A new book is surfacing in my mind as more and more circumstances arise that COULD ONLY HAPPEN TO ME…. or my childhood friend, Melinda. She is the only person on earth who has wackier stories than I do. I don’t know, maybe we’re tied. After asking her if she wants to co-write with me, this may be a team project. I think good title would be This Could ONLY Happen to lindaandMElinda.
For your reading enjoyment today, I offer yet another airline flight where I was seated next to the most peculiar people. It was a middle seat (so as to increase the chances of sitting by more peculiar people) in the very front row of the airplane on a three hour flight from Nashville to Phoenix. (Bad things happen on three hour tours!) In the aisle seat was an 83-year-old little grandma with typical cotton-white puffy hair, conservative wire rimmed glasses, a tasteful yet compulsory white sweater over her black and white polyester knit outfit. In the window seat was a trim and clean-shaven 62-year-old man wearing a Hard Rock Cafe baseball hat from Cancun who had narcolepsy, talked WAY too much, had a few behavioral ticks and repeatedly punched his right fist into his left palm like he was ready for the pitch to arrive at home plate. Seriously, the guy could fall asleep in the middle of a sentence. I’ve heard of this before, but never really seen it in action. It’s remarkable. He would fold over with his chest flat on his lap. Then I could see out the window! Bonus!
As the flight attendant was donning the yellow plastic inflatable vest Mr. Talksalot got shushed by granny… and she used his first name. Upon further inquiry, I discovered they were mother and son. “She wanted the aisle seat,” was his explanation.
Being the kindhearted individual that I am, I patiently responded to his inquisition of my political and spiritual beliefs, my traveling situation, my family, as well as my interest in the paranormal and cloud formations. Granny kept rolling her eyes and apologizing that Mr. Talksalot wouldn’t let me read my book in peace.
Then drinks were served and my level of interest spiked as Mr. T ordered “coffee, half cream and six packs of sugar.” Wow! I might like coffee with all those additives! When the piping hot beverage was handed to him, he removed his hat and placed it in his lap so he could keep his cup, napkin, six sugar packs, cheese nips and peanuts all in one place because of the absence of a tray table in the front row of the plane. He fell asleep twice in between filling the hat with his goods and actually removing the cup lid and pouring in the first two sugar packs. The exposed light brown drink was swirling in his hand WAY too long for my comfort level as he repeated fell asleep and awoke with a jolt. Trying to save myself from smelling like coffee, I cleared my throat and coughed several times for him to wake up. Then the inevitable happened and half the cup poured into his lap and hat. Also during this unfortunate episode, his cheese nips poured out onto the floor with the coffee. No worries. He picked them straight off the unsanitary airline carpet and put them into his mouth as quick as he could. (I would ONLY do that for Good-n-Plentys.) Granny has obviously traveled with Mr. T before because she rapidly produced a fat stack of McDonald’s napkins from her tidy black handbag.
When trash collection time came, Mr. T handed over the whole sopping wet mess including the Cancun hat. Several hours later this brought on a search for the MIA baseball hat. I kindly reminded him that he threw it away. His reply, “Well, it ain’t the end of the world.” True that!
All went well for another hour as Mr. T slept off and on between nightmares when he would awake loudly moaning and yelling. Lots of pitches were ready to be caught as evidenced by the fist pounding. Then beverages were served AGAIN! This time light beer was ordered. Good gravy. Second verse, same as the first, little bit louder and little bit worse. Tipping can, my coughing, sudden jolt, sip, repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Eventually the can simply slid out of his hand while he dozed and hit the floor spraying Bud Light all over the wall and his pants. Thankfully none on me. More napkins came from the black purse.
The interesting tidbit was that Granny said they were traveling on business, not happy business, and she wouldn’t say much else. She did make the passing comment, “You must not read the paper much.” I didn’t pry, but thanks to Mr. T I gathered enough information to google search when I arrived home. Yes, they were coming to AZ for the murder trial of his sister/her daughter. There was even a picture of Granny on the witness stand. My heart went out to her! When I left the odd couple after the plane landed, I told her I enjoyed meeting her and even though I didn’t know the purpose of their trip, I hoped that things would turn out well. Praying for them this week!