As promised, I am reporting back on my attempt at a little interpersonal experiment on my flight back to Toronto. It was hardly an experiment. It didn’t even get off the ground (ha! the first of many puns to follow). I was all prepared – smile on my face, script memorized. It would have gone something like this…
Hello there. My name is Kristle. This is Khailee. We will be flying with you today. We have flown many times without incident and are all clear on the rules. Khailee is really well behaved and mostly sleeps during the flight. We’ve been fully informed and are ready to fly. Would you mind sharing this with any other crew members that you think should know? Thanks.
Before I could get out “hello”, the flight attendant at the front of the plane began barking policy at me. Except he didn’t articulate these ones. He said: “Don’t give the dog any food or water during the flight.” Excuse me? Who died and made you God? Or more to the point, Khailee’s owner? Hearing that sent off alarm bells in my head. Did I miss the memo on make-crap-up-friday? Then I thought – “I’m being punk’d!” For a minute, I really thought: “This guy is totally yankin’ my chain.” So I awkwardly smiled at the flight attendant – the way you do when you aren’t sure if it is a joke but would rather go with a suitable facial expression that doesn’t make you look like a humorless idiot. Then my cheeks sank. There was no fun and games to be had here. So I did what anyone might in this situation…I became passive-aggressive.
I said: “We have traveled on many flights. We know the rules. There has never been a problem. So I would appreciate not being harassed about it. Thanks.” To which the guy responded Wow”. I took that to mean “message received”.
For the rest of the flight, we did not bother a single soul nor were we bothered by anyone. A whole hour was tacked onto our flight due to a 20-minute delay boarding/taking off and 40-minutes worth of circling the airport in the skies. We were told that there were no available gates. But when we finally landed and so many passengers with connecting flights were itching to get out of their seats, we sat pretty for another 15 minutes while the Peel Region Police came on-board. They wanted the passenger in 23B. Since I was sitting in 22A, I got a front-row view. Fortunately, for Wilhem What’s-His-Face, someone else happened to be sitting in 23B. The man in question was nowhere to be found. I don’t know what Wilhem did that warranted a police escort and I guess I will never know.
When we finally did get up out of our seats, the passenger sitting in the middle seat next to me seemed pleasantly surprised to see a little tuft of fur with dark eyes and little nose sticking out of a pink piece of carry-on luggage.
He smiled and said: “Wow. Your dog is a great flyer. I didn’t even know she was there.”