Self-editing is overrated. Or is it?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Pierce Brosnan totally stole my seat!


Loooooong day of flying today.

Due to the crazy routing that got me to Milwaukee, I now have to fly it all the way back: Milwaukee to Chicago, Chicago to San Francisco, and then San Francisco to Los Angeles. All today.

I start at 6am freezing my ass off in Milwaukee. Two flights in, things are going ok, although a little tense. On the flight to San Francisco, a woman has a minor heart attack, and fortunately there’s a doctor on the plane to look after her. Paramedics storm the plane as soon as we hit the ground, and it looks like she’s gonna be ok. Whew.

Now I’ve got 2 hours to kill at SFO before my next flight, and so I head to the Red Carpet Club. For those not in the know, the Red Carpet Club is United's special lounge that you can buy membership into for a fee. It’s basically a good place to hang out when you’re in an airport all the time like me – you can get a decent internet connection, all the Diet Pepsi you can drink, and you can leave your bag while you go to the bathroom and people won’t go apeshit. Definitely worth every penny, in my opinion, and the one at SFO is the swankiest one in the US. Excellent.

So I’m walking back from the bar to my table and, as I’m walking past the other chairs, I notice out of the corner of my eye that there’s Pierce Brosnan slumping into a chair. He’s with a few other people, who definitely look like producers to me.


“My god, he’s a handsome man,” I think to myself. ”That guy must be able to get anything he wants, anywhere, anytime.”

I keep walking back to my seat, and figure I’ll leave him alone, as he looks pretty tired from traveling all night from somewhere. I start thinking about trying to score an upgrade to first class on the next flight to LA. I’m starting to get really tired, and the seats in first are much easier to fall asleep in. Plus, my carry-on luggage is a little TOO overstuffed, and flight attendants will usually cut you a little extra slack if you’re in first, as opposed to the instant “no” that you would get in coach. I figure I’ll head down to the gate and see if I can somehow smooth-talk my way into first class. It’s a longshot, but it’s possible, and right now, it’s SO worth it.

As I walk back through the club, I spot Pierce Brosnan again. He’s now at the bar, watching the NFL playoffs on TV, and constantly being interrupted by people coming to him to say hello, and shake his hand.


“My god, he’s a handsome man,” I think to myself. ”I wonder what it’s like to be famous on that kind of level, where your whole life is about basically receiving fans wherever you go, whether you want it or not. Does he enjoy it? Does he ever get tired of it?”

I head out of the lounge and on to the gate. I talk to the gate agent, and with some fast talking combined with an upgrade coupon, I manage to weasel my way into first! Yay! I head on board, muscle my bags into the overhead bin, and grab my seat in 6C. Aisle seat in the back of first. Perfect.

The peace and quiet lasts exactly 30 seconds.

Suddenly, 10 high school kids bum rush their way into first class. It’s clear immediately that they’ve been bumped from a previous flight, and United is making it up to them by flying them first class on this flight.

“Check it out!”, one of them yells. “I’m the first black man ever to fly in first class!” The rest of them cheer him on.

Shit. So much for sleeping on this flight. This is just great.

The rest of the passengers board, and so now we’re just waiting for the last few stragglers to get on. I’m starting to get comfortable again, when this guy appears next to me, looking like he wants to get into the window seat. I get up, and he says “It’s ok, we’re still trying to figure out where we’re gonna sit.”

Hey, wait a minute. This is one of the guys that I saw back in the lounge. I turn around and now I’m toe to toe with Pierce Brosnan. The high school kids have all gone dead silent. They’re thinking what I’m thinking: “HOLY SHIT! I’M ON A PLANE WITH PIERCE BROSNAN!” They all grab their camera phones and start taking pictures.

The producer is now haggling with the flight attendant. Something about they got delayed coming back from New Guinea, and they were supposed to be on an earlier flight to Los Angeles. The flight attendant is basically saying “I’m sorry, sir, there must have been a mix-up..”


Meanwhile, I’m looking at Brosnan thinking “My god, he’s a handsome man. Delayed in New Guinea? Man, what’s it like when that’s the kind of circumstances you’re dealing with? Where people will move mountains so that you can catch a plane? That guy must be able to get any seat on any plane he wants, anywhere, anytime….”

The flight attendants voice suddenly cuts through my thoughts. ”The only seat we can possibly bump somebody from is seat 6C.”

“6C? Wait a minute, that’s….”

“Are you Mr. Jones?”

Crap. I know where this is going.

”Yes, that’s me.”

“You’ve been downgraded. I have a window in the back of the plane, and I have a middle seat between these two fat people.”

God damn it.

”All right. I’ll take the fat people.”

As I walk past Brosnan, who is now slipping into my seat, he gives me a very weak “Sorry, mate.”. I sorta mumble ”Yeah, thanks”, as I head back to coach.

Fortunately, this older woman beckons me over to her row and says that no one else is sitting with her, if I wanna get the window seat there.

”Confidentially, I was hoping that they would make him sit next to me.” she says to me.

“Sorry about that”, I say, trying not to feel guilty for being thrown out of first class.

“Me too”, she says.

The flight is uneventful, we land, and I head back up to the front to grab my bags before the door opens. Brosnan is looking at me as I come toward him. He looks really tired. Kinda haggard, his skin’s a little blotchy. I feel kinda bad for him. He gives me this look that says “Hey, I know that the only reason that I got to sit in your seat is because I’m a good looking celebrity, but don’t hate me for that, ok? It’s been a rough day.”

I put my hand on his shoulder and say “All right, look. If you win the Golden Globe on Monday, you damn well better thank me in your speech.”

he says, laughing. We get off the plane, and a United representative meets him at the door with a cart for him. We slowly walk towards the exit, and my last sight of him is him slowly pushing this squeaky cart down the hallway, wearing sunglasses, still every inch a star, but definitely he seems more like just a really tired guy at the end of a long trip,

And, you know, I can sympathize with that.

But he still better thank me on Monday if he wins!


Anonymous Alex said...

Totally and completely satisfying. DELICIOUS!

Now. had that have been me, I would have walked up to Pierce Brosnan, put my hand on his shoulder, and said:

"My GOD you're a good looking man. Take me at baggage claim."

That's what I would have said.

1/15/2006 12:21 PM

Blogger Alex Nunez said...

Came over from Alex's place.

That's a great story. Now I hope he wins the Golden Globe, and I may have to go run and TiVO it (it's in progress) just in case.

If he wns and doesn't say anything, he's a dick.

1/16/2006 5:52 PM


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