Thursday, January 24, 2013

Terminal Illness

When I exited my plane in Minneapolis and entered the terminal, I was high as a kite. My bones felt like jelly. As I walked it felt like I was gliding forward, as if being pulled on a skateboard by some unseen force.

When I fly, I get nervous, so I take drugs. And I typically take a bit more than my doctor's recommended dose to make sure I'm out cold for the entire flight. Maybe that's unsafe, but I'm a honey badger and I don't give a shit.

airport_badger

I usually pop a few pills about an hour before my flight, drift into unconsciousness once seated on the plane, and wake up hours later at my destination. It's like the entire trip never happened. It's magical.

On this particular day, circumstances were a little different. Minneapolis wasn't my final destination; Portland was, and Minneapolis was just a layover. This was the first time I had to maneuver to a connecting flight while under the influence of sedatives, and I hadn't anticipated being quite this high.

I spotted a screen listing departures and wonkily strode up to it to find my connecting flight. I peered at the monitor but I had trouble making sense of the words. It made me feel self conscious. I tried to act cool so the people around me wouldn't suspect I was Anna Nicole Smithing out.

airport_talk

Eventually, after much labored staring, I figured out my connecting flight was leaving from gate A6. I had a couple hours to kill, so I decided to wander around a bit and clear my head. I was faintly aware of soft rock being pumped over the loudspeakers. Sinéad O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" drifted out, barely audible. I stepped onto one of those automated walkway things, and noticed a woman in the distance, riding the walkway parallel to mine. As she approached, I could tell she was mouthing the lyrics to the song. I fixated on her lips, somehow both drowsy and overly analytical of her actions. I felt concerned for some reason.

Girl, you better stop singing, I thought. Someone's gonna notice you singing along to a song from 1990. That's like a million years ago. What are you, a dinosaur? Shut up, dinosaur. 

I snickered and congratulated myself on my sick burn. The singing girl was within earshot and noticed chuckling. She also noticed me staring at her. Suddenly aware that someone had been watching her sing to herself, I assumed she'd immediately stop and look the other way. On the contrary, she fixed her gaze on mine, and began mouthing along to the song with exaggerated fervor as she glided past.

MZ7Q

I felt flummoxed, but couldn't discern exactly why. I figured everything might just seem extra weird because I was hopped up on pharmaceuticals. I pondered this as I made my way to my gate, then took a seat near the window and took a few deep breaths. I looked around. Everything was slightly blurry. People’s faces looked off somehow, like default character profiles in The Elder Scrolls.

airport_people

I pulled out my phone, navigated to the BBC News application and tried to concentrate on reading, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of the hieroglyphics on the screen. I texted my friend Kristin instead.

 fone01

 A few moments later, she responded.

fone02

 I texted her back.

fone03

She replied again.

fone04

Annoyed, I flexed my fingers and tried to focus on a more coherent message.

fone05

Kristin didn't even bother responding to that, so I texted her one last time.

fone06

I gazed around the terminal. I noticed a little boy doing the worm on the floor, trying to get his mom to notice. He seemed to be moving in slow motion.

NL0B
Everything just seems strange because I'm high, I thought. Nothing is really weird. Everything is fine. I'm sure that little kid isn't bending all time and space to his will by doing to worm on the floor.

I sank further into my seat. My eyes felt heavy. I peered around the airport through my drooping eyelids, my vision becoming increasingly restricted as my eyes slowly closed. After a minute or two, they shut.

When I woke up, I was first struck by how silent my terminal was compared to earlier. For a second I slouched in my chair, reveling in the peace and quiet.

airport_sleep

I opened my eyes to find myself completely alone, save for a woman some twenty feet away staring at an iPad. Darkness had fallen outside. I panicked.

Oh shiiiiiiiiiiit! I thought, sitting bolt upright. My flight left! I slept through boarding! I have to live in Minneapolis now! I can't deal with Minnesotan accents! I'll die!

Suddenly quite sober from the alarm I was feeling, I grabbed my laptop bag and hustled to the nearest help desk. The woman behind the counter, a grumpy looking lady with fingernails the length of velociraptor talons, barely acknowleged my presence.

"My flight left," I blurted out. "I need a new flight. I need to get to Portland." The woman rolled her eyes.

"What's your flight number?" She muttered. I told her I didn't know, but my destination was Portland.

