The Fisher of Stories

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I open at the closet. 
Allison pulled her phone out of her pocket and looked at the text, then looked again. It was from her husband, Brandon, and it lined up perfectly with the morning she was having: it didn’t make sense, and it kind of pissed her off.
She stared at the tiny pulsating dots at the bottom of the screen, and hoped that the forthcoming explanation would be something funny. Brandon was nothing if not funny, and at one point he made her life interesting, not that she needed any more interesting at the moment.
Hahaha, I’m sorry. 
•••
I was trying to type Allison, I