I took my virgin voyage on Jet Blue last week. I think they’re the only airline that offers non-stop service from Boston to Austin, TX and I am all about flying direct these days. I’ve heard from so many people how great Jet Blue is, so I was anxious to give ‘er a shot. The result? It’s an airline. I mean, really. The seats and the legroom are pretty much the same. The snacks and beverages are pretty much the same. The flight attendants are pretty much the same. All told, it’s not all that different, with one glaring exception: DirecTV and XM Radio. Here’s a smattering of what I enjoyed on my ride back to Boston on Friday:

  • Breaking news that Carlos Lee had been traded to the Texas Rangers. I love the trading deadline! I mean, I would have been fine if I had found out after the flight, but it was my first real “breaking news” that I watched live on a plane. That’s gotta count for something, right? It sure beats my boss’s first experience watching breaking news on a plane: the September 11th coverage. Yikes. Not sure about you, but I wouldn’t want to have seen that while riding on a plane, oh no.
  • Rachael Ray. This is the bodacious cooking chick who has made a gazillion dollars with all of her television shows and books claiming that you too can make 30-minute gourmet meals – quick and easy! Tell you what, darling, come to my house and prove to me that you can – start to finish – really make scallops and steak, steamed asparagus and a fresh salad with homemade strawberry balsamic vinegrette dressing all in 30 minutes and I’ll pay you $500 directly for each of your books. Nice profit margarine for you (like that food reference? Clever, inn’t?). But nobody in the world can actually do it, so I’m not worried.
  • Hitting channels 13 and 14. Repeatedly. Back and forth. Channel 13 is the Weather Channel, Channel 14 is the channel that shows you where your plane is. The Weather Channel showed a HUGE line of crazy ass thunderstorms plowing towards Boston. Channel 14 showed our plane, plowing towards Boston. Who would get there first, I wondered, with visions of sitting on the runway in Erie, PA or something. So four hour delays, dancing in my head, I asked the fight attendant what she thought and she said “we’re praying we make it before the storms.” We did. About an hour after I landed, it all came crashing down.
  • The ’40s music station on XM Radio. Again, been doing a lot of reading lately on the 1940’s – the Truman book first, now I’m deep into the Stephen Ambrose biography on Dwight Eisenhower, so ’40s music has been permeating as of late. More on Eisenhower later.
  • THANK you VH1 Classic, for being the best damn cable channel out there. Not only did I get to watch the videos for “Life In A Northern Town,” “Stray Cat Strut” and AC/DC’s “Jailbreak,” but they actually ran an hour long episode “Game Show’s Craziest Moments!” Now, I should stop here for a second and tell you how much I love this show. I’m so damn glad they still have the tapes from all the old game shows, because some of the answers people gave on these shows make me laugh so loud. It is so friggin’ funny. The clips they showed from old Family Fued episodes alone are enough to leave my stomach hurting. Here’s a sampling of some Family Fued questions:

Question: Name the first thing you take off when you get home from work?
Answer: Underwear!
(at that point, the creepy Richard Dawson said to the woman “next question, what time do you get home from work?”)

Question: Name a game that married couples like to play?
Answer: Kickball!
(Dawson’s retort: “I don’t know any married 3-year olds!”)

Question: Name a birthday men least look forward to?
Answer: Their wife!

You get the point. I was laughing out loud on the plane. Anyway, for entertainment value, JetBlue is a fine deal. Truthfully, though, the ONLY consideration for me when flying now is that little Expedia button that says “sort by duration of flight.” Whoever gets me there the quickest gets the money. Lately the whole delay thing seems to be getting worse and worse and worse, so much so that a couple of weeks ago on my way back from NYC, I gave up and took Amtrak.