Last weekend I flew out to California for my niece’s wedding and an extended visit with a very close friend. I took my 7-year-old son because he was the ring bearer. Pretty much everything about the trip was amazing. We had a great flight out there – smooth, sat next to an interesting woman named Jillian, she helped my son with all his mind games and quizzes and had fun stories.
Just when I though this was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a very long time, we flew home.
First our flight was delayed boarding because there was a broken seat tray. What? Next they said it was a very full flight and they needed to check bags. A robust man strolled up to the desk and said, “Man, I love when you guys do this. Take my bag. I don’t want to exert myself pulling it 5 more feet than I have to.” I couldn't decide if he was kind of odd, or kind of funny. I voted funny. I was wrong.
Making our way down the narrow aisle, all I could do was apologize every time my son whacked someone with his bag. “so sorry, excuse me, yikes, sorry, oops." I started counting down the seats and it didn’t take long to discover our window seat was taken by the guy from the desk. My son sat in the middle seat, stuck out his hand and introduced himself.
“Hey little dude, I’m Chuck – here’s to a tooty flight!”
Did he say tooty?
He then proceeded to come as close to anyone I’ve ever heard to hacking up a lung. Followed by incredible quotes. They were coming so fast and were so unbelievable, that I started writing them down.
“Just to warn you, I Have the belly of Santa, but the bladder of one of his elves. HAHAHAHA”
“Nuts give me gas – what about you?”
"I also involuntarily snort a lot."
"I can't shake this thing I've got - I phlegm up like a dog in heat."
He started looking in his bag and in the seat back pocket in front of him. He looked left, then right, said “oh hell” and blew his nose in his hand. I almost threw up. He then just wiped it on his pants. Then another round of coughing. Food cart comes rolling down and he orders the cheese platter and three cans of Pringles. The flight attendant apologizes and says he’s out of Pringles. Chuck then orders the mixed nuts package. WHAT? Didn’t he tell my son earlier that nuts give him gas?
The drink cart comes next. Chuck says, “Uh yeah, I’ll take three Dr. Peppers.” WHAT? Can you even ask for more than one? They gave him one and said they’d have to wait until the end to see if they could give him more – yep, they came back and gave him more.
Then I remembered my son shook his hand when he first sat down EWWWWWW!!!! Cart block the bathroom. My son wanted to eat. I took the ice cubes from my glass and told him to wash his hand with those before he did anything. He wasn’t happy, but did it. Chuck looked right at me and said, “You crazy.”
Then he started snorting. Um yeah. I’m crazy.
He squirmed so much in his seat, my son asked why there was so much turbulence (something we learned about on the way to California) - - unfortunately, our row was the only one experiencing “turbulence.” The in-flight movie started. My son couldn’t see the screen from where he was and asked if we could switch seats.
Now there’s a dilemma. I am so not proud of what I told him, “Weird, I can’t see the screen either.” I’m a terrible mother.
The next three and a half hours were filled with bouts of toxic odors and lifting my rear end in and out of the seat for the elf sized bladder. When we finally landed, I think I saw pretty much every bodily fluid Chuck possessed. I’m somebody that can’t even go in a porta-potty. It is no exaggeration to tell you I dry heaved a half a dozen times. I have such a profound new respect for flight attendants.
When we got off that plane - we ran. I couldn't get far enough away. We then promptly bathed in Purell.
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