in Business Class, which was lovely. Alas, they never upgrade me when I most want it and so the overnight flight back to CDG was in coach. Which is absolutely fine, but Business would have been nicer.

I flop into my seat and say a quick 'howdy' to the person sat next to me. I do a double take. She's possibly the most glamourous person I've ever sat next to on an aeroplane (and I've sat next to Antoine de Caunes from LAX to CDG once. It was all I could to stop myself licking his cheek while he was asleep).

She was aged about sixty five, a lady of color and quite, quite beautiful. She had the kind of skin that I wanted to touch to see if it was real. She had this amazing long (I mean LONG) grey hair that was straight as a die, and she was wearing a scarlet trouser suit. There was, admittedly, an element of Mrs Claus to the ensemble, but hey, I was in the glamour row, what did I care if I looked like Santa's helper?

So, we settled in for our journey home. Me on the aisle, Mrs Claus in the window seat. Before eating dinner I took my cough medicine and very quickly (before the tray had been cleared) I found my head nodding. Slumber beckoned.

I woke up and looked at the screen. 1 hour and 15 minutes to go before Paris. I'd slept for six hours. And I'd blocked this poor woman in her seat for six hours too. I turned to apologise to her and nearly jumped out of my skin. it was all I could do to not scream.

During the flight she'd taken all of her lovely long hair and put it into rollers. Hair curlers. All of it. A full head of plastic bobbins. And she'd taken off her make up.

It was like waking up next to one of Marge Simpson's sisters.

But what amazed me more than anything wasn't how this ageing supermodel had turned into my Grandmother, but more the fact that she had put in a WHOLE HEAD of rollers without waking me up. And without leaving her seat.

As they took away our 'breakfast' trays, she got out a big, ugly bag. She started to apply her war paint. And then, one by one, the rollers came out.

With a shake of the head and a bit of a ruffle of the hand through her locks, she was transformed.

I was sat next to Madonna. At least, that's how good she looked.

Trust me, that's the last time I take drugs on a plane. Even if it is only cough medicine.

28 commentaires:

wontletlifedefineme a dit…

I know some girls like that woman, who can do complete make-overs like that. I really need to start using make-up more often... Or at least find the right kind that suits me and learn how to apply it correctly.

When I told my American friend who I visited this summer that I didn't take any (any!) make-up with me her reply was 'yes, I guess it would melt, wouldn't it'. I didn't have the heart to tell her I hardly ever wear any.

Daryl a dit…

Its amazing how we can do these things w/o a mirror we are after all women... watch us primp!

:-Daryl

aims a dit…

And then there's the fact that she got all that stuff on to the airplane without that 'extra' security check!

A Madonna of colour. How interesting!

Love the story darling...you tell them so well!

Nico a dit…

I'm sure you travel prepared as far as the desktop wallpaper in your laptop is concerned.. I think the security officer was bored with his job and just going through the motions.. or feeling superior, like some of them do.. and so he was ignoring you as much as he could. I agree that was quite rude.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Marjolein - I'm sure you don't use make up because you don't need it. Make the most of it - one day you'll be reaching for the touche eclat like the rest of us....he he

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Daryl, again, one more thing from the world of woman that i'll never understand.

Aims, I think she had a little ziploc bag in that big old ugly bag of hers. And truly, she was a mdaonna of many colours - mainly red though....

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Nico, you have inspired me. I'm going to get me some filthy dirty wallpaper for my desktop next time I fly. See if that makes them any more chatty!

Daisy a dit…

You had to take off your harness?! What's a harness?! Man, sounds like you've got some beauty secrets of your own there, Travelling. I love the sound of this woman, the trouser suit and hair sound like she'd be a great subject for the Sartorialist.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Daisy, the harness is, like, an S&M dirty club thing.

And no, I don't have one and no, I wasn't wearing one.

I just thought it'd be funny to see if anyone noticed that I slipped it in there....hmm.

but now I'm worried that everyone noticed it and no-one thought that it was in the least bit strange that I should be wearing one.....

What on earth kind of person do you all think I am?

Mike a dit…

she was nice at least. most people (ahem, like ME) would just wake you up. if you gotta go, YOU GOTTA GO, right? ;-)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Mike, I would have climbed over you and given you a little lap dance on the way past. But only if it was you....;-)

Lane a dit…

So glam but with an ugly bag. And rollers? On a plane?

And you nasty search. They sound very scary indeed:-(

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Lane, the bag was ugly. Real ugly. But hey, it was her roller bag. I'm not sure if they make pretty roller bags?

12ontheinside a dit…

Rollers? I would have thought I was still asleep and having a nightmare.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

12oti - trust me, I did.....

Louise a dit…

You must realize that if I haven't been reading your blog, it's because I'm not reading anyone's. But now that I am reading it, I am asking myself why I haven't dragged my sickly a$$ out bed earlier so I would have more time just to read yours. No one can tell a story like you. And this stuff (as you know) doesn't happen to just everyone!

But I say, how do you know she never got out? You were in a drug-induced sleep. She could have been having a party by you/with you/over you. You'll never know!

cb a dit…

Well, at the very least she understands how to make herself beautiful... right?

Rob (Inukshuk Adventure) a dit…

See, told you, an excellent tale told perfectly, as is your way.
Thanks.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Louise, she could have been giving me the full lapdance routine and I'd never have known. But I hope not....

travelling, but not in love a dit…

CB - she certainly does....even if without the make-up she was as sacry as hell!

Hey Rob....thanks for the compliments. It's good, as ever, to see you here.

amy a dit…

I was hoping you'd choose the hair story.

That lady is my new hero! Can't wait for my next flight to break out the rollers...

conortje a dit…

at least you didn't wake up with your trousers around your ankles this time :-)

tornwordo a dit…

Makeup is a miracle for some.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Amy, she rocked. truly.

Conortje, you wish. I save that for special occasions only ;-)

Torny - it works for all of us from time to time ;-)

Brett a dit…

Reading your posts is like watching TV.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Brett, I'm going to take that as a compliment....

I usually think when I'm re-reading them that it's like a car-crash...

Anthony a dit…

I've seen some wierd shit that people do on planes, but never have I seen someone put in their rollers!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Anthony, I won't tell you what the guy across the aisle from me was doing under his blanket on a flight from HKG to CDG. It didn't last long, at least.