Jenny’s Money-Saving Travel Tips

Since I used to work in the travel industry, and my new job brings me to exotic destinations such as Seattle, Scottsdale, and Skokie, I felt it would be a good idea for me to share some of the travel tips I’ve learned over the years. And particularly in this time of high gas prices and still sluggish economy, advice for the budget-conscious traveler is more important than ever.
So with that in mind, I bring you the first and potentially only installment of Jenny’s Money-Saving Travel Tips. A penny saved, as they say!
How to Save $10 on America West Airlines
By Jenny Amadeo
As some of you may know, one of the great many perks of traveling on America West flights that are three hours in duration or longer is that you get to watch semi-popular movies on the little TV screens that flip down from the ceiling. I recently learned that in order to accommodate these TV screens, America West had to remove the oxygen masks, but really, I think we all knew they were there just for show anyway.
Imagine my excitement when I thumbed through my well-worn copy of the America West Airlines magazine – which is cleverly titled, America West Airlines Magazine – and realized that my southbound in-flight movie would be the critically acclaimed film, Coach Carter, starring Samuel L. Jackson as the controversial high school basketball coach who benched his undefeated team due to their collective poor academic record in 1999.
As eager as I was to enjoy this cinematic experience, I couldn’t help but remember the wise words of my Grandmother, a woman who never paid for a newspaper a day in her life, as long as she could read one over the shoulder of someone on the bus. If they got angry at her, she would just smile her innocent smile and say, “If the good lord didn’t want me to read your newspaper, he wouldn’t have given me such keen eyesight.”
As we would collect bottles and cans out of the neighbors’ garbage together, she would say, “Jenny, my little wren, don’t you ever pay for something you can get for free. You hear me? Now wipe the maggots off that pickle jar. Good girl.”
Her words kept running through my head the entire time the flight attendants were walking down the aisle collecting $5 for the headsets. Just as I was about to pull out my wallet, I stopped, looked up at the TV screen, and realized that if the good lord hadn’t wanted me to watch this movie for free, he wouldn’t have given me Lenscrafters and an iPod.
I waited until the flight attendant passed me by, and then I tried to shove my iPod headphones in the headphone jack. Apparently, America West armrest engineers were more clever than I had anticipated, as my headphones did not fit. Now, flight attendants long gone, I had no choice but to watch this film without sound.
Being a fairly sharp student of human nature, I figured that I could probably understand what was going on during the film. I quickly realized that not only could I get the general gist of the movie, I had absolutely no need to ever hear anyone speak again. I knew exactly what was going on the entire time, and I am here right now to share this fine film with you all.


Read no further if you are one of the stragglers who has yet to see this masterpiece! I now bring you my interpretation of Coach Carter!
Hey! There’s Samuel L. Jackson. I loved him in Pulp Fiction. “And I will strike down upon thee…” Ha.
Wait. Who’s that guy? Did he just buy drugs, or is he a drug dealer?
Oh. There’s a kid the other kids don’t seem to like. I wonder why. Is he Coach Carter’s son? They were in the same car together. How come they won’t let him play basketball? Maybe because he wore a tie to school. Maybe he transferred from a Catholic school.
Wait a minute – is that guy with the baby the same guy who’s on the basketball team? How come everyone is mad at that one guy with the afro? Maybe he really is doing drugs. Now Samuel L. Jackson pulled him out of the game. He’s pissed.
Huh. I guess that little guy who wore the tie before must have proven himself because now the team seems to like him. He’s really fast.
That woman’s mad at Coach Carter and yelling at him in the grocery store. I’ll bet her son is one of the players, and maybe Coach Carter kicked him off the team. Probably for doing drugs, maybe. Boy, she won’t stop talking to him – she must be really peeved.
But now the Coach is shaking hands with that player he kicked off. I guess he must have let him back on the team. I bet he just made a promise to stay away from those gang kids, or to get better grades.
Ooh – they’re all dancing in a club. Bumping and grinding. I should switch my iPod to some Prince. Gotta not talk dirty babe, if you wanna impress me. The sexual tension is really high.
Don’t let her go!
Make up!
Now we’re back at another basketball game. Oh – it’s the championship game. Says so right there. Backwards slam dunk! In your face, opposing team!
Oh I feel sick with suspense. The game is 79 to 78, with Coach Carter’s team behind. Only 9 seconds left on the clock…
And he makes it! Those Oilers can’t lose! I’ve never seen Coach Carter so happy!
Uh oh. This looks like trouble. That girl from the other school just gave her phone number to the star player on the Oilers. Now there’s a bunch of rich white girls throwing a wild party. I’ll bet their parents aren’t home. And I think a fight might break out because there’s drinking and dancing and lots of teen sex.
How the heck did Coach Carter know where they were? And are those the parents? Strange that they both got there at exactly the same time. Uh oh – Coach Carter’s possible son is in a hot tub making out with two different girls. Now he’s yelling at all the players on the bus. I’ve never seen Coach Carter so disappointed.
How come the students are all taking a test? Is that the SAT? They’re smiling at Coach Carter. Is he a teacher and a Coach? I wonder what class he teaches.
Now they’ve made it to the final championship game. It’s back and forth all night. The Oilers are making a comeback. Wow, these kids are good. I’ll bet colleges are already scouting them.
Oh the tension again. The teams are tied, the Oilers get the ball. Go! Go! Run, dammit! Oh my god! He made it! He made the basket! The Oilers are ahead by two! They’re going to win the championship!
I’ve never seen Coach Carter so – WAIT! Now the other team got the ball with just 4 seconds left! They’re all running, but it’s in slow motion. The guy shoots the ball. Oilers jump up to block it, but they miss. It’s nothing but net! Are you f*ing kidding me? The Oilers lose?! I paid none of my hard earned money to see the Oilers lose the championship? What’s the message here? Work hard, stay off drugs, take that test, and you’ll still lose?!
But wait? Why does Coach Carter look so happy in the locker room? It’s almost like he’s really proud of his team. In fact, I’ve never seen Coach Carter so proud. What’s he saying to them? Probably something like, “You did what no one thought you could do. This is the proudest moment of my life. Each and every one of you is a winner today. You all won the second you stepped onto the court. I love you all.”
So there you have it. I successfully saved $5 yet still thoroughly enjoyed my in-flight movie. I must admit, however, that I liked that movie a lot better when it was called Hoosiers and Lean on Me.
What’s that? I promised to save you $10, but that was only $5? Well, stay tuned for my next installment, where I recap my northbound in-flight tearjerker, Racing Stripes, where an abandoned zebra, with the help of his barnyard friends and a teenage girl, sets out to achieve his dream of racing with thoroughbreds.

4 Responses to “Jenny’s Money-Saving Travel Tips”

  1. Steve Says:

    Strangely enough, those spoilers actually made me want to see the movie more. I had no desire before now, but you better believe I’m heading straight to Netflix to add this gem.

  2. Jenny Says:

    Glad I didn’t ruin it – wait until you read about Racing Stripes. There will not be a dry eye in the house.
    But when you rent it, can you let me know if that one kid really was Coach Carter’s son? That could nag at me till the end of time. Much obliged!

  3. AB Says:

    I have no doubt your recap was better than the movie itselt. :)
    It’s good to know they found a template for basketball movies that really works for them and they can use it over and over and over again!

  4. Robert Says:

    Will this plan work now that America West is merging with USAir? I need to know if my smuggled headphones will fit all the right jacks.