But where were the champagne and hookers?
No security checkpoints. No crying babies. No bitter flight attendants. Just a Citation Excel 550, six co-workers, and plenty of sky 40,000 feet above the U.S.
It was as close as I’ll ever get to feeling like a rock star (notwithstanding any growing Guitar Hero fame).
We met at 6:30am at National Airport’s Hangar 6 for preflight and took off shortly afterward as the sun started to rise. The pilot, one of my bosses, and his copilot allowed me to stand by the cockpit and watch our takeoff and subsequent landing in Oklahoma City. During the flight, we made the most of our glitzy surroundings as we drank champagne, smoked Cuban cigars, and hung out with hookers.*
I pretended to understand as Copilot explained all the different onboard computer systems, readings, and thingamabob doohickies.
“This is the flux capacitor,” Copilot might as well have told me. “It’s what makes time travel possible.”
“Oh sure, the flux capacitor,” I replied with as much faking of comprehension as I could muster. “Makes sense.”
The real highlight of the trip, however, was the return flight home. As the sun faded over the long horizon, the moon turned a fire color that captivated all of us. The city lights grew larger as we descended and soon enough we could see the Beltway jam-packed with red and white car lights.
The Citation trailed the Potomac River back to National and the earth became an illuminated playground of alternating black and white lights guiding us home. I stood during our entire approach, watched out the cockpit windshield, and fixed my eyes on the position indicator screen, which showed several jets streaking toward the airport.
We landed smoothly and disembarked, home early. I took the Metro back to Takoma and felt spoiled by the trip. I looked out the window of the Yellow Line as it crossed the river, chugging toward DC, and thought about how boring this once stirring view was.
Robin Leach would have been so sad.
* Replace champagne with Diet Coke, smoked Cuban cigars with took out our laptops, and hung out with hookers with discussed business.
P.S. Not much to report about Oklahoma except for one thing: what's with all the gaucho pants the chicks were wearing? Seriously, I saw a dozen women wearing these horrendous fashion statements. Can any Oklahomans explain this?