Part 2 of 2
But that wasn’t the only instance we would clash.
The second time was even worse, I was flying from New York to Dallas. This trip happened to coincide with the start of the annual Redeemed Convention camp. If I had known it at the time, I would have postponed my trip, or taken a charter flight.
As my limo pulled into JFK airport and saw all these people in line, I knew something was wrong.
You could tell they were Nigerians because they were late, they were opening up their overweight luggage on the queue like they had never heard of weight restrictions before. They were discarding their contraband (who carries egusi, stockfish, and garri for a four day church trip? Are you going to cook it in your hotel, with a boiling ring? Like secondary school?)
My stomach sank.
As I walked passed them, careful not to make eye contact and rile them up, I strolled down the fast-track express-lane to the counter. There was dust in the air and some of it got on me, so I brushed the dirt off my shoulder and headed to the first class lounge. I had a few strong drinks to calm my nerves, it was going to be a tough flight.
We boarded the plane first, I had one more drink and passed out. Fortunately too, as I didn’t have to see those rowdy people squeeze past me trying to lap themselves in economy class.
I woke up three hours into the flight because, and you won’t believe this: They were singing praise worship in the back. On a plane from New York. In our paranoid post September-11 world.
People will tell you, “Oh, I don’t care about first class. Even if I had money, I would fly economy.” I don’t know where they get their humility from, but don’t let them lie to you. If they were there that day, sitting next to the fat woman with the sunken elbows and she jostled them each time she clapped during their praise worship, they would be wishing they were in first class too.
The stewardess appeared before I had a chance to hit the alarm.
She walked up to two men in front, leaned over and whispered to them. They were the air marshals. They got prepped and burst through the curtains into economy section wearing full riot gear–helmets and bullet-proof vests. They dispersed the congregation spraying them with fire extinguishers.
It was horrible, like the civil rights movement in the 60s minus the dogs.
One woman screamed, “Yee pa!” I howled with delight. I ordered two more drinks and went back to sleep.
Thank God for small mercies.