No Dreaming

I recently flew Boeing’s Dreamliner to Israel. The name sounds romantic, doesn’t it? It conjures up visions of comfort and luxury. Fourteen non-stop hours zooming through rainbows and clouds tinged with sunset.

Let me tell you, the Dreamliner is no dream. It must have been a name the design team dreamed up in a space capsule at Disney World.

It might fly like a dream for the pilots, but if you’re in economy class, look out, you’re in for a delusion.

The seats are made of plastic, they’re narrow and uncomfortable. When you pile in 242 passengers, it feels like a flying sardine can.  Image result for dreamliner 787

The wingspan is impressive. It’s almost 198 feet. It sports two enormous Rolls Royce engines. They’re noisy.

There are no shades on the windows. At the press of a button the window dims from light to dark. Magic glass. I wonder what it’s doing to my health.

The flight map is in twelve languages with Arabic getting more prime time than all the others.

My seat mates, both women, put on headsets and fell asleep almost immediately, holding me hostage by the window. The middle seat woman maneuvered herself into a fetal position with legs protruding into my limited space. I had to pour her back into her area.

The toilet lid hit my back as I sat down, flushing every two minutes with that scary sucking sound. I thought my insides would fall out.

The in-flight entertainment was lousy. No good TV shows. The movies were old. I couldn’t find the music stations. Probably weren’t any because people come plugged in these days.

There were four pilots taking shifts flying this metal cylinder at 558 miles an hour through space. The sun at this altitude was neon green and reflecting off the wing and streaming into the window making me look like Shrek. Or maybe it was the plastic tinted window that did that. It was so hot you could have cooked potato pancakes on it.

There were eight flight attendants. Three men and five women. Big people, older. No nonsense. They were probably undercover Mossad.

I gave one of them a bag of treats and thanked him for serving us and got a lukewarm response. He was probably suspicious of the contents.

I finally woke up the two sleeping beauties and walked to the back of the plane for a stretch and a bathroom break. In front of the galley a rabbi shrouded in prayer shawl regalia was praying like men do at the Western Wall. Then a group of young Israelis came looking for food and drinks. Two Jewish mamas came in next inspecting the trays of sandwiches in the same manner as in their own kitchens.

There was also a slew of pre-orders of kosher, vegetarian, you name it food trays. Flight attendants walked up and down the aisles with flashlights in search of the right passenger in the correct seat in a darkened plane.

I walked to another section where I met two women from Cincinnati who had been up for more than 24-hours. Their flight from Cincinnati to New Jersey to Tel Aviv was cancelled, so they were re-routed to Denver, then San Francisco to catch this flight. They were delirious.

An hour out, we were instructed to stay in our seats until we landed. This was Israeli law. All the men lined up to the bathroom.

Thirty minutes before landing, as I looked out the window, there were no outside lights on the plane. I wondered if that was Israeli law, too. That we must land in a shroud of darkness like a bat.

Calvin says, “Any dogs in the cabin? We could have been given a crew bed to chew our kosher chicken bones there.”  beagle

The Un-American Baseball Scene

Everyone loves to win. Last night the Giants won the game with the Mets. Today in the office the mood was lighter, there were more smiles, and people were huddled in small groups discussing the plays.

Except me.

I rushed home last night to see the game on TV. Nada. None of the major networks was televising it. I was shocked.

I checked the Internet for live streaming. Nada. I had to download flash players and create accounts in order to see the game.

What once was the right of every American to see baseball on TV for freeIMG_0130 has been usurped by grubby hungry cable companies in order to make more money.

That’s just plain un-American.

It’s time for a revolt.

Let’s all go to our local sports bar and view the games there. That will teach these cable guys they can’t mess with the public like that.

The bars would love the business, and we’d enjoy watching with others who are mad with us. Besides, it’s more fun being together. After a few drinks, and lots of peanut shells on the floor, we can be as noisy as we want together.

Calvin says, “I’m mad with you. It’s like removing all the rabbits from a field. It leaves you bereft.”                                       beagle

 

 

 

 

A Reality Ride Home

Last week’s subway train was late pulling into the station. The crowd shoving to get on board reminded me of a stampede of cows racing down a hillside before an earthquake hit. A few stations later, a commotion between two people began at the back of the car.

“Don’t touch me!” a woman yelled to a man who had pushed his way onto the car.

“I didn’t touch you!” he screamed back.   Christmas2

“Yes you did! Don’t you touch me!” she bellowed back.

Their voices intensified as we traveled through the tunnel to the next station. At this point everyone was straining their necks watching them.

A reality show was unfolding before us.

Next the name calling began, followed by obscene language, and then tempers erupted.

I didn’t want to be witness to a homicide. I prayed. I asked God to calm them down. He did, but it only lasted until the next subway station. Then both parties detonated again.

“Don’t you remember they taught  you in kindergarten to keep your hands off of other people? Did you learn that?” the woman said.

The man said nothing. He drew a knife.  The woman screamed even louder.

The subway was now parked at the station.  Seconds later the police showed up and stepped on board. They handcuffed both parties and escorted them out of the station.

The rest of the ride home was in eerie silence.

Calvin says, “What they need are sniffer dogs to ferret out eruptions like they do drugs at airports. I’m game. I’ve had lots of practice.”  beagle

 

Quit Your Bleeping Beep!

Alf has a beeping contest with our neighbors.

Every morning when they leave the house, they unlock the car and it beeps.

At night when they return home, sometimes quite late, they lock the car and it beeps.

Alf matches them beep for beep. Instead of two beeps, it’s four with his, and more on the weekends.

When we leave and come home, he beeps.

“Trying to make a point,” he said.

This has been going on for months.

“Is your point poking them yet?” I asked.

“I’m hoping they’ll get the hint and disengage the beep. It disturbs the neighborhood,” he said.

“You mean it disturbs you,” I said.

“They have no manners. They’re unaccustomed to American ways.”

“You mean they’re uncivilized.”

“They’re selfish,” he said.

“Why don’t you talk to them?”

“Wouldn’t help.”

“Why not?”

“Have you ever been to their country? The noise level is deafening 24-hours a day. They’re used to it. What’s a beep here or there to them?”

“But they’re not there, they’re here, and you’re irritated by the noise,” I said.

“I’ll keep beeping. I want to see where this takes us,” he said.

Calvin says, “This is so childish. I’d go over there and pee on their tires.”