Terminal Food and Distraction Proficiency

Photo credit: Ewan Munro

Chapter 1

Day 1, 9/22/14, Seattle, 5:45 PM, 4718 steps, 2.44 miles, Indoor temp. cold, my God who left the AC on in terminal S.

Sarah’s internal two hour food alarm went off. It’s a thing that really happens. Swiss watchmakers don’t set their watches by it.

“The granola bars must be saved,” she said; when I recommended she eat one. They have become emergency only granola bars–as if our 10 hour flight will be a starved, ten day trek across the Sahara without supplies. 

Comparison of Swiss quartz action, with Sarah meal time (SMT)

Comparison of Swiss quartz action, with Sarah meal time (SMT)

We walked around the terminal: walls, people, tissues on the floor–likely ebola laced. The Dungeness Bay Seafood Restaurant had a lot of people.

“Not enough time,” Sarah said. I agreed. The cravings must be satiated immediately. A sit-down would be nigh eternal torment. We decided on some asian place. I believe it was called Asiana, as if that narrows down your culinary options. Their slogan must be: “You know asian stuff. Wraps, chips, and some udon. Look egg rolls! Asian food, what Asians totally eat.”

Well, the wraps were crying in misery, oozing condensation from their cloistered refrigeration. We decided on the big bowl of asiana-esque foods. It was reassuringly weighty in my hands.

“That’s gonna go in me,” I didn’t say to myself. My stomach made a blind reach for the bowl with a spontaneously generated flagellum. I beat it back  into submission. No one noticed.

Sarah and I finally sat down. We feasted. The miso was like tea and chicken broth steeped for three minutes. I mean, not terrible. Tea and chicken broth, separately, are quite good. The weighty bowl contained a lot of rice, it tasted like Uncle Ben’s, mashed under other substances.There was a white meat, likely excreted by a steampunk protein machine. There were orange things. There were green things.


Either a steampunk protein excreting machine, or a Caerphilly Castle steam engine.

Do I sound unappreciative? I am, however, I’m in an airport. All airline related food is but fuel. A side note: the wifi doesn’t work. It’s the worst!

There was one saving grace of the meal: sweet chili sauce. Copious amounts slathered on anything generates deliciousness. I mean, even vaguely chickeny, green and orange stuff in bowl is good with sweet chili sauce.

We gorged ourselves saying, “Damn that’s good!” The best part was actually the Broccoli. THE FUCKING BROCCOLI! I never thought I would say that. ‘Tis the wonder that is sweet chili sauce, or Mao Ploy, as more traveled folks might say.

I devoured what Sarah offered me of her bowl. Next, she had to prop my jaw open with a chopstick and steal the bowl back. I apologized, temporarily overcome with primal rage of the sweet chili hypocampal nerve in the human brain.

Chili nerve

Chilieus Hypocanium

Oh man, I just saw the cleaning lady spill garbage nearby. A quick sweep and it all looks fine, the dark patterning of the carpet disguising the cholera laced particulate left there until the end of time.

Next to me a phone charges, clad in a WSU case. I scoffed at it. My deep seated UW induced hatred seethed. Sometimes, human kindness is paper thin, a veneer successful, amazingly, despite an infinitely small thickness. It still boggles quantum physicists.


On the plane, my parents tucked into their own Asiana Asian-esque sweet chili bowl. Mom didn’t even order dinner, she was too full when the stewardess came around. Completely unsurprising for us, but wildly not far Sarah, we got a tiny bag equipped with British Airlines airline essentials: socks (I assume for fashioning fish nets out of), blindfold (clearly to avoid the sights of terror as our flight hurdled through the stratosphere), toothbrush (so stiff it’s bristles double as blowgun ammo), and toothpaste (so small it is used for cleaning only one tooth). British Airlines loved Robinson Crusoe.

“There are games!” Sarah and I say simultaneously. We eagerly flipped through video games on the seatback screens, of which, three are multiplayer options. We opted for knock-off Battleship. My skills were unprecedented–owing to my working controller, and Sarah’s utterly broken one. The games were a little lop sided; maybe. Jury’s out on that. But, it was great fun simply trying to work a hobbled controller–an operation that required both of us and advanced ergonomics.

It can always double as a bludgeon.

It can always double as a bludgeon.

Airplanes become increasingly proficient at distraction, as they should. Why can’t you gamble on planes? I guess that’s what the private ones are for. The possibility of multiplayer games on planes is wildly exciting for a gamer like me. I just realized I didn’t even bother checking for wifi on the flight. I was so focused on the various entertainments not usually at my fingertips–located specifically in my neighbor’s headrest.

I created a video playlist and got through one-fourth of it. I had eight hours! I remember when there used to be a couple radio channels and one movie playing. You could tune into the audio for the movie but everyone had to watch it regardless (ergo the blindfold?)!

The safety video will only take seven hours.

The safety video will only take seven hours.

About C.P.

Collin is a professional writer and scholar. He holds an MA in Philosophy and a BA in English literature. His philosophical work has appeared in print published by Wiley/Blackwell and Open Court. More of his writings, philosophical, literary, comic, and just plain nonsensical are available online. He currently lives in Seattle where he is writing science fiction, dressing up for Cons, and wreaking havoc on his opponents (npcs and tabletop humans alike).
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