I flew out west with one goal and one goal only, to no longer fit in my size 34 jeans. Vegan food is hard to come by in my home base of Miami. I’ve located some hot spots, but out West you can get vegan donuts, vegan jell-o shots, and vegan buffalo wings. The west coast is a vegan junk food oasis and I wanted to store as much as I could in my hump of a belly. First stop on my eating tour was Portland, Oregon, but to get there I had to change planes in San Francisco. I checked the screen to see where my connecting flight was and what do you know it was right next to an all vegan food booth in an airport. I chowed down on a veggie burger with organic ketchup with plenty of time. As I waddled to the gate I was told I had the wrong plane.
“What are you talking about?” I asked as I pointed to the sign. “This is the 1:05 flight to Portland.”
“Yes, but you’re flying Alaska Airlines and we’re Virgin.”
I was told my flight was in a different terminal. I ran as fast as I could, but discovered I had to go through security again. Not only did this line not move, but when I got to the end I was patted down.
“What are you carrying under your shirt?”
“Nonsense. A man with as thin a frame as you can not have such an enormous belly. Lift up your shirt.”
When he was convinced I did not have explosives or contraband under a prosthetic stomach he waved me through. I put on my shoes and belt and ran to see that while my plane was still waiting there I was not allowed to board it. “What about my bags?” I asked the airline personnel.
“What about them?”
“Are they on the flight?”
“How would I know?”
“Don’t you scan them and have it in your computer so you can take them off if the passenger doesn’t get on the plane?”
“You really think we have the time to go through all that trouble?”
It was 1:00. I was told I could fly stand by for the completely booked 3:00 and 5:00 flights, but if worse came to worse I would definitely be on the 9:00 flight. Which at that particular moment might as well have been the end of time. Air travel makes babies of us all. 150 years ago you were as likely to die as not making this cross country trek and here I was crying about arriving late at night instead of mid-afternoon. That was an entire meal I would miss.