I flew back home yesterday on one of those bootleg, no-frills “make-your-own-mimosa” airlines. Thankfully, I am not afraid of a little manual labor. Really, Alitalia. Get yourself together.
Did you roll your mind’s r’s when you read that? Awesome.
I just landed in Rome for the layover on my way to Tel Aviv. The foundation flew me here like I was fancy so I got to sit in one of those cubbies with the ottoman and the massage chair and the four-course meal. And the free wine. Oh, the free wine… Much of my life as a comic would make for an epic struggle rap, but on some days, I feel like I’ve made some pretty decent life choices.
When I get to Tel Aviv, I’m on my own to get to the hotel, because it’s Sabbath and the car service is not available. I’m looking forward to that little adventure, a couple hours of sleep and then our first show tonite!
P.S. It will be 9am here when I board the next flight. I will be requesting more free wine.
I was fast asleep in my aisle seat when she woke me up, fumbling for the button that would recline hers. Annoyed, I cut my eyes at her, then tried to get back to sleep.
“Do you fly this route often?” she asked.
I told her that I fly a lot, but this was my first trip to Montana.
“Do you take out travel insurance when you fly?”
I told her I’d never bought it.
“This was my first time getting the insurance. My husband Jim and I flew out to Great Falls last weekend.”
I really wished she’d leave me be.
“He died on Tuesday.”
She went on to tell me how the insurance company covered her hotel stay for three nights, rescheduled her flights and covered the full cost of her husband’s cremation—his ashes were in an urn in the overhead compartment. Right next to my backpack.
“All that for $92. Can you believe it?”
Her name was Cindy and she was from Massachusetts. A couple for 14 years, she and Jim had been married for only four. He’d been in home hospice care on the east coast, but was still fiercely independent. Montana was Jim’s favorite place on earth.
He’d been her second husband. Her first had passed years earlier, after a car accident had left him paralyzed. He spent two years in a rehabilitation center, and she’d been with him nearly every day. Jim had promised her that he would never become a burden. “I’ll never do to you what [her first husband] did. You won’t have to take care of me.” He died peacefully in his sleep.
I covered her hand with mine and asked her how she was doing.
“I’m doing OK. God must think I have strong shoulders.”
Indeed, he must. We talked for the duration of the flight; she shared special moments from her lives with both men. The time she hired a belly dancer to perform for her first husband in the rehab center, and all the other patients crashed their private party. How she and Jim met while he was working on the Big Dig.
“No more husbands for me. But with my record, who’d marry me?”
I’ve never been good at finding the right words in situations like this. But I got the sense that she just needed someone to listen. I felt guilty for being so caught up in my own stuff and wanting to tune her out, but there’s no way I could have known what she’d been through. I just hope our conversation brought her even the tiniest bit of peace. I said a prayer for her when we landed, and I told her I would continue to pray for her.
God bless you, Cindy.
“In your life you meet people. Some you never think about again. Some, you wonder what happened to them. There are some that you wonder if they ever think about you. And then there are some that you wish you never have to think about again. But you do.” — C.S. Lewis
Yesterday, on my flight from Seattle to Dallas, I had the most passive-aggressive pillow fight ever with the woman seated in front of me. She wasn’t using her neck pillow and she kept pushing it into my lap. Grrrrr!!! A big believer in living within the space designated for you while flying, and admittedly a little cranky from being on the road for 3 weeks, I kept pushing it back onto her side. She could have easily just put it away, but she didn’t. She kept stuffing it back in the window and nudging it back with her elbow. So it was “on.” No words were ever spoken, but it went on for nearly 10 minutes. I was flying US Airways, so there was no video screen in her headrest; I had to amuse myself somehow. Every time I pushed it back in her window, I would see her huff and puff and almost turn around, but she never did. I guess we were both being petty, but stop encroaching on my personal space, lady! I wish I’d videotaped it. It was hilarious.
Oh and in case you’re wondering, I won.
Maybe this makes me a bad person. But I needed it.
In a long airport security line and they open up another lane. The lady behind me grabs her son’s hand and runs to get in front of me.
ME: You have to be kidding. You were kidding, right?
LADY: Oh… yeah… you can go ahead of us.