"The gate was A6. I accidentally fell asleep and missed it." I paused. "I mean, uh, I got sick. I was barfing while they were boarding. Bad seafood. It wasn't my fault. I need to be redirected. I can't live in Minneapolis." The woman rolled her eyes again and began typing away at her computer.

NE4K

"Your flight doesn't doesn't board for another 10 minutes. It's at gate A9, not A6. It's over there." She pointed behind me with one of her footlong nails. As I thanked her and left, she rolled her eyes a third time, this time so dramatically she might've seen her own brain.

My relief over not actually missing my plane was tempered by the realization that I'd now have to fly unaided by drugs. I was happy to be boarding on time, but as I shuffled down the aisle of the aircraft looking for my seat, I began to feel more and more nervous about the ensuing trip. I was too aware of everything: the rattle of the plane's engines, the passengers crammed in like sardines, the low ceiling making me feel claustrophobic. I nervously looked around for babies, because everyone knows that planes with babies on them never crash.

Then I spotted something even better than a baby: Food Network's Ina Garten, seated next to her husband Jeffrey. My eyes went wide. Ina Garten was on my flight. What's more, as I approached I realized that my seat was directly behind her. Trying to maintain my cool, I slid into the aisle behind her and stared reverently at the back of Ina's head.

airport_ina

This happened on 30 Rock, right? I pondered. Liz Lemon was high and mistook a spunky tween for Oprah. Is that happening to me? Am I still high and imagining this? Should I ask Ina if she has a tupperware of biscotti? 

I listened to Ina talk to her husband. She sounded just like on TV. It was definitely The Barefoot Contessa. I tried to make a mental list of celebrities who died in plane crashes, but I could only think of Aaliyah and Lynyrd Skynyrd. No plane with Ina Garten on it could crash, right? That's would be impossible. Rachael Ray, maybe, but not Ina!

I took a few deep breaths and managed to calm down a bit. When the plane took off, I listened to Ina and tried not to focus on the airplane bouncing around. It helped, surprisingly, though not as effectively as hard drugs.

The plane did not crash. Nobody died. Thank you, Ina Garten. You're a lifesaver.

95 comments:

  1. You completely crack me up. Another fantasticly hilarious comic.

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  2. This is EXACTLY why, although I hate flying, I have a "no drugs on flights less than 3 hours" rule. Except if the airline is sketchy. I totally took a half a Xanax on that 45 minute Air Moldova* flight that one time.

    *Seriously

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  3. Brilliant, Adam, just brilliant.

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  4. I loved this one. I was cackling like an idiot in the middle of a busy college atrium and I'm not even giving a shit, even now. This made my day.

    Thank you, Ina Garten. You and Adam are now 100% more laugh inducing together.

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  5. I fly planetimes.

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  6. What DID ever happen to tlc?

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    Replies
    1. Left eyed lopez died. I think.

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    2. Yeah, Left Eye died...
      In a plane crash.

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    3. ^ false. Car crash. But she lives on in our hearts.

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  7. I love reading your stuff. This made me laugh out loud, except for the line, "I can't live in Minneapolis." I did not laugh then.
    I can't wait to read the next one.

    Signed,

    A girl from Minneapolis

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    Replies
    1. Agreed!

      Your intense dislike of Minneapolis and Minnesotan accents was upsetting to me. However, I will still continue to love your comics.

      Signed,
      Another girl from Minneapolis

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    2. Double agreed! Come to Minnesota sometime, it is a pretty fab place and we don't all have horrible accents.

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    3. You kids getting upset over someone not liking the city you live in is really sad. I think it's time you grow up and face the real world. Seriously.

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    4. ^ times a million

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    5. Wow what a douche. Nothing wrong with peeps wanting to share their home city!

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    6. I don't have a valid comment to add, but wanna see how many Anonymous replies we can get?

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    7. I second that.

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    8. I don't know. He might be right.

      Signed,
      A guy who was in Minneapolis once on accident

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    9. of all the types of civic pride, minneapolis civic pride is clearly the lamest. girl from minneapolis, spend a year in NYC, you will understand.

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    10. NYC! NYC! NYC! :D

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    11. In comment strings like this I like to pretend anonymous is one person with serious issues just talking to themselves.
      Also the Sinéad O'Connor bit cracked me up.

