There’s Something On the Wing

So this happened while I was on an airplane. Probably best told with the actual tweets.

Seriously, this Tristan Salazar fellow apparently just whipped that out in 20 minutes using his iPad. Yes, I am envious. And also glad that wasn’t actually on the wing of the plane.

In other news, I love it that my life is such that when I goofily dare random people to impress me, they do.

Also, hello. I’m in Los Angeles today. Well, actually, I’m in Upland, in a hotel furnished in what is best described as “College Dormitory Modern.” But on the other hand I slept extremely well last night, so who am I to complain. Today I go to talk to students at my high school and give a reading for students, faculty and alumni. This should be fun.

46 Comments on “There’s Something On the Wing”

  1. Holy cow! I’m on a plane to LA on Friday and I seriously hope that’s NOT ON MY PLANE! Also: going to the LA Festival of books! With my mom and all her bookish friends. Can’t wait! I might even get to meet this famous wierd guy named Scalzi. I hear he’s a writer too.

    And wait: you grew up in Upland! What was it, like farmland back then?

  2. Wave hi to Pomona College for me!
    Also: were there people next to you on the plane while you were taking that first pic of yourself?

  3. why the hell are you in Upland? Is the LAT Book Fair not on the UCLA campus anymore? Are they really asking you to drive from San Berdoo to West LA in something less than 17 hours? Could I have answered my own questions with a simple google search? Probably.

  4. And also glad that wasn’t actually on the wing of the plane.

    Oh, come on.
    A world where that could be on the wing of your plane > a world where that can’t be on the wing of your plane.
    Where’s your sense of adventure?

    Also, it’s now readily apparent why authors don’t draw their own jacket art. I’m afraid to think what the cover of Old Man’s War would look like in Scalzi’s Neon Green Impressionist Period.

  5. This reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode where William Shatner plays a guy who had gone crazy on an airplane, and during this flight, he sees a gremlin on the wing of the plane, tearing stuff up. Did people think you were crazy?

  6. Great monster. In 2000, I flew from Tokyo to LAX on Japan Airlines, with a window seat over the wing. The plane was painted for a promotion, and there was a picture of Pokemon (yellow round cartoon character with big eyes) staring at me from the wing tip all the way across the Pacific. My seat mates did not appreciate my William Shatner references. (But maybe that was because the pokemon aprons on the cheerful flight attendants were more frightening? I much prefer a United Airlines flight attendant with seniority and an attitude to corporate/cultural policies that push women to deliver incessantly perky cheerfulness delivered at an unnaturally high octive.)

  7. If you were in First Class, instead of, what 12E?, you would not be bothered with those coach class issues. Surely you must have enough miles by now to upgrade?

  8. @ Brando: And then on 3rd Rock from the sun, when The Great Big Head (Shatner) talked about his trip in, he commented about the thing on the wing, Dick (John Lithgow) said “The same thing happened to me!”.

  9. @Brando: yes, I’m sure the Twilight Zone episode was inspiration for Scalzi’s post. Also boredom.

    At this point people just don’t “think” John is crazy. ;)

  10. Glad to hear you are standing before your alma mater. You’d be surprised (I think) at how much that means to some of those kids.

    Chief Justice Buger graduated from my school, when a bunch of us found ourseleves in DC we went to the USSC to look around, he knew we were coming & had some flunky meet us. The flunky blew us off wiith a transparent lie. Don’t be THAT guy! Pay it forward.

  11. Yay! I’m going Saturday for book buying, and then a few friends are joining me on Sunday for the panels. I’ve even scheduled the dogwalker on Sunday so that I don’t have to worry about how much time I spend at the Festival. Afterwards we are retiring to my apartment for book/panel discussion and bacon-wrapped hot dogs. I considered taking Monday off work for extra sleeping and reading time, but I decided against it. This way I won’t do that thing where I get drunk and have librarians make book recommendations that somehow get downloaded onto my Nook, which always seems to happen when my friends and I get together.

  12. I’ll wave at you from Cal Poly as you drive by. No festival for me this year- I just had foot surgery. Besides, everyone I want to see will be at Worldcon.

  13. @ susankayequinn, #1

    Holy cow! I’m on a plane to LA on Friday and I seriously hope that’s NOT ON MY PLANE!

    It was on Scalzi’s plane to LA yesterday. I realize we live in a hectic modern world, but having just arrived in LA on Wednesday, what would it be doing riding a different plane to LA on Friday? Even George Clooney’s Up In The Air character must not fly that much and that recursively! Surely whatever its business is in LA will have kept it there for a day or more. Why, you might even run into it at the book festival!
    Of course, when you’re flying from LA in a few days, make sure you check the wing – it may be moving on …

  14. BTW, I don’t know what all the hullabaloo is about. It’s a gremlin catching a flight. Just because it’s a gremlin you have to freak out? It needs the fresh air since it’s allergic to people smell. What, are you all Gremlinphobes? Think about how it feels about you.

  15. @scorpius:
    Judging from its expression, I think it feels like humans are in-flight snack food. Peanuts for gremlins.

  16. @CRash, give the poor, oppressed Monster-American a break. He looks that way since he had to get up early to catch his flight since he can’t go through the x-ray machines without being reduced to ash. It’s time to stand up against antiMonster-American bigotry!

  17. It would be unfortunate if it turned out that the only thing that was preventing us from being eaten aboard planes by predatory gremlins is their severe peanut allergy. Now that one rarely sees peanuts in the in-flight snacks anymore…

  18. Wait, Claremont? My second cousin’s son went to high school in a town that’s nowhere near there!

  19. Actually it’s the gremlin’s severe Scalzi allergy. It’s more afraid of John than he is of it.

  20. It’s great that you had a chance to go out to Webb and give a talk. I always loved that campus. I’m proud of you, son.

  21. Me thinks the act of making a scared face on a plane s now illegal. Maybe you can serve on an author panel at the detention center with Peter Watts.

  22. Nice pictures. I’d still be scared if Scalzi’s neon green wing-monster was messing with the plane’s wing or engines. It would be like being attacked by those bright neon green or hot pink clothes that were popular in the 80’s.

    I’m a huge fan of Nightmare At 20,000 Ft. as well. I’m surprised there hasn’t been another film remake of that Twilight Zone episode/Matheson story, at least nothing besides the redone version that was a segment of the 1985 Twilight Zone movie.

  23. @Craig Johns, “Fringe” does a “Terror in the skies” episode at least once a season. I love the show (especially Walter) but their constant use of that old TZ episode for inspiration is getting a little lame.

  24. Wow, nice job Salazar! Those eyes really make contact and the intelligence behind them is very scary.

  25. On April 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm, Warren Terra said:

    It was on Scalzi’s plane to LA yesterday. I realize we live in a hectic modern world, but having just arrived in LA on Wednesday, what would it be doing riding a different plane to LA on Friday?

    Warren, you have a point. What people headed to LA have to worry about is that a similar, but different creature might be on the wing. Because that could mean that there’s a convention of the creatures in LA this weekend. If that’s the case, then all the good restaurants will be booked solid.

  26. Simpsons’ did a Halloween episode with a gremlin on the side of the school bus. Its been done over and over again.

  27. @tolenmar:

    The one and only episode of 3rd Rock I happened to catch was that one.

    I literally – and I have witnesses – FELL OUT OF MY CHAIR LAUGHING when Lithgow declaimed, “The same thing HAPPENED TO ME!” And you have to laugh pretty effing hard to fall out of a La-Z-Boy. (It wasn’t reclined. Even I couldn’t manage that.)

    I had a headache that lasted for two days from laughing so hard. I didn’t pass out, but it was a near thing.

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