16 April 2012

Oh The People You'll Meet

While boarding my plane on Saturday I pulled up an email that contained my boarding pass, placed my phone underneath the scanner and scanned myself onto the plane.  No big deal, I would say about 15% of most passengers are using this method.  But to the woman behind me you would have thought I was Willy Wonka making chocolate drops rain down on the tarmac.

She grabbed my shoulder and asked, "how did you do that?"  
"The airline sends you an email." 
"You mean you don't have to be handsome Mr. Delta man to get that kind of treatment?"
I uncomfortably grinned.

As we transitioned from the movable tunnel to the airplane I was checking an email when the stewardess put her hand in my chest and said,  "Mr. Marshall (I was wearing a cap from my alma mater) I need you to wait here a minute."

Woman amazed at the wonders of technology couldn't resist. 
"Look he pulls that phone out again and things happen.  Now the stewardess is doing something special for him."
I explained that she was serving coffee to the first class passengers.
But she wasn't finished.
"Are you in the armed forces?"
"I am not."
"Well, if you were my husband and I were going to grab you around the neck and kiss you all over."  

Inner Monologue: Please God do not let her have seat 16B.

I made my way to my assigned seat and found a gentleman in the seat next to me.  As a rule I generally do not talk to people on airplanes.  Why? Because if you let it slip that you are a person of the cloth...  Only one time did that work to my favor, turned out the gentleman sitting next to me was the Dean of the Univ. of Chicago Divinity School.  

Perhaps my guard was down, perhaps I was tired, perhaps all kinds of things, nevertheless I let it slip.  Luckily the man sitting next to me was more interested in hearing himself talk than listening to me.  In less than 10 minutes I learned that this man had done the following:

1.  Used to hunt alligators with Cajuns.  Yet he had no idea where Cajun country was located.  hmmm.
2.  Claimed he was a "honorary New Orleanian" because he used to eat at Mother's when it was on the docks.  Yet Mother's is a tourist restaurant and is located on Poydras Street not on the docks.
3.  Took full responsibility for coming up with the idea of the parent first putting on the safety mask and then putting on the child in case of emergency instructions for airplanes.
4.  Has written a book on rules of money, each chapter titles begins with a misogynistic pun.  Yes, he shared one or two.
5.  Plays poker that costs $50,000 to join.  
6.  Is an insurance specialists who runs seminars to help people get out of debt, yet he is a poker player.

I still had 1 hour and 50 minutes left on the plane.  I took action!

{Sometime during the formation period of my life I was given a gift, a special Norvell trait passed onto me from my father: controlled narcolepsy.  I can flip a switch and nap anywhere, anytime!}  

During a millisecond lull I, Mr. Marshall, grabbed my cap, put it over my eyes, told my row mate that I would catch up with him later, and slept for the next hour and fifty minutes.  

When the plane landed and I awoke he was ready to dispense more wisdom.  He pulled out of his carry on bag (a plastic grocery bag) a book on reading people.  He said he knew I was finished talking when I grabbed my hat and started to put it on...

But I smiled the whole time because earlier that day I saw Turtle Man.  That's right as I waited for my flight Turtle Man and his associate exited from the gate across from mine.  They were in a hurry to catch their next flight but everyone wanted to meet them.  Turtle Man shook a few hands then took off running down the corridor.  He was like Moses, everyone parted for him, gave him high fives, and every so often he would let out his trademark call.  

If you've never seen the Turtle Man in action, allow me to introduce you to him.

Oh the people you'll meet indeed!  

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