Apr 22, 2013

Beantown - 2, Flying

Beard: It’s 5:30 am, doing my best to get both eyes open and the noggin engaged. Mom and Dad will be traveling east with me, they stayed overnight and we'd fly together. 

Mom yells into the bathroom at Dad:

“What are you doing in there, what’s taking so long?!”

Pause, then, he yells,

“I’m wiping!!! I’ve got to wipe, just wait a minute!!!

I stayed in bed a tad longer to let the tempers and air settle. 
We piled into my parent’s PT Cruiser towards the Des Moines airport.  Dad does not speed, he sauntered 8 MPH under limit. “Dad, our bird lifts in 45 minutes, can we pick it up a little?” He rolled his eyes, first getting punished for his sluggish wiping skills, and now the pesky middle child was telling him how to drive.

We got frisked, poked, prodded and groped in security, I felt violated.  We made a quick pass through the airport deli to grab a  stale $12 breakfast sandwich and $6 coffee. Dad is a big user of creamer, he meticulously peeled lids off eight creamers, slowly mixing a packet of sugar in his black drink. 

It was 7:00 am, the plane would leave in 10 minutes.  

I barked, “We need to get moving, I’d like to make it to Boston and run a marathon if possible.” They looked hurt, then slowly, slowly began heading towards our gate.

I walked the plane aisle past several seats packed with our running group.  Ryan snarked, “Hey, whenever you're ready Tank. Got a watch?”

There was Curls, near the back and across from the stink closet, shaking her head and checking her watch. We’d stop in Atlanta in a couple of hours.

Curls: 5 am and I am up, ready, and waiting, mentally checking off key, packed items for Boston. Check, check, check! I had set my dual alarm AND my trusty travel alarm. Never can be too safe. My sister, arrives at my place at 5:35 am sharp. We arrive at the airport by 6 am, where she dumps me off, curbside, wishes me well and pulls away. I am delighted that the Delta counter has absolutely no waiting line. I see Kip waiting in the US Airways line, a looong one. I wave, retrieve my e-ticket, and proceed to head toward my gate. Running bud Kip is still waiting in line, in the very exact spot, as a matter fact. “Good luck”, I tell him!

I proceed to the gate and hang out among the likes of Ryan, Cindy, and Don.  Some time later, the boarding process begins. Ryan asks me twice, “Tank IS on THIS flight, right?” I assure him both times that he is, but am beginning to wonder where he is myself. I find that I am seated in the very last row of the plane, directly across from the toilet facilities. This always happens to me, but I do believe that the back of a plane has been proven to be safer than the front, so no complaints here.

Finally, I see Beard making his way down the aisle and give him one of those, “Where the he-- have you been?” looks. Relieved that the whole crew is on board, we’re off.

Beard: Dad failed to lock the door while using the plane’s sanitary facilities. He had not yet met Curls, I was afraid their first face-to-face encounter would be him seated on the aluminum throne.  The door flinging open from a frisky touch of turbulence, then a squirmy stare, an unbreakable eye lock between Curls and father, him straddling the hole, her slowly nodding and saying, “Hello, I’m Curls, nice to meet you.”

I held the door shut for him, when he exited, I kindly recommended that he lock the door next time. The lady sitting in front of us on the plane didn’t know that I knew this man, she thought I was offering free bathroom tips to random lavatory visitors.

During the stop at the Atlanta airport, Ryan sniffs and says,

“Beard, your parents are thick, aren’t they?”

I gave him and my folks the benefit of the doubt and responded,

“Yes, they are tall aren’t they? Dad is pushing 6’4”.”

“No, that’s not what I meant. They are full, your body type doesn’t take after them.”

Ryan's a straight talker.  

On the flight from Atlanta to Boston, Curls was looking at her “smutty mags” as she calls them, glossy photos of superstars dressed in weird outfits. “That dress is cute, don’t you think, Beard?” “Uh, yeah, it’s a darling dress, just precious, ” I said in a confused daze. What is a guy supposed to say when asked questions about skirts and culottes?

The warm flight attendant repeatedly glanced at Curls, she was checking her out. She finally stepped over and said to Curls, “Hi there. Has anyone ever said that you look a lot like Katie Holmes?” She blushed and shook her head up and down.  I asked Curls if that had happened before.  

Curls: This is not the first time I have been mistaken for Katie Holmes. Last fall when I was in Chicago for the marathon, there was a lady who was staring at me, quite uncomfortably, I might add. Wherever I would go, her darty eyes would follow. It was seriously starting to creep me out; for it was obvious she was visually stalking me. Finally, she walks up, apologizes, and admits that she thought she was witnessing a star sighting, that of Ms. Holmes. 

Katie or Curls?

My brother once admitted that he thought Katie Holmes was HOT! When I told him that some folks say I have a striking resemblance to her, he just about gagged. Nice, eh?

Beard: Flying out of Atlanta, I peered around the plane and noticed the couple behind us, Ed and Judy we’ll call them, were napping.  The camera somehow went off and snapped a photo.  See the irritated gal a couple of rows back. I was tempted to draw a handlebar mustache on Ed with a Sharpie and enlist the help of irritated lady from the back row to stick Judy’s hand in a bucket of warm water.

Curls: I told Beard he was potentially going to hell for taking this photo. Of course, I’m no better in the sense that I was laughing so hard that I had tears running down my face, particularly when just seconds after Beard snapped this shot; Ed and Judy stirred to an awakened state.  I warned Beard not to take a nap.

Beard: Flying into Logan International was a treat, the New England cottages spotting the landscape looked as I imagined them to be. Quaint with large white shutters and generous windows. We touched down early afternoon ahead of schedule.  Grabbed our junk, then forked over $15 for unlimited "T" rail passes.

We made our first mistake of the day catching the bus to the rail terminal. I asked the lady at the airport’s information kiosk which bus to board. “Bus two, two,” she snapped with a lush Bosnian accent. We wheeled our luggage outside, there was bus 22 waiting for us.  Got on, "we made it!" I said to Curls with a smile.

The bus was ablaze in yellow: the exterior, interior and carpet.  The driver wore a yellow jumpsuit and yellow Hertz beret. He drove us 10 minutes into a huge Hertz rental lot.  “Do you suppose we took the wrong ride, is this the 'take me to my rental car' Hertz bus?” asked Curls. “The lady said to take bus two two, so we're on bus two two gosh darn it.  Perhaps there are different types of bus 22s.”

Curls: Hey, in our world of outsourcing, this didn’t faze me. It might be possible, I justified, as we hopped aboard the yellow bus, that Logan handles some of their more mundane bus services by partnering with the Hertz Rental Car company. Completely possible! How many of you can say that you had the pleasure of visiting Logan's car rental lot?

To be continued...


  1. DSMama4/23/2013

    I have a feeling you two are going to make me cry by the end of this series. I thought of you, Beard, and wondered if you were there at the marathon. Glad you are all okay.

    PS - Remind me to never nap if I ever traveling with you!! Not that I would ever take pics of random strangers ... :)

    1. We didn't run Boston this year, silly, this crusty recap is a few years old. A dozen runners from the SCRC at work did Boston this year, Jason heard the explosions.

  2. Ok, I totally heard your parent's morning bathroom conversation in the Wolowitz's voices (from Big Bang Theory). So funny!

    1. My brother cracked up when he read that part of the recap, he could picture the scuffle our folks were having.


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