Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Post 15.3: That's Not Tomato Juice!

The one thing I will always remember about my first flight with United Airlines (LAX-SFO) was the unexpected Bloody Mary Mix.

I have a habit of ordering tomato juice as my in-flight beverage.  Strange, perhaps... but there's something about the saltiness of the juice mixing with the quickly melting ice that gets me.  I'm not sure it's that I like the taste as much as I like seeing the nano-sized bubbles blend with the liquid tomato and sink in swirls to the bottom of the plastic cup.  It's art, really.

So sitting in the aisle seat of row 27 (the very last row) on the plane, I was patiently awaiting to be served my highly anticipated ice cold Da Vinci in a cup.

FA: Sir, what would you like to have?
ML: Tomato juice, please?

Without saying a word he placed a can of Mr. & Mrs. T. Bloody Mary Mix on the tray table.  Immediately, he called a few rows above to the other flight attendant, "Done!" 

He began locking up the cart while the female attendant served her final passenger.

FA: Ma'am, would you care for a beverage?
Ma'am: Tomato juice, please.
FA: We're all out of tomato juice at the moment.  We have a Bloody Mary Mix though... it's like a spicy tomato... would you like that?

I was speechless.  Just 3 rows up was a completely different world.  I know I was sitting in the last row of United Economy, but I am damned sure that row 24 was not part of First Class.

It's not like I requested anything too crazy, right? I mean, I didn't ask the flight attendant to go Starbucks crazy with the skim milk + extra foam + half a shot, etc.  My first inclination was to switch the Bloody Mary Mix out for a more standard apple or cranberry... or even ask for a shot of vodka, but I thought I'd try the "spicy tomato" for the sake of trying it.  

And you know what? The taste grew on me.  The more I swiveled the cup, and the more the ice melted between the velvety, red liquid... the better it tasted.  No aftertaste or anything.  As long as I didn't stare at the stalk of celery on the can, I was fine with it.  Would I order it again? Probably not.  But if it were ever carelessly substituted for a V8 or a plain tomato juice, I think I'd just pop open the can, let the pour melt the ice, and... swivel away...

ML - 20100412/20100314

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