The old blog…
And… The new blog!
We flew to Seattle and waited for our Dallas flight around noon. Michele offered to fetch me something to eat. I requested burnt peanuts or as a second choice, Boston baked beans. This was not a difficult or expensive request and yet I had a good idea of what was coming.
“No way!” the No-sweets-on-my-watch Gestapo agent informed me. My idea had been correct. One more time I listened to an impressive 300-second oratory concerning my little weight problem.
I thought my dear wife went a little overboard in front of all our fellow passengers. I noticed none of them would look me in the eye but instead seemed to be worried about their safety as they locked in on my mid-ship section. She was acting like my excess baggage was going to bring the plane down, induce a hammerhead stall or cause loop d’ loops after take-off. Our collective doom would be my fault. I surmised as she left for her hunting and gathering, she would return with a bounty that contained no sweets.
Sure enough, she returned with a big puffy roast beef sandwich and Gatorade with a cup of ice. I started in on the manwich and pulled a couple of jaw muscles getting my teeth wrapped around the outside perimeter. After I had taken just a couple of bites, Michele saw the line moving and told me to follow her and get in line. As usual, I obeyed.
I hurriedly rewrapped the cold bun and shoved it in the bag with the cup of ice and Gatorade. The bag was a little small when I included the cup of ice. (Michele always minimizes unless my weight comes up.) I grabbed my carry-ons and followed my leader who was standing and waiting on the herd in front of her to move forward, inch by inch.
In retrospect, I should have stayed seated, leisurely eaten and finished sipping the drink and then strolled to the cabin. It would have been a much more efficient use of my time. But as usual, when a line forms, girls just have to jump up and get in it. I guess it must be an internal wiring snafu that is constantly pushing them to conform.
We finally got parked in our seats. Since we hadn’t paid for the sit-together option, Michele was seated across the aisle between two flirty guys and I was parked in the middle seat on the other side, between a non-flirty guy (thank goodness) and a nice little Hindu lady in her 30’s. I shoved my carry-on under the seat and placed the bag of lunch on the floor between my legs, figuring I would tear into it after we got airborne.
The girl was a college professor, had a three year-old boy and a husband in Dallas. I couldn’t pronounce any of their names. The closest I could get to her name was something like Helen Reddy and that was just one part of it. I am fairly positive it wasn’t Helen Reddy. It reminded me of when I was a kid and we had a guy from India stay with us. His name was Chivalayah Narasamiah.
Anyway, we had a nice talk. Covered a broad range of topics, including the one where she was a devout Hindu and the fact that their religion respected cows so much that they let the critters walk through their house whenever they wanted. We both began doing other things. I started focusing on trying to bend over in the cramped space and retrieving the overfilled sack of Gatorade, ice and mondo roast beef.
By the time I got it on my lap, I realized the entire bag was sopping wet from the soppy sandwich and condensation from the drink cup. What to do? I figured I would concentrate on carefully balancing, grasping, eating and drinking. My main objective was to keep the hoagie together and get the monster down without choking.
Finishing off the first half manwich, I began the second. On my first bite of the second half, I realized the limber Indian lady had put her head down on her lap, something I haven’t been able to do for a long time. Her head was turned away from me. The thought suddenly dawned on me that it was very possible that she was totally turned off by my lunch. The thick slabs of roast beef on the first halfwich had probably reminded her of ole Bessy back in Bombay.
I felt bad. It had not been done on purpose. She shifted periodically in her seat, probably trying to get as far away from the object of my desire as possible. I know how it feels when someone desecrates my religion. However, I have no idea what it feels like when someone is eating it.
My instantly heightened senses informed me that roast beef also smells. I had never noticed this before. I reached overhead with my Gatorade bottle in hand and turned the fan on high, hoping to dispel the smell. It made it worse. I knew the beef had to go. I jammed the dry roll down my throat and then did a little plunger action with my forefinger to make sure it stayed.
There! The sacred cow was no longer in sight or nostril. I downed the drink and put the cup, wet napkins and plastic bottle in the sack. I tried to lower the assembly to the floor between my legs to hide any semblance of my sacrilegious activities. About the time the bag touched down, the wet sucker gave out and dumped the contents on the floor.
I bent over to try to contain the spill but couldn’t reach the stuff. I stretched as hard as I could but could see that the hand I was using was just a couple of fingertips out of reach. This was one of the times when I really wish I hadn’t cut those things off. I stretched and strained to no avail.
For the next 20 minutes, I tried to corral the remnants between my feet. Finally, my other seatmate got up and headed for the restroom. I unbuckled, lay down on both seats and felt around, trying to retrieve all the wet trash. Unfortunately, the guy directly behind me had taken off his shoes for the flight. I grabbed a couple of toes lodged in a sock before I realized what I had. He said something like “Hey, what are you doing down there?”
I apologized, released my catch and pulled the rest of the sopping wet booty back up and set it on my lap. The stewardess with the garbage bag didn’t pass by any time too soon. The rest of the trip was spent trying to normalize relations with the ambassador from India.