For those planning to fly Southwest, I will NOT share what I had to do in order to get in “A” group before boarding in Manchester, NH. I don’t think the planning ahead helped me. You can judge for yourself. The airport at Manchester has an interesting installation.
It’s a moose. It’s made of iron. Yes, I know. I have a low “interesting” threshold.
So I have my “A” ticket, and I head down to the airport. My brother drives me in my nephew’s car. It feels a little Tobacco Road, but nothing untoward. When we get to Manchester, we’re hot and thirsty, so we order something horrible to drink at the airport Duncan Donuts. Understand, we weren’t trying to find something terrible. We just did. It was about as much fun as drinking a glass of iced cabbage water, only sweeter.
Dean waves goodbye, and I go through the security gate, and I head to the spot where I will wait some more, for the boarding call. Some little boy is running slalom plaths between the number signs. (Don’t worry if that doesn’t make sense. If you try to board Southwest anytime soon, it will make MISERABLE sense.) I think since I am in the “A” group I will get an aisle seat. I will, but the flight will be TOTALLY full. That becomes obvious as the hours tick past. When I get on board, I will look for two people who appear to be together with one near the window. When I get on the plane, I see a promising sight. There, in the second row, are two tiny women. One is obviously the middle-aged daughter of the other. MY PEEPS! “This is fantastic,” I think. This will be simple, be familiar, maybe even fun.
It begins with the two of them eating from bags of strange brand chips that smell much like Cornnuts. They eat for half an hour. On some undetectable signal, they put their food away, and now we may chat.
“We’re coming back from a family reunion. We live in California now. I work at the Burbank Airport.” All this the daughter tells me with a thick Rhode Island accent. “We didn’t stay as long as we planned. Mom got sick, so I had to talk her into it. ”
I say, “Oh…”
The mother says, “What are you telling her?”
The daughter says, “I told her that we went to a family vacation. We had to cut our trip short because you got sick and then I had to talk you into it.”
The mother says, “Oh.”
“So we were out there for just a short week. I had originally planned to be gone for two weeks, not that my job is all that hard, but I already had asked for the days off, so I really couldn’t change them.”
“What are you telling her.”
“I told her we were only here for a short week, but we had to go back because I already asked for certain days off and I had to get back to work, eventhough my job isn’t that hard.”
It got even more scintillating a bit later.
“Mom, wiggle your foot for me. Wiggle your foot. The doctor said I should have you move your foot regularly to make sure…Mom, please! Mom! Wiggle your foot.”
(And still later.)
“Mom, let’s go to the bathroom. Yes. Come on, Mom. Let’s go to the bathroom. They won’t let you go to the bathroom in a little while, so let’s go now. Come on, Mom. Let’s go, Mom.”
The Mother says, “Leave me alone. I’m sleeping.”
“Come on, Mom. Let’s go.” (To me as I get up to let them pass.) “Oh, thank you. Could you help me?”
I don’t know who I feel more sorry for, the daughter or the mother. My peeps. Oh, my peeps.
Halfway through the flight, I’m praying, “Thank you, Lord, for my mother. Thank you, Lord, for MY mother” in an endless loop.
Tomorrow, the last and most horrendous of all flights!