Monday, December 29, 2008

Bossy Betty Boards The Big Bird

Betty loves to travel.  There's nothing like a trip to clear out the bowels of the mind and lube up an arthritic brain, forcing it to pop out old air bubbles and respond to exciting new stimuli.  Even a short jaunt can give us a heightened awareness of our place in the family of humankind, a much needed perspective of our global responsibilities, insight into our belief systems, and a reason to buy great new clothing (especially hats!)  Betty recently had the privilege of flying to Nashville to see some family members and give those country music producers just one more look at what they could have had if the the teaching profession wasn't so darn glamorous and I hadn't figured out how to work glitter into my everyday wardrobe. 

There I was, sitting at the airport, finally through security, with my backpack chock full of candy, gum, graham crackers, books and my I-Pod, thoroughly enjoying myself and probably smiling a bit too much for the comfort of others.   I limit my gum-chewing in life to airplane trips and even though I was only in the waiting area of Gate C-3 at LAX, I had already opened my jumbo pack of Ice Breakers Sugar-Free Ice Cubes Kiwi-Watermelon with Cooling Xylitol and was chewing vigorously.  In a wild  and reckless moment of spontaneity brought about the excitement of the impending trip, I popped TWO pieces of gum in and was thoroughly enjoying my foray into impetuousness when I looked around at my fellow passengers slumped in their chairs.  Some looked just downright miserable. Perhaps they needed the incredible cooling power of Xylitol I thought, popping in a third piece.  

When the announcement came over the loudspeaker that our flight would be delayed by fifteen minutes, there was a lot of horse-like fluttering of lips, the accompanying sounds that come with that fluttering, and a lot of eye-rolling.  When the second announcement, the one letting us know there would be an hour's delay, the crowd generally reacted as though they had just announced that since they had run out of Littl' Smokies to serve in First Class, everyone with ten toes in Coach would have to have one chopped off before boarding, thereby replenishing the stockade for the Upper Crust.  

We finally boarded the plane, toes intact, and found our seats.  The flight was now late and the even the flight attendants were getting testy about people in the aisle and the obviously blatant misuse of the overhead bins.  I had to admire the way they made their announcements, in tightly controlled voices--selected words like tiny tasers directed at the people moving too slowly in the aisle. "We DO (buzz) ask for YOUR (buzz) cooperation and ask that you DO (buzz) have a seat as SOON (buzz) as possible as there ARE (buzz) many passengers waiting to be seated."  (Can't you just smell the smoke?) 

Tomorrow:  We buckle our seat belts low and snug across our laps and prepare for departure.  

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