Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Story--Stinky Feet and the Alcoholic

One my guiltiest pleasures before kids (and esp. before they were old enough to understand anything) was to snuggle under a big blanket and get lost in a Lifetime movie--the crazier the better. Since I can't do that anymore (even the commercials seem to require explaining 'mommy what's genital herpes'), I have decided to recall past events in my life and bring the story back to Sunday :)

The day after our wedding, my wonderful new husband and I were enjoying breakfast in out stunning honeymoon suite overlooking Dallas via a floor to ceiling window. The sun shone in the sitting room as we basked in the warm glow of new marriage. I wanted to stay in this place forever but I knew if we did we would miss out flight. Our honeymoon . We had booked a European castle tour with a brief stop in the fairy tale land of London.

We loitered as long as we could before we had to leave for the airport. We gathered our bags, checked out of the lap of luxury and climbed in the SUV. Because it was an international flight, we thought getting there two hours before would be plenty of time. Yes, it was our first international flight.

After we passed customs, a quick baggage check (the pre-9/11 baggage check), we checked in at the front desk. Because we wanted to spend three weeks overseas, most of our honeymoon allowance was spent on the tour and hotels, leaving us in coach. But how bad could that be? We flew coach to Cleveland, Florida, everywhere else. Coach is just fine. 

We asked the clerk, for two seats by the window. She laughed.

"Those seats filled up hours ago," she smiled. "We only have the center seats left."

"Center can't be too bad," I smiled. Nothing was going to break my spirits. I just got married.

We got on the plane and realized the center section was five seats across and we were seats 3 and 4. I said a silent prayer that maybe seat #5 or even seat #2 would miss the flight. They did not.

Seat #5 was a young, single girl traveling for business. She seemed sweet. Seat #2 was a British man traveling with his wife in seat #1. He was a bit bigger than the average Joe but looked nice. The couple was coming back from vacation. They looked happy and relaxed. 

Shortly after take off, seat #5 pulled called for stewardess and got a cup. She proceeded to pull a mini bottle of scotch out of her carry-on. I thought she might have a good idea--it was a ten hour flight after all. I noticed my new husband glancing through a magazine and decided to do the same. When the captain announced we were about to pass over New York City, I peered up from my magazine to try to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. I looked over seat #5's tray and saw two empty bottles of scotch and a third half full. I said another prayer hoping she could her liquor. 

Once we started our journey over the Atlantic, both my husband and I noticed a rather foul smell. I began to worry it was our dinner. Then my husband tapped my shoulder and tilted his head toward seat #2. He had made himself more comfortable by taking off both his shoes and socks. And he really should have kept them on. The odor was worse than a boys' high school locker room (according to my husband--I've never been in one, really). I picked up the bag of chips they had just passed out and put it against my face to kill the smell. I wondered if it bothered seat #5--she was reaching for her fourth mini. And exposed a rather hairy arm pit that was suddenly giving seat #2's feet a run for their money. Lovely.

Eventually the cabin began to darken and we were entertained with a second rate movie (no I do not remember). Once it was over, I began to dooze off between my movie watching husband and sleeping seat #5. 

And then Mr. Bean came on. If you are not familiar with Mr.Bean, he does zany physical comedy. Britain puffy hearts Mr. Bean or so I've been told. He was widely successful at the time. But as an American,  Mr.Bean is not funny--I'm sorry my overseas friends. He's not, he's really not (at least in this Texas gal's simple mind). Well seat #2 was a HUGE Mr. Bean fan. Both my husband and I found Mr.Bean to be the perfect sleeping pill, not seat #2. Every time, I felt myself drifting away from the smell, the tight quarters, the hum of the plane...I was awakened with the sound of the most loudest gut-filled laughter I had ever heard in my life. It was a joyous laugh I would have enjoyed during daylight hours but not when I had not slept in at least 20. I was wondering if seat #5 would notice if I snagged a mini--not to drink but to break over seat #2's head. Hey, I was tired.

Finally Mr.Bean was over and 'Friends' came on. I heard seat #2 mutter about how silly the show was and put on an eye mask. And ya know what my new husband and I did. We laughed at every single joke .

Tune in next week as we visit the Queen's house and learn our dollar is not so great in the world of pounds.


Jennifer H said...

It's one thing to have to endure that sort of thing for a 2 or 3 hour flight, but 10 hours? Ugh.

Where are the manners these days? People used to dress up to travel (I still do, somewhat). But who takes off their shoes AND socks? Not that the socks would have held in the smell that much.

Can't wait to hear more. A castle tour sounds divine.

mamachristina said...

Thank goodness you started out in a great mood, if you were even the slightest bit annoyed to start with you might not have made thwe flight.

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

I enjoyed that story. I'll look forward to next week's post. said...

I love overseas travel, don't you?!! I'd rather impale myself.

JCK said...

Oh, I love that you are telling the story!! What a tale.

mah-meeee said...

great story!

can't wait to hear more about your honeymoon!

Beth said...

Oh how I love London, but yes, flying there can be half the fun (or not fun) in your case. Thanks for sharing!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Since the only way I'll ever get to Europe is coach, I'm a little worried.

Someone else that shares my passion for bad Lifetime stalker movies--once your kids get older you can revive the pleasure. The best is when you have a cold that's just bad enough, but not too bad and then you don't have to feel guilty about indulging your guilty pleasure.

Dana said...

Oh, how awful. Really.

But come on, you don't like Mr. Bean? Well, i only like Mr. Bean because I work with a gut who looks very similar. I mean VERY similar. And he's funny too. Mr. bean is ok, my DH likes him more than me, and that is ok too.

Dana said...

I mean a guy,I WORK WITH A GUY.

Sorry I'm a little tired, don't know why I'm still up at this hour.

Anonymous said...

I once flew nine hours with the kid sitting behind me, slapping my head every half hour or so, on purpose and for no reason, while his mom pretended not to notice. It was not fun!

Auds at Barking Mad said...

Being married to a Brit, and having lived extensively over in Europe, I can remember more than one flight similar to the one you just described.

Of course now that we are adding a toddler to the melange, it should get real interesting.

Great post. Found you through POW and look forward to coming back...often.

Vader's Mom said...

Wow. I can't believe I missed the start of Sunday Story, but I'm sure glad I'm catching up.

Sorry to hear about the yucky seat assignments. I wouldn't have thought you'd need to check in any earlier either.

Carol said...

It may well be treason but I hate mr bean, he is just stupid!

Purple Teacup said...

Gross! What a story!=)