“Ladies and Gentlemen, we appreciate your patience. We have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we found a pilot.” The plane erupts in shouts and applause! “The bad news is that he is currently flying another plane en route to Atlanta. As soon as he lands and can make his way to our plane, we’ll be ready to depart.” So now we have to wait for the borrowed, likely overworked and sleep-deprived pilot coming from God knows where to fly our plane because nobody could find our original pilot? Great. That’s just great. I definitely feel safe flying the “friendly” skies now.
As we sit on the tarmac, I try to keep my eyes on the prize and not get discouraged. The LAST thing I need is for them to cancel my flight. Better late than never, right? But not TOO late! The couple sitting next to me is keeping themselves busy by shopping online for engagement rings. Dude is like, “Don’t they have any $100 diamonds? Where are all the $100 diamonds? Let’s find a $100 diamond!” And the chick is like, “But then the setting will cost more than the stone. Do you want the setting to cost more than the stone?” And dude is like, “What I want is for you to find a $100 diamond.” Please understand that I’m not judging a $100 diamond when I don’t have ANY diamonds. But I’m guessing that a $100 diamond looks something like this –>*<–. I mean, like, that is the actual size.
Meanwhile, in the row in front of me sits a man who apparently was a “somebody” at one time at Delta Airlines. The flight attendant approaches him and carries on a loud and seemingly flirtatious conversation. She asks, “Are these your daughters?” pointing to the two ‘tweens sitting next to him. “Yes,” he responds proudly. “And is that your wife sitting in row 3? She is really attractive. You did good! I’m impressed.” They go back and forth for a while, all loud and giggly. It seems that they have the attention of everyone on the plane…and I think they want it that way. Finally, the flight attendant giggles herself away. “Dad, who was that?” one of the daughters asks. “Just an old friend, sweetie. We used to work together and fly to Amsterdam all the time. Those were the days…the good ole days,” he says with a long, deep sigh. Um. Y’all used to kick it in Amsterdam? Okay. There are so many places I could go with this, but I’ll leave it alone. (Later in the flight I notice that she’s bringing them all the fancy snacks like the Cape Cod potato chips while the rest of us get that little bag of Delta peanuts…but whatevs.)
So back to the couple sitting next to me, they are clearly makin’ UP from the earlier tiff they had because now they are makin’ OUT. MAN, WHO JUST MAKES OUT ON A PLANE AT A TIME LIKE THIS?! Sittin’ beside me? What did I do to deserve this? I just wanna get to Memphis, that’s all.
The pilot arrives right in the nick of time to end all the kissy faces and flirting. We take off and land without incident. The party and all the drama leading up to the party is a story within itself. But I think this trilogy has been long enough! We pull off the surprise, the party is a success, and my Mom is thrilled! Other than the fact that on the way back they cancel my flight into Raleigh-Durham, book me on a flight to Atlanta (again), then change their mind and switch me back to the Raleigh Durham flight, the return trip is rather uneventful.