Thursday, December 6, 2007

Airborne Freak Show.

One of the few perks of traveling as much as I do is that American Airlines always upgrades me to First Class. It's not that First Class is really all that 'special' when compared to Coach, but it does provide you with a little more leg room, an attempt at a balanced meal, and - my favorite! - free booze. The later can help you forget the brutal, naked truth that you're really just in a cattle car with wings.

Flying First Class occasionally allows me the opportunity to meet some interesting people...sometimes even 'famous' people. Yesterday I flew from New Orleans to Las Vegas, changing planes in Dallas. It was in Dallas that I met my latest 'seat mate who's a star': Carrot Top! Now poking fun of Carrot Top is tantamount to shooting fish in a's waaaay too easy. I've read other bloggers, seen a few stand-up commedians, and watched a few TV shows, all of which can't resist the comedic catnip that is Carrot Top...or as I now call him, "The dude who sat beside me in 2A". He's a walking treasure trove of laughs...after all, LOOK at this guy!
And, yes, ladies and gentleman, the guy looks as freaky in person as he does in this photo. Turns out, he's a nice enough guy...reserved, polite, accommodating to autograph seekers (but, honestly, does anyone really covet an autograph from Carrot Top?), and not at all the asshole that I halfway expected him to be. But it was tough for me to look at Monsieur Sommet de Carotte and wonder if - one day, years ago - he ran into a doctor's office holding a photo of that plastic surgery addict, Catwoman, and said, "Hey, Doc! That's the look I've wanted all my life! Shoot me up with pain killers and let's get'er done!!"

I know, I know...the dude is like catnip.

This latest flight got me thinking of other famous (or 'famous') people I'd flown with. And, you know what? It turns out the the last three folks all share a common thread...other than being a part of the public psyche. THEY ALL HAVE DEMONIC EYES! Carrot Top looks like he grew tired of the constant pre-show application of eyeliner, and elected instead to have his eyeliner permanently tattooed. Sure, it probably hurt, but think of all the money he saves.

Prior to my Carrot Top encounter, I had perchance the good fortune of flying from Nice, France to London beside ex-Go-Go chantruese Belinda Carlisle!

Now I will freely admit it, I used to have the hots for Miss Carlisle back in the early eighties. So when my wife pulled on my elbow and whispered, "That's Belinda Carlisle", I dismissed her. "No way, babe...Belinda is a LOT younger and more attractive than that lady." It was then that my wife explained that I was no longer a 'spring chicken', and that I looked - shall we say? - different than I did 25 years ago. I love my wife.

Sadly, my mind's image of Belinda Carlisle was not at all compatible with the reality sitting next to me, chatting away on her cellphone. Today she looks like a lot of those over-50 SoCal ladies...vainly trying to cling on - fingernails dug deep into someone's flesh - to an image of eternal youth via bad plastic surgery. It's all in the eyes, people...and I have to tell you, those eyes of hers were scaring me!

Prior to my mile-high experience with Belinda, the other last famous person I flew with was TV's own political pundit with the bad pate, Sam Donaldson.

Turns out that Sam's not a bad guy, actually...and he has a surprisingly decent sense of humor. But, man those eyes. Beedy, always in a perpetual squint. Perhaps it's not so much the eyes, as it is those two arched, woolly caterpillars that serve as eyebrows above them. And the truly awful toupée that sits above them. I couldn't help but wonder, 'does he wear such a bad rug to divert attention from those demonic eyes?' Yowsuh.

Yeah, First Class is nice enough. Did I mention they serve you free booze? I sure as hell need it...especially considering the company I've been keeping.

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