January 13, 2004
Boys In Front of the Plane
Early January brought me to Las Vegas for the annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show), a maze of endless aisles of gadgets, including video, audio, peripherals, mobile & wireless and toys that early adopter alpha-males have to have......
When I boarded the small Delta Song jet, the front of the plane was full of festive male geeks. It was as if we were all going to the Caribbean in a helicopter, rather than in a drafty plane to Las Vegas.
Western Suburb man approaches. (Burb man for short). Single, early forties, controlling, forceful, loud, yet charming. Demonstrating his success was key - buying vodka tonics and martinis for anyone in the front of the plane. A distributor for Nextel, he was heading to CES to schmooze, gamble and see shows. His head of sales (alpha-males refer to him as their wing man) was the softer side of this uneventual duo who were looking to add color to their sterile lives in the sprawling suburbs of western Connecticut.
A quiet academic type was sitting in the row in front of them, reading a book alone. I pegged him as an analyst, and sure enough....
Exchange from alpha-male to a woman: how "sexy and cute" I was until I became less talkative and focused on "him."
Academic looking Analyst continues to watch and listen with amusement. He remarked that not only was he observing a sitcom, but was in it.
Suddenly margaritas and vodka tonics arrived with dinner. Wing man was stretched across the three seats behind us after his third vodka tonic. The flight attendants passed by for more entertainment. I ended up sprawled across both Academic (he moved) and Western Burb man's laps, wearing Academic's cologne and Burb man's black Calvin Klein T-Shirt. How did this happen?
The next time a flight attendant passed us, she remarked "I’ll have what she’s having." Her colleague asked me if there was anything I needed. What? To enhance my experience? Coffee and cheese were on the way as Burb Man massaged my shoulders and Academic Analyst rubbed my legs and feet.
Sometimes, when we think too much about a situation, the outcome is less interesting then when we just let ourselves be taken by an experience.