So I was coming home from an especially tiring trip the other day, and landed in Vegas at 330 with plans to connect to get home to sunny SD at 5. When I landed, I checked my handy Southwest iPhone app and saw that my connecting flight was delayed until dot dot dot 830 p.m.
I also used said app to find that there were three flights out to San Diego before that 830 flight, so I decided to track down the first one and see if I could get on stand by (because SW is the best and don't charge you to change your flight if your initial flight is delayed).
So we deplaned (still not sure I buy that as a word), I found the right gate for the SD flight out at 430 and hightailed (but somehow I'm okay with THAT as a word) it over to the earlier flight's gate. There, I saw that I was one of about forty (and while we're having parenthetical asides about words, why doesn't forty have the "u" necessary for "four"?) people with the same idea. I was quick about it, so I was number 12 on the list of 42 (just gonna stick with the numbers this time).
The 430 flight was oversold, so not only did no standby passengers get on, three actually ticketed passengers didn't get on either. They got vouchers to give up their seats. It was at this point that I met a new friend. Let's call him Pete (his actual name).
I should preface this with the fact that I was tired, I really wanted to go home, and I'd had a gooooood amount of human interaction of the previous few days, so I was totally content just reading my book for the whole night.
So Pete had been on the first flight, but accepted a voucher to leave a little later, and was stoked about it. He sat down next to me and asked how flying standby worked.
So I told him that I wasn't actually on a standby ticket...my flight was just delayed, so I was trying to leave early. He asked why I didn't get a voucher?
So I tried to explain...nevermind...and I said that I was going to head over to the next gate.
I went to the next gate, got in line to be sure I was still on standby (SW also keeps the same standby list for situations like these, which is amazing, so I was still number 12), and guess who pops into line behind me? A stranger who wasn't Pete! Just kidding. Pete. "Fancy seeing you here," he says.
"Not really, because we're both trying to get to San Diego...so...it actually makes a lot of sense..." But I didn't really say that. He was really nice, so I just fake laughed and said something non committal like "Oh ha ha fancy fancy fancy."
Not really like that, actually. Something that made sense.
I sat down with my book, this time in the corner on the floor, and didn't see him again. On that flight (now the second standby), two people from the list got on, making me shiny number 10 now. Also at this point, my initial flight was delayed until nine.
So at about 740, I was now on the standby list for the THIRD flight that was leaving before my delayed flight, and Pete sat down next to me again. He just happened to LOVE who I was reading, so he asked about the book, then talked about how I should try and get a voucher out of all of this. I didn't even try to explain why that wouldn't work. So lucky Pete was boarded on that flight, and somehow, they managed to board nine standby passengers, and then called my name. I was so excited to be on the flight that I didn't even care that I was going to inevitably end up in a middle seat, because I was the last one on board.
So with only one seat open on the entire plane, guess who I sat by?
Two strangers that weren't Pete.
I got my book out, but knew that I wouldn't really even be able to crack it, because he was talking as soon as I sat down. I was in a MUCH better mood, so I didn't mind engaging at that moment, and talked back. He then proceeded to fulfill every white-guy-from-state-school-you-meet-on-a-plane stereotype EVER, including:
--ordering a Heineken
--talking about how he loved (where is it you're from again?) San Diego, and wants to move there,
--loving Family Guy and American Dad and watching them all the time,
--wishing that the girls in his hometown were more quality, cooler, and had more in common with him,
--asking "so what's there to do for fun around where you live?",
--sharing about his love of the gym, and the schedule on which he works out,
--making broad "applies to whichever way you are" statements, like "Yeah, I love to go out with friends, but I'm not, like, a partier.",
--describing his large and impressive home, and
--cracking his neck, loudly, several times.
And it's not that I dislike anyone from state schools...I just wish I knew a one that wasn't all of those things.
Happy to be home. Again.