Slurring Over The Atlantic

On New Year’s Day,

I was supposed to fly away.

Instead the plain was late,

So I simply had to wait.

When a plane is delayed seven hours, you have time to write poems.  To be fair, it wasn’t delayed seven hours.  I was switched to a different flight that took off at 6 p.m. instead of 11 a.m.

Before you call the airline to yell at them on my behalf, you must know that it resulted in me only switching plains once.  Plus, I didn’t have to go to Canada, eh.  Also, I switched to Lufthansa instead of Air Canada.  This meant my TV had a selection of action movies, not just hockey games.  Well worth the seven hour wait.

I didn’t find out until after the hour and a half drive to the airport, though, so it wasn’t worth going home.  My loving parents tried to say, “Wow, that wait’s a bummer.  Well, we better get going now.  Bye!”

“Hold on,” I told them, “You don’t even know the next time you’ll see me.  Let’s go to lunch somewhere.”

After some debate, we went to a restaurant in downtown Denver that we really like.  It was pretty empty being about noon on New Year’s Day, but there was a trio of middle-aged people who looked like they may have still been there from the night before.  Good for them, someone needs to pump money into the economy.

Back at the airport, I followed the University of Colorado basketball team through security.  Feeling like I was in college again, I gave them a little pep talk.  I just said it in my mind, though, because they didn’t want to listen.  They’ve since gone on a pretty big hot streak, and I take full credit for it.  The school better name the next basketball arena after me.

I eventually got on my awesome flight that I mentioned yesterday, and I’d rather not relive any of that now.

When I changed plains in Germany, I had to go through another round of security.  Being Germany, they had a very efficient system that didn’t make any sense.  In all the efficiency, some lady tried to grab my coat from the little bin it was in.  When I started grabbing it out of her hand, we had the following conversation:

Her:  “Excuse me, can I have my coat?”

Me:  “You probably can, but this is my coat.”

Her:  “Are you sure?  I think it’s mine.”

Me:  “Yeah, I’m sure.  Look at it.”

Her:  “Oh, you’re right!  Look!  Mine’s over there on the other conveyer belt.  [She laughs hysterically.]  I’m so sorry!”

Me:  “That’s no problem.”

I thought that was the end.  I wish that was the end.  It wasn’t the end.  This lady seemed to believe that we were now friends.  We weren’t.

Let me describe her.  She was a blond lady who was probably in her early thirties.  She seemed to have an American accent, but it’s pretty likely that she had a little Canadian flag sown on to a piece of her luggage.  She probably watched hockey on an eight hour Air Canada flight, eh.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important part.  She was slurring her words – a lot.  She probably drank a lot of Molson while she watched her hockey games, eh.

She found me a minute later and slurred another apology.  I again told her it was okay because traveling is always a long, tiring day.  She slurred her agreement in a high volume, and informed me that she’d been traveling for 22 hours.

Then, she continued to follow me.  I’d already politely told her good-bye about five times.  She persistently slurred more questions wanting to know where I was going and why.  I have to admit, she was quite persistent for a person who doesn’t even recognize her own coat.  Come to think of it, I don’t have any proof that she didn’t just steal someone else’s.

At this point, I was far into my trip, but the hard part with all the thinking was just beginning.  It got to the point where I almost said, “Listen slurring lady, you seem to be in love with me, but I don’t like you.  Why don’t you go find a bar and slur away to someone there.  This is Germany, I’m sure there’s one close.  I just want to find my gate and read my newspaper.”  Fortunately, she managed to take the hint at just the right time and left on her own - with a coat of questionable origin.

I happily relaxed at a nice table overlooking the plane.  When I boarded, I had plenty of room and my fellow passengers were pleasant Hungarians and Germans.  They served me my beloved bubbly water and some food with no smell (or taste) to bother the other passengers.  It renewed my faith in air travel.


Hungarian word of the day:

Kérjük ne lője le a zongoristát.  Minden tőle telhetőt megtesz.

                -Oscar Wilde ír-angol író

„Please do not shoot the pianist.  He is doing his best.” –Oscar Wilde Irish-English writer.  I thought this was appropriate because I had one of my 9th grade classes trying to guess ”Piano Player” today, and they guessed Pianist first.  Their vocabulary constantly impresses me, and increases my shame about my Hungarian.