There are days that I really, genuinely like people. And then there are days I have to fly.
There’s something about flying that just seems to bring out the worst in people. Something about the cramped noisiness of airports followed by the stress of being 35,000 feet above the ground in a giant inescapable cylinder with far too many people…can you tell I don’t love flying? I don’t consider myself to be an irrational person, but airplanes defy my (extremely limited) understanding of the laws of physics, and every little bump sees me clutching my armrests and wondering exactly what my breaking point is before I spring up screaming “I AIN’T GOIN’ DOWN LIKE THIS!” and storming the drink cart.
Okay. Maybe flying just brings out the worst in me. But I do feel like flying exposes the lowest common denominator within each of us. If you feel like you remain a decent human being while flying, have no fear! I’m going to help you. Based on my extensive experience with air travel, I’ve written a handy instruction manual to help you make everyone else’s flying experience (and maybe even yours!) as miserable as possible. It’s easy! Just follow these steps.
How to Be an A-hole at 35,000 Feet (and below):
- Do NOT, under ANY circumstances, turn off your phone, Kindle, or iPad when the flight attendants tell you to. That text you’re working on is far more important than FAA regulations, and if you don’t hit “like” on your buddy’s Facebook status before takeoff, you just know you’re going to hear about it when you touch down. And a Kindle isn’t really electronic, is it? It’s books. BOOKS, man.
- If your bag doesn’t fit in the overhead bin, continue trying to cram it in there. The space will increase in direct proportion to the volume of your grunts. When it still doesn’t fit at the crazy diagonal angle that was your last-ditch effort, just leave it. Someone else will take care of it.
- Bring your tuna salad sub onboard. You don’t want your fellow passengers to miss out on the gustatory delights that await you.
- Be horrible to parents. They are pinching their babies and forcing them to cry just to annoy you. The nerve! Act like you are in a chapel, a library, the Holocaust Museum, or somewhere else where silence would be a reasonable expectation. Sigh theatrically with every whimper. Turn around and give your best hairy eyeball, making sure to break eye contact quickly if the parent happens to look up at you.
- Recline! You know how uncomfortable airplane seats are. We all do. Thank God we can recline them three inches, thus making them exactly like our favorite armchair at home. As soon as the chime dings, get your finger on that button and don’t even mess around. Launch, no, hurtle yourself backwards. Do NOT check if the person behind you has a laptop out. That will just ruin the fun, and besides, don’t you want to witness the first-ever instance of seppuku by laptop?
- Be ready to deboard. And I mean ready. Upon landing, we all know that everyone can get off the plane at the exact same time (that’s the laws of physics again). Be sure to stand up immediately when the seatbelt sign goes off. Glare impatiently at the people sitting in your row if they haven’t yet attempted a game of human bowling with the 150 people in front of them. Also, leave as much garbage as possible in your seat even though the crew came around with trash bags 14367 times. Gotta keep ‘em on their toes, right?
There you have it – if you don’t travel much, or if you do but you’ve been acting like a normal person for some reason while doing so, I hope this helps. Many people follow it very closely – which is why the only thing that cures my traveling woes is a big bowl of ice cream. Homemade? All the better. I’ve found that store-bought ice cream, even the really good brands, just don’t hold a candle to homemade. There’s something just so eye-rollingly amazing about homemade ice cream – I don’t know if it’s creamier, or richer. I can’t put my finger on it. But the ice cream I make in the ice cream maker has the same quality as the ice cream we used to hand-churn at summer camp – it’s just uniquely homemade. And maybe, after traveling, the “home” part is the key.
|Cookies & Cream Ice Cream||
- 1 cup skim milk
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp vodka
- 20 chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos, Joe-O’s, Newman O’s)
- Freeze ice cream maker bowl for at least 24 hours.
- Combine milk, sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, cover, and refrigerate until cooled completely, 2-4 hours.
- Roughly chop cookies (alternatively, place in a ziploc bag and beat with a rolling pin – this is fun for releasing aggression).
- Prep your ice cream maker and add the chilled milk mixture. Run for 15-20 minutes and then slowly add cookies. Add in the vodka. Transfer to a freezer safe container and cover surface directly with plastic wrap. Freeze for several hours or overnight.
Source: Adapted from the vanilla recipe that came with my ice cream maker