Monday, February 14, 2011

On the road again: Portland, day 1

I used to think that I was cursed to encounter one freakish airplane row-mate after another, but now I believe my bad experiences are just artifacts of how frequently I fly. Get in a plane often enough, and you're bound to encounter your share of mutants and freaks.

Case in point: the man next to me on my first flight today. I was lucky enough to snag an exit row seat, so though I was on the window, I could still work. The guy in the middle seat, however, made that very tough. He began by twitching like he was tweaking for meth or cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. His legs bounced up and down in alternating rhythm. He twisted side to side, then bent forward, sat up, and repeated the move. He kept his earbuds in his ears at all times and focused intently on the soccer game on his PSP. He drank a can of Coke in fitful sips, one after another after another, never pausing until he'd swallowed it all.

And he farted. Loud ones, SBD creepers, slow releasers that made you wonder where the gas leak was--he expelled them all. The only thing his farts had in common was the stench, which was prodigious. I leaned into the bulkhead in a desperate and ultimately futile attempt to avoid them, and for a time even breathed through my handkerchief. The man on the aisle leaned into that narrow passageway and eventually even said something, to which our flatulent tweaker apologized, shrugged, and ripped again.

His farts continued for more than 90 minutes of flight time.

DFW air never smelled so good.

After an hour and a half of work in the Admiral's Club and a sandwich lunch, we boarded the next leg. As if Karma were balancing itself, this one went superbly, with a first-class upgrade, good bandwidth, and an early arrival.

After a refreshing walk and a constitutional small cup of intense hot chocolate from the Cacao shop attached to the hotel, work once again took over, as it did the rest of the night save for dinner.

That meal was, predictably, at one of my favorite places in the world, the awesome Le Pigeon. At the suggestion of John, the thinnest and possibly friendliest chef I've ever met, I had the pork cheek and the chicken (which they cooked via sous vide and then crisped slightly on the grill top). Both were excellent, with the chicken and its accompanying bleu cheese spatzle particularly delicious. I cannot recommend this place too highly. If you live nearby and aren't eating here regularly, you're wasting a huge opportunity.


J. Griffin Barber said...

Flatulence and Le Pigeon. Such juxtaposition garners awards in fiction.

In real life, the sublime is enhanced by the shit we wade through to get to it..

Mark said...

That it is, Griffin, that it is.


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