We arrived at our gate and settled in at the waiting area with a sigh. My husband and I looked at each other, knowing what the other was thinking. We were down to minutes before boarding, having missed a leisurely lunch before our flight and were both starving.
“Why not stay with the dog and I’ll grab lunch with a drink for us?” he suggested.
“Sounds great! I’ll call you if they begin boarding early,” I said, holding up my phone.
I glanced about me, already studying the passengers nearby for character traits, dialogue, and anything else that caught my eye. As an author, I was always on the lookout for that. I kept glancing at my watch as the minutes ticked by, becoming antsier the closer our boarding time approached. The airport was packed. What was taking him so long? Lines?
Finally, he came rushing over with a bag in his hand. “I grabbed burgers and a water.”
Personally speaking, at that point I would have eaten the paper bag he carried them in.
We wolfed down the small burgers in record time and shared the little bottle of water.
My husband eyed me. “Hope you enjoyed your mini burger. They were $8.99 each!”
“You’re kidding!” I said then stared at the small bottle of water.
He shook his head. “You don’t even want to know what that cost.”
I nodded. “Irrelevant, right?”
“Exactly,” he said, savoring his last bite of burger.
After my experience at security I was looking forward to our flight. We had splurged on First Class seats for our Anniversary that was coming up: New Year’s Eve. His marriage proposal was straightforward and simple. “What are you doing New Year’s Eve?” I liked that about him. But as an addendum, he added, “Trust me, it will never be dull.”
I should have paid more attention to that part of his proposal.
Like I’ve said before, I don’t live an ordinary life. Odd things happen to the both of us, and they usually end up in my mysteries. Like I’ve mentioned many times before, when handed lemons, make lemonade, right?
They announced boarding. We got in line and proceeded to the plane, looking forward to sitting in the second row. After stowing our things in overhead with the pooch down at our feet, we settled in, grabbing my husband’s earphones, his iPad, and my e-reader.
While everyone shuffled passed us, my husband ordered tomato juice with a twist of lime. I had flipped my Kindle on and ordered a glass of white wine. I deserved it after my memorable experience at security.
After my husband’s drink was delivered, I said, “Look, instead of a slice of lime floating in your juice, your ticket includes two chunks of lime on a wooden stirrer.”
Listening to his playlist on his earphones, he smiled, ignoring my attempt at humor.
More people filed by us still boarding. I moved my husband’s napkin and tomato juice to place another napkin next to it, maneuvering it so I wouldn’t yank his wire out of his ear, then went to place a second napkin on our center console for my expected wine.
Well, that is when all hell broke loose. My hand hit that damn stick with the limes protruding from his tomato juice and the whole thing toppled in my direction.
I swear, I never knew a plastic airline glass could hold that much liquid!
Trying to save my little jacket with all those zippers, and my jeans, I yelled and arched my back, unable to remove myself from my seat because the dog carrier was blocking my feet. In my panic my flailing arms became entangled in my husband’s headphone wires that were roughly ripped from his head, nearly strangling him.
“What the…?” he said then turned to me, shocked by my frenzied contortions.
Always on the alert for the unexpected, he grabbed my rear and shoved me up in the air, away from the Red Niagara of all drinks now cascading onto my seat. People stopped in the main aisle to watch the free entertainment, as I was teetering toward falling backward, staring back in horror at the thick sea of red on my seat, my seat belt, the console between us, drippy splotches on my jeans and jacket, and on the floor by my feet. Attendants came rushing over with cocktail napkins. I finally pivoted around.
I looked at them like that guy did in the movie, Jaws, when he realized the situation was worse than anyone expected. “We need a larger napkin!” I said.
Meanwhile an amused passenger going by said to the people behind her, as the boarding line came to a halt from the commotion, “Someone spilled a Bloody Mary!”
I looked her square in the eye. “No, a tomato juice with a twist of lime!” Which was probably a ridiculous thing to say. But as an author, I’m a stickler for accuracy.
Meanwhile, I was still in a tilted position under the overhead. The attendant handed us large paper towels from the restroom, and my husband and I frantically sopped up all that tomato juice. On the side of the console between us was a hollow well with floating tomato juice as well, daring me to sit back down. I grabbed a wad of paper towels and jammed it in there. Then I wiped the soaking wet seatbelt numerous times. I wasn’t sitting down until the Red Sea had departed from the area.
The attendant came back, scooped up dripping towels from us, then handed me a plastic wrapped blanket they offer for those who would like one, saying, “Put this between you and the wet seatbelt to keep yourself dry in flight.”
I thanked her and inspected my seat one last time before sitting down. It sparkled. It was cleaner than when we first boarded the plane.
Hey, maybe I was onto something with this tomato juice. Could be a real moneymaker.
The attendant came back before I was about to sit and said, “Want that wine now?”
I gave her that intuitive woman’s eye women speak wordlessly to each other.
Without missing a beat, she said, “Well, Champagne it is then instead of wine!”
I sat down gingerly. She returned with the “bubbly” and a wad of large paper towels.
“Very funny,” I said. I won’t need them again. My drink won’t last that long.”
“Oh, I’m not worried about this one,” she said, winking.
I froze. In her other hand she was offering my husband his replacement tomato juice with cut limes on a stirrer on a tiny cocktail napkin. I eyed her then my husband, now on high alert, ready to bolt from my seat on a second’s notice.
I kept eyeing that tomato juice with its twists of lime. “Think I need a raincoat?”
My day so far really wasn’t going that well…
My husband gently patted my hand, offering. “Now, come on, what are the chances?”
Ha! Who was he kidding?
Like in my Samantha Jamison Mystery Series, Sam asks herself, “Now, come on, what are the chances? And you know what? It happens, often with hilarious results, and documented via smartphones for posterity by her sleuthing cohorts!
P.S. I am so using this incident in a mystery too! Oh, by the way, we eventually landed without further incident.
Remember, everyday is a blessing. Whether they are funny, ridiculous, or otherwise, don’t take them for granted.