AB+BC part 2: in-flight entertainment
[written on Thursday, March 20, 2014]
Flying somewhere (anywhere) usually comes with a standard set of titillating entertainment options. Here’s the basic menu.
1. THE MAGAZINE
You know the one. There is always a glossy issue in the pouch directly in front of you. Today, it’s WestJet Up! In Canada, all articles are written in both English and French, of course. The choice of content is usually dubious at best, so I’m skeptical.
First up, the contributors answer some travel-related questions. Here are my answers…
I live in: Toronto (isn)
I always travel with: my journal
Best travel tip: Don’t book expensive tours. Just buy your plane ticket. Show up. Explore.
When I travel: I like to strike up conversations with locals, be it an airport employee in Minneapolis, or a yuk-tuk driver in Jaipur.
Dream destination: Too many to count. Next up – Italy, Iceland, India.
This issue sells me on the delights of Dublin. Doesn’t much to convince me to put another destination on my bucket list. Book of Kells? Let’s do it. I almost wish I liked Guinness.
2. THE TV SHOWS
My neighbour is glued to the tiny screen – completely immersed in Extreme Couponing tv show. I suppress the desire to judge. It doesn’t work. I shrug, and judge away. After few moments of silent judging, I pull out my headphones and start flipping through the channels, trying to find… you guessed it, Extreme Couponing. How much money can this family save with all of those coupons they collected? I have to know!
Thankfully, the sound doesn’t work, and I give up just as the head of the family loads up three shopping carts with Coke bottles that are “free” after coupons. Free Coke??? Awesome! #eyeroll
Ten minute later we are now onto some sort of food show – the 15 pound burger, America’s idea of a good time. We are all doomed, people. Doomed, I tell ya. The owner looks lean and healthy – I don’t think he’s actually ever eaten the damn thing himself. The patrons ordering the burgers on the other hand… not so much.
7,000 calories. So that’s about 4 days worth of calories for an average woman.
The patty is formed by hand, and then baked in the oven. But wait, there is a bigger brother option – 18,000 calories. What follows next is the demonstration of one guy who destroys the whole thing in a matter of few hours. People look on in horror.
Oh, and did I mention that the whole thing is timed? And here I thought that deadlifts for time were a bad idea. It could always be worse.
The show’s name flashes across the screen. Of course. “Extreme Pigouts”. Why not?
3. THE SNACK
You and I both know this is pretty much the most exciting part of the flight. Picking a beverage! Wondering about what snackable, crunchy combination of salt, sugar and fat awaits you this time!
I get coffee and the legendary Biscoff – the elusive cookie that seems to only exist on airplanes. Every crumb is better than the one before.
4. THE NEIGHBOUR
The extraverted ones among us will probably attempt to strike up a conversation with the poor chap who’s sitting nearby. “Is Calgary home for you?” I ask an older gentleman, sitting to my left. He nods. “And for you?”, he reciprocates out of sheer politeness. “No, not at all”, I chirp back. “Anything I must do or see in Calgary?”
“No”, he responds. “Not really”.
Well. So much for striking up conversations with locals.
What is your favourite part of flying? What did I miss?