It's difficult to summarize the first post-surgical flight without boring readers as much as I was while the events were unfolding. On the plus side, no one brought out the rubber gloves, even though I had a connecting flight through Edmonton International airports, whose pat-down routines border on soft-core porn. Only in Edmonton have I had a security guard spend three minutes inspecting the waistband of my pants (as I did today) or give me a little forearm massage to determine if I had "real skin." Though my hip is ceramic, it did indeed set off metal detectors and the security lady was intent on feeling-up my sore hip, inquiring as to why it was hot; (because I have a very small nuclear reactor sewn into my hip, which is right now manufacturing weapons-grade plutonium. Why do you think?) The fact that I had roughly three minutes to catch my flight made the whole experience slightly tenser, but I caught my connection with 30 seconds to spare (they were closing the door while I zombie-sprinted up to the counter).
Because of the duration of my Homeland-Security-sanction fondling, I arrived on the plane without lunch. Usually, airlines will sell little snack boxes, but with Air Canada (motto: "we're not happy until you're not happy"), no such luck. I was therefore starving to the point of nausea and made a bee-line for the nearest food vendor: Quizno's. The fact that I was even willing to eat Quizno's was a testament to my powerful hunger, since last semester I ate it every freaking weekend on bus rides back home from varsity tournaments. I associate Quizno's with mild motion sickness, the film of grime that the poor water pressure of locker-room showers won't wash off, a pissed-off hip and freezing toes from braving sub-zero temperatures to bring dozens of sandwiches and drinks to the people on the bus and distributing them to cries of, "I ordered extra bacon! There's no bacon on this sandwich! Did you get my cookie? I ordered a cookie. Did you get it? Did you get the cookie I ordered?"
So, yes, the fact that my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder did not kick in and I was able to go up to the counter without flasbacks suggests how hungry I was. Unfortunately, I was behind Angry Sauce Man in line. Angry sauce man wanted extra sauce. First, though, he wanted extra veggies. When the lady told him that veggies cost extra, he compelled her to list (twice) every veggie and its corresponding price, then repeated it back to her in an incredulous, outraged tone. (Thirty cents for onions?! Fifty cents for tomatoes?!) Where were his free veggies? Why doesn't Quizno's offer free veggies like Subway? Was extra sauce free? (It was). Well, fine then. He would have some extra fucking sauce. As much sauce as they had, that's how much sauce he wanted, if they weren't going to give him free veggies. He made a point of stressing this to, not one, not two, but all three ladies working behind the counter.
Now, this is not your ordinary Quizno's. This is an airport Quizno's. Not only that, but it's an airport Quizno's at O'Hare, (which is the capital of the great nation of I Don't Give a Fuck) and, true to form, none of the ladies gave a fuck. Which is why he had to lean over the counter to remind them that, yes, he wanted more sauce. As much sauce as possible.
The truly beautiful moment came when the ladies finally granted his wish by pulling out the big gun: a sauce-dispensing udder. The sauce udder looked like a squeeze bottle, except that it was massive and instead of one tip, it had three in a row. Quizno's has officially mastered its sauce-dispensing productivity.
Was three lines of southwest sauce enough for Angry Sauce Man? It was not. They doused his salad once with the sauce udder. He wanted more. They doused it twice. He wanted more. He wasn't satisfied until there was so much sauce that you couldn't see one sliver of shredded lettuce. Then, with the sauce already pooling in the bottom of the bag and threatening to leak out all over his pants, he stormed off.
Usually, since I was so hungry I was about ready to eat my own face, I would have been pissed off at Angry Sauce Man. Since the hip replacement, however, I have a much longer fuse for these moments of supreme ridiculousness. Everything gets judged according to Hip Replacement Math: guy holding up the entire line to satisfy his passive-aggressive craving for southwest sauce < getting a metal stake driven through your decapitated femur. Nearly missing your connection because the Edmonton customs squad wanted to get to second base < worrying that you might walk like something out of Night of the Living Dead for the rest of your life. So, thanks hip replacement, for saving me from committing an act of airport violence and giving me a newfound sense of patience and perspective. Now, if only the hip could grant me a little "employment" or "long-term career options," I'd be set.