Thursday, February 28, 2008

dangling participants

On my bus ride to the Metro I noticed a woman sitting peacefully, if unstable, on the front bench with her legs dingle-dangling above the floor. The first time I remember realizing there were these people like this among us was during a training flight way back in the early naughts. I was standing behind the maid of honor from my first wedding (what are the chances?) and realized that while talking with her via headset, every time I asked a question, she stopped typing and used the microphone switch on her headphone cord in order to answer. As some background to the event you need to know that our plane is outfitted with foot switches so you can generally (if not a midget) keep working the keyboard and mouse while talking. Granted, Kat is shorter than most and there was never any hope of her reaching the foot switch even with the Recaro seat all the way down and in. Funny, I thought, as I let her know that I was on to her and then lether know that she was clearly too short to ride this ride. Ha ha ha. Then she turned around and punched me as she was wont to do. I happened to know that when I’m occupying the slippy-slidey seat on the bus I use my feet all the time to prevent sliding into the strange passenger next to me when the #401 driver decides to make a statement while turning…or stopping…or starting. How do folks get through life if they can’t reach the floor? Baffling.

X brought back some potent bleu/Roquefort/gorgonzola dolce/goat/chevre cheese from Barcelona that I melded it into some gnocchi for dinner this evening. This cheese was of such import (get it? import…) that she decided it would be best to hand-carry it for the return flight. Think about that for a moment. When you come through customs they always ask you things like “do you have any food with you? Maybe an aged wheel of cheese or some such?” The correct answer, cheese terrorist or not, is “Why, no. I don’t have any cheese and I will thank you to not insinuate that I’m a Democrat.” She decided to play honest and truthed up about the wheel. For those that know X you’ll be perfectly aware of what happened next: her scowl as she stood in a second line reserved for the honest and the dishonest. When she gets to the front of the line, after a group of others that had millions of suitcases to inspect, the customs agent says to her, “Do you have food in your bag?” To which little miss sunshine replies, in a cooperative tone, “That’s why I’m here, isn’t it?” It did not go well.

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