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    12. Come to Lancashire, its mostly nice

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    13. I like to picture the people who argue in threads like this as actually saying these things to each other's faces. Much more entertaining that way.

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    14. I like cats.

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    15. I think cities are full of bad energy. Really. Call me a hippy, I don't care, but you can breathe easier in a small town.

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  8. I want to have a trip like yours. Not the actual flight from Minneapolis to Portland... but the drug trip. Your hallucinations sound fun!

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  9. You are hilarious! I recently started watching 30 Rock and remember that episode. LMAO! She gave wine to a girl in the 9th grade!

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  10. I was waiting forever for a new post and was not disappointed! ALL HAIL INA GARTEN!

    also I fly all the planetimes as well

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  11. Oh good grief that was funny. My favorite pane: your stalker hand reaching from behinfd Ina's seat.
    You are a fantastic artist, Moby Dickhead.

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  12. I am more than sure that the velosaraptor-lady works at EVERY airport... maybe she is like one of the Smiths.

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  13. I had this problem in Houston, Texas. It did not go well, I'm pretty sure I almost got a drug dog sic'd on me. Sadly, my next flights I will be very pregnant, so no drugs for me.

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  14. Gee.. thanks for being so supportive Kristin..

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  15. I would have been forced to ask her, while snickering, if she was from Eden.

    annnnnd this is why I'm alone.

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  16. You do know that Ina has like super bad karma, right? She blew off that kid from Make a Wish!! http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/barefoot-contessa-turns-make-kid/story?id=13238578

    She tried to make it right, I guess. But he moved on to cooler things - swimming with dolphins!

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  17. The celebrities you could think of dying in crashes didn't include Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper? Shame on you.

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    Replies
    1. And Pasty Cline. My beloved Clatsy! ...and John Denver.

      She really did fall to pieces.
      I'm going to hell.

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    2. Stevie Ray Vaughan, but that was a helicopter...

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  18. "I can't deal with Minnesotan accents! I'll die!"

    It's all good, I could teach you. Just elongate all "o's" and say "eh" every now and again. You'll get along just fine.

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    Replies
    1. Minnesotans say "yoy betcha" and "uff da". Canadians say "eh"

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    2. Minnesotans do not say either of those things since, like, 100 years ago. We do say "ya" a lot, though.

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  19. Here's another anonymous reply. I would also be sad if Adam didn't like my hometown and our accents. I'm not saying I would dwell on it all day but nevertheless it would make me sad, and I also don't feel like I need to "grow up" for that fact.

    Funny comic, Adam. Love it as always.

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  20. I kept trying to explain to my dad why this was so funny and I don't think he appreciated it as much as I did... If I had met Ina, I would have asked her to read me Skymall just because her voice is so silky. But thats just me..

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  21. I think when most people talk about Minnesotan accents they usually think of the norther ones.. most of the state doesn't talk like that.. or fake the accent. bawahah.

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  22. Weird Sinead O'Connor Singing Lady is awesome.

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  23. Minneapolis is a cool place to live, don'tcha knooow. XD

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  24. That lip syncing gif cracks me up. I can see me doing that to people.

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  25. Do you realize there are like, so many chicks who are obsessed with you.

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  26. Is it weird that if I saw you on a plane, you would be my Ina?

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  27. So, did you go back to Portland to visit or are you already over NYC?

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  28. BEST. COMIC. EVER. This is my all time favorite, it has airplanes and Ina and an overindulgence in prescription pharmaceuticals. All my favorite things! Thank you, Adam.

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  29. Ina Garten saved my life once too. I won't go into the details but it involved Brussels sprouts.
    P.S. You may have just started a new meme. #inagartenonaplane

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  30. So wait...were you flying first class, or was Ina in coach (far less likely)? Keep up the amazing work! Looking forward to the book!

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  31. I should look into getting medication to knock me out when I get on planes. I spend the whole time having panic attacks and trying not to look like I'm going to burst into tears.

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  32. Adam,
    Having lived in both Portland and Minnesota, it's only about half as bad as you think it's goin to be. Unless it's winter. Minnesota winters don't mess around.

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  33. Adam, I love that you love the Barefoot Contessa as much as I do!

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  34. Bravo sir

    you're the one thing that's keeping my faith in pharmaseutial industry alive.

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    Replies
    1. in the pharmaceutiacal *pharmaceutical? industry.... damn it... oh well, you can tell they have me too.

