Saturday, February 27, 2010

A cat walks into a plane...

The journey started at 3:30am fueled by pinta’o coffee my mom made to get me out of the hammock. The Barranquilla to Panama leg of the trip was sleepily uneventful, but the volume got turned up Tocumén Airport. There were screaming children at the gate and we hadn’t even begun boarding.

After noticing the facebook and twitter New York snow reports, I had packed my carry-on so I could comfortably survive the day if I got stranded in Panama or if my flight got re-routed to Wasilla but I had failed to pack noise canceling devices.

When I got to my seat at 28E – back of the plane, wedged between aisle and window seats – I found one of the screaming children placed on 29E, and a large man whose leg was spilling out of the confines of 28F and encroaching into 28E territory.

I took my place hoping the flight might not be full and I’d be able to move a seat over. My seatmate was a chatty Spaniard. While he was sharing with me the outrages of Panamanian customs taxes I might have missed the arrival of my other seatmate if I hadn’t heard her.

She was Canadian and was carrying a mewling case.

Don’t get me wrong. I like cats, I like children, and I have nothing against chatty Spaniards or even Canadians, but not all at once and definitely not while flying and within a one seat radius of me.

When I realized my seat didn’t recline and that I was stuck with an elbow rest hogger (the Spaniard) I was ready for the longest five hours. Maybe I’d get a funny story out of it.

No such luck.

Rufus the cat quieted when he was placed under the seat. The Spaniard and the child both passed out after take-off. Elbow hogging was controlled after I staked my rightful claim on it when they distributed the meal. Whip it, Where the Wild Things Are, and Dexter helped kill time.

The plane landed, customs didn’t even sniff my bag for all the edible goodies I brought back (want some? There’s still time to enter the giveaway - the odds of your winning something are high!), and I had an easy commute home from Newark.

The problem? Now I want to play (?) roller derby.

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