First Class

Have you ever been offered unlimited free beer on a first class flight and weren’t able to take advantage of it?  I have, and here’s the story about it…

first class beer

First class…those 2 words put together when referring to an airline flight seem like an impossible reality for a poor teacher like myself.  The extra legroom, an actual meal to eat, the hot towel after your meal (yeah, that’s actually real), and the free alcohol are all part of what makes a first class flight so enjoyable that people shell out an ungodly amount of money for it.  Let me repeat part of that again for those of you who glossed over that quickly.  FREE ALCOHOL.  If you’re anything like me, those 2 words put together are one of the rare combinations that trumps the “first class” one.  And if you’re really like me, the deciding factor as to whether I’m gonna get true enjoyment out of spending the better part of a Saturday at someone’s wedding often hinges on whether or not the words “open bar” are anywhere in the equation.  Hey…open bar…another 2 word combination that beats “first class.”

Anyway, it was years ago that my wife and I were on our way home from our honeymoon in Jamaica that the impossible reality smacked me in the face for the first and only time in my life. The offer was on the table — be willing to get bumped to take the next available flight out of paradise, and the reward was a first class flight.  Though I can’t remember exactly how long we mulled the offer over, I can’t imagine it was longer than it takes me to scarf a good burger (ever see a human being inhale food like a Hoover vacuum before?).

flying beerSo there we were…first class.  A beverage of my choice was being offered by the stewardess before I even had time to recline the overstuffed, leather chair that would be my best friend for the next 3 hours.  There was just one small problem.  During the course of our honeymoon, I had acquired a case of swimmer’s ear that nearly forced us to miss our flight home completely due to the doctor’s concern about my eardrum rupturing from the pressure.  The pain was incredible, and although I know you think copious amounts of alcohol should have aided in the relief, it didn’t.  That first beer I was offered remained on my tray for the majority of the flight, causing our stewardess to remark, “What’s the matter?  Don’t you like beer?”  If only she knew the sheer insanity of that statement…

In the end, the flight home went fine in terms of my eardrum not rupturing.  However, after drinking lukewarm Red Stripe beer all week because it was the only option at the resort, I would’ve loved nothing more than to give the stewardess a reason to remark, “What’s the matter?  Have you already tried every beer this flight has to offer?”  I can laugh about the whole ordeal now many years later, but believe me, having to pass up the opportunity to make that first class flight even better is something in this Hopostle’s history that I’ll never forget…


the Hopostles

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