Monday, July 31, 2006

Honeymoon in Europe - Part I

By Joe Quirk

So, I got married on the 1st of July (hold for applause), and you know what? I married out of my range. I got a hot wife! (hold for applause). So, I rule, and you can suck it. (hold for thrown knives, garbage, bullets, etc.)

Anywho, we went to Europe for our Honeymoon. My wife (still getting used to that) and I took a cruise around the Mediterranean. So, I invite you to follow me on Quirk's Honeymoon in Europe. New installments to follow, hopefully on a regular basis.

The Flight Over

We flew out of Philadelphia direct to Barcelona, Spain. This is an eight hour flight leaving @ 5:25pm EST, and with the time difference we would arrive bright eyed and bushy tailed @ 7:45 in the morning.

I refer to this part of the trip as Joe's Personal Hell.

This was the plan: sleep for as long as possible on the flight, and be rearing to go when we got there. The flight started ok. As soon as my wife and I sat down, the instant drowsiness hit us. Why is it that the knowledge that you dont have to worry about driving somewhere instantly gives you permission to sleep? I used to do that all the time. My sister and I used to work at the same place, and she would drive us the 40 minute plus commute every day. As soon as my ass hit the passenger seat I was asleep for 38 of those minutes. This led to an awful confrontation about two weeks into the arrangement, but that story can wait for another day...

So, the drowsiness sets in, and I'm like, perfect, I'll be out in minutes and when I wake up, I'll be smelling paella! Not because we'd be in Spain, but because the guy across from me smelled like paella.

Here is exactly where the flight took a turn for the worst. The fuckers served us dinner. And you've GOTTA eat the dinner, right? I mean, you paid your right kidney for the flight, youre gonna take every goddamn scrap of food they throw at ya, even if its been sitting in a hangar for four years. You can't NOT take it. And what you can't eat, you stuff in your pockets like mongrels. I think I still have the cookie they gave us for dessert.

So, they give us these steamed packages that look like TV dinners, only smaller. I had the beef brisket. And I gotta be honest- it was pretty fuckin' good. I was shocked. Appalled. How dare they serve GOOD food on an airplane?!

Now my body's got food, and my metabolism kicks up (Look, it's health class, kids!), and all of a sudden, I'm no longer drowsy. Matter of fact, I am wide-a-fuckin'-wake. Great.

I think at this point I pulled out my mini DVD player, thinking that it would put me in a boob tube trance and send my mind back to rest. Also, at this time they turned out the lights in the cabin, as if they saw me trying to watch a film and wanted to be considerate and get rid of the glare. I started to relax a little.

About an hour and a half into Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (Hold all comments until the end of the blog, please), I'm wishing Harry would stop whining like a bitch and I'm yearning every time they show the kids waking up from a restful slumber. Fuckin' wizards. I turn off the damn movie.(I'd seen it already anyway and, oh, yeah, Cedric gets killed at the end.)

At this point my new wife pulls out a sleep mask, tastefully adorned with the message, "Do Not Disturb", in a lovely cursive script, and a pair of neon pink and yellow earplugs. After a moment of "There is no effing way", I concede and give them a try. These earplugs are like that memory foam stuff: you rub them in your hands until they're small cylinders, then stick them fairly far into your ear hole, and they expand to fit your ear, nullifying just about every noise in the vicinity. I put the first one in my left ear, and WOW, what a difference, this could work after all!
Until I realized my right ear canal has an off-ramp. Seriously, I plunged the plug in my right ear, and it wouldn't go in. I pulled it out and the end of the earplug was BENT! Apparently, theres a hairpin left turn in my ear, and I can't maneuver the earplug around it. But that didn't stop me from trying. Oh NO. Three quarters of a freaking hour later, I'm at an impasse, perfectly stoppered left ear, right ear open like a goddamn bottomless abyss and sloping to the left. I'm surprised it wasn't bleeding. I remove the left earplug in defeat.

As you can imagine, I'm frustrated now, and all I want do is sleep for the 5 hours plus we have left. Thing is, when you WANT to go to sleep, there's no way its gonna happen.

Ok, four hours left, where did that last hour go? I've gotta get at least a little sleep.
At this juncture I remember, because I had never been on this long a flight, I had some Dramamine with me, just in case. And what's one of Dramamine's glorious side-affects? Drowsiness! With barely contained joy I reached into my pocket and pulled forth my little white circular saviors.

At this time, I'd like to point out that what I had was not Dramamine... exactly. It was the CVS equivalent.

Now, the fact that it was the generic CVS brand was not the problem. The problem lies with the packaging. It's your regular blister pack, you push the pill through the silver backing. We've all seen them, right? Well, what differentiates real Dramamine from the god forsaken CVS brand is that, on the CVS package, there is a white paper backing on top of the silver backing. We've all done this before, you peel of the white paper and proceed with the regular push through process. EXCEPT, CVS wants you to earn their product. Oh, YESSIR. I used my nails, my teeth, my effing WATCHBAND to try and peel back that fucking paper layer! NOTHING! For a half hour or more I struggled with this tightly packaged demon seed, to no avail. I chucked it at the floor and let the insanity that was slowly creeping up my mind settle in. I muttered to myself and shifted constantly, pissed off not only by my lack of razor sharp nails, but by the peacefully sleeping denizens populating the plane. why Why WHY!


They were showing "Rumor Has It" on the plane, for those people choosing not to sleep (like, two people.) and those having trouble sleeping (By my count, um, ME). I wasn't plugged in to the sound, but my seething brain was fascinated by this moving picture on the wall at the head of the cabin. It was about five minutes later when I realized that Jennifer Aniston is just as annoying whether she is speaking or not. I would make up dialogue for the characters, and every time Kevin Costner spoke (I remember giving his character a stupid name, Captain something? Its escaping me.), he would threaten Anistons life, even when he was making out with her. It amused me, time passed, and my eyes closed...
... just as the lights came on.


To be continued...



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