      Delete
  35. I was laughing so hard.
    I'll try to look for a baby on my next flight to make sure that it won't crash.

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  36. I am the same exact way. Possible the worst flight of my life was the shortest...it was on a small charter plane and I felt like I was going to die the entire time because my second xanex hadn't kicked in yet.

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  37. i'm so happy i got to read this high

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  38. Obviously, Liz Lemon is your spirit animal.

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  40. can you please please please tell us what legal drug(s) you were on? i need a script, stat ;D

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  41. ..."so dramatically she might have seen her own brain."
    Most brilliant line ever.

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  42. Thanks for making morning so much better. Looking forward to your book! Is it July yet?? Is time travel a thing where we can make this happen sooner?

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  43. Kristin said to tell you you're stupid.
    Stupid.

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  46. Hilarious! On a side note, I would be fine if Adam said he didn't want to be stuck in Georgia. There are some accents here in Georgia that drive me crazy!

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  47. Hey now! Minnesota is awesome! The land of wonderful snow! gah love it. :)

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  48. Thats definitely the universe looking out for you!

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  49. Yo watch Totally T-Boz on TLC (the television network) if you want to know what happened to TLC.

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  50. Okay, hold on, wouldn't Ina Garten be riding first class?

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    Replies
    1. You'd think so. She's a millionaire! I swear on my life she was riding JetBlue coach.

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  51. I love the excitement I feel when I see a new post! The Sinead O'Connor girl gif killed me. You'd think by now I would've learned not to read this at work...I always crack up and draw unwanted attention to myself!

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  52. I wish you made these more often. :( I love them! Haha, they make my days so much better!

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  53. I loved this! Oh, god, I hate flying! I was given some meds for flying by a doctor I work for. My guy woke up up when I began to drool on him.....hey, I didn't care, it was the first time I flew that I did not freak out! One time on a flight, I sat by this woman who was worse than me with fear. We hit turbulance, and for 10 minutes, we screamed and held each other and prayed out loud, to the amused looks of the flight attendents. Flying is the pits. Thank you for making laugh about it!

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  54. I feel like I have a strange connection with this one. Especially because I had to face up to a big fear of mine recently: NEEDLES. BUM BUM BUM! They wouldn't let me do drugs cause it was a blood test, and I just had to get held down to keep from wiggling around.
    Also, Ina Garten reminds me of my Grandma. It's almost like Ina Garten is my grandma. Almost.

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  55. I love the creative format of you stories. I hope and look forward to the day, decades from now, when you release your memoirs. NY Times will say "Best memoirs ever!" (by that time the quality of NY Times descriptive abilities will have gone down hill severely.)

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  58. I work at the Minneapolis airport. I'm kinda bummed I didn't know you were passing through, because I was working that day too. I think I know the exact gate agent you're talking about. We have stories about her

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  59. I love how you included your version of one of Nicholas Cage's less attractive pictures in the Elder Scrolls panel. :)

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  60. I have "issues" with flying. Take off, landing, and turbulence. Other than that, it's just a cramped experience. I used to drink on flights, if I could afford it. That caused a few nausea issues... I had to circle the Seattle airport for an HOUR once, that made me very nauseous. If not for a nice guy I met on the plane, that would have been a complete waste! I take diazapam, now, plus meclizine for the dizzy part.

    Loved the lady with the nails. I'm never sure how they can do anything with those things.

    I went through SF recently and they "said" I had 1 1/2 hrs before my flight. WHAT A NIGHTMARE!! Don't do that sort of mess when "medicated". Shuttles and you have to go through security twice. I just barely made my connecting flight! Stupid airport layout.

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  61. I too have seen Ina Garten and her husband Jeffery in meatspace. I was working at a supermarket on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at the time. She walked onto my line and as I was ringing her up, I realized who she was. And all of a sudden, I whispered in surprise "*gasp* You're on Food Network!" And she smiled, and when I looked at the guy she was on line with I realized who he was as well. It was awesome. She bought fancy bottled water. And I rang her up. And I think I was the only person nerdy enough to watch the Food Network at my job, so that was my thing.

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  62. I've been thinking for a while now that the way you draw hoodie cords makes them look like saggy neck boobs. Jus' sayin'.

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  63. What program do you use to for the animated art? That's awesome!

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  65. Any attempts to having a sober coach for these pals?

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