ME: (big eyes)
As I often do when people tick me off, I wrote a collection of haiku about it. Wanna read it, here it go:
Get thee behind me
Jesus said that to Peter
Stay thine ass there too
Took you two minutes
To pull off your cowboy boots
And five dudes passed you
Haha serves you right
Musta thought I was a punk
I’m the opposite
So I was leaving San Marcos, TX this morning on my way to Houston when I passed this sign for Three Dudes Winery. ‘Dudes’, ‘winery’ and ‘Texas?’ OK, I am intrigued. I doubled back and saw that it was open from 12-6. I looked down at my watch and it was 12:30 so I figured what the hell? I didn’t have anywhere to be until 7.
From the street, I wasn’t sure what kind of place it would be, but when I got down the drive I could see that it was adorable back there! It sat right on the San Marcos River and had a great river deck for tastings and receptions and such. Continue reading →
So I just got back from a week doing colleges in Michigan and Iowa. And I couldn’t stop praising the folks at Cedar Rapids Airport Security because instead of asking people to toss their brand new toiletries and unopened drinks in the garbage as they pass through security, they had a donation bin for a local homeless shelter there so that new, unused items didn’t go to waste. Great idea, right? I wasn’t even angry about having to get rid of my apple juice. It seems like a no-brainer now, but I travel a lot and I’ve never seen that before. I heart midwesterners. I even bought a super cute t-shirt that says “There’s more than corn in Iowa.”
Even though there isn’t.
I had fun at all the schools and though it snowed every day in whichever state I was in, it didn’t interrupt my driving or flying. By all accounts it was shaping up to be an incident-free trip. But on Monday morning when I was boarding my flight, I slipped on a patch of African-American ice on the Delta jetway and fell really hard. They radioed for help and didn’t wanna move me. I thought I had just scraped up my knees and elbows really badly but later that day I began to feel an awful pain in my neck. Had me lying on my bed screaming like Ezal from Friday.
By the next morning I was pretty much immobile and I filed a claim with Delta to pay for my medical expenses.
Long story short — my neck still really hurts, my knee’s still sore, and I now own Delta.
So where are we going, y’all? Flight’s on me.
Just kidding of course. Totally not suing Delta. Yet.
So… I’m on an airplane the day before yesterday sitting about two rows in front of the exit row. And as we’re all getting settled the flight attendant walks up just behind me to give the standard ‘exit row disclaimer’ speech: “You all realize you are seated in an exit row… I need a verbal acknowledgment that you’re all physically capable and willing to assist other passengers in case of an emergency… Is everyone OK with that?” What followed were a bunch of “YES’s”
And one “NO.”
FLIGHT ATTENDANT: Alright sir, so you’re physically unable to assist?
I felt like I had just been sucker-punched in the sternum. I could not breathe. I was craning my neck and looking around to see if other people heard it or if I was just in the midst of the ultimate dream sequence… There was some shuffling and I guess he was moved a few rows back — I don’t know, I was too busy sneak-texting (what you do when you’re supposed to have turned your phone off already) my friend. There was someone seated next to me but I would have paid all the cash I had access to in order to sit next to that guy.
Some of you might think what he did was an asshole move. But I think it was honorable. I mean he could have lied and just sat there all comfy with his extra leg room and jumped out without regard for anyone else if/when the plane went down. OR, he could have lied and said that he was indeed physically incapable. But he chose honesty.
Not sure if when you get to The Pearly Gates honesty trumps opening an emergency exit and running for your life while 100 other people die in a plane crash — but it sure makes for good comedy. I wanted to know everything about that man. I wanted to buy him a beer and ask him about his childhood. I wanted to know where he was from, what he did for a living. Did he do it on a dare?
I wanted to propose to him.
‘Cause I mean, really if you’ve ever sat in an exit row — and you’re being 100% honest — you’ve questioned how enthusiastic you’d be about helping all the other passengers off the plane. You never verbalized it. You probably just sat there and thought “how likely is that to happen?” But secretly you thought damn, if I was just one row back or forward I wouldn’t have all this anxiety… No?… Just me? WHATEVER, with yo’ lying behind!!!
Anyway, I wanted to wait for him to get off the plane and ask him for his autograph, but I reconsidered after realizing he might not be that big of a “people person.” Plus, I can almost guarantee the story I’ve created in my mind about this guy is better than the reality.
Best. Flight. Ever. Exhale…
Source: original pearly gates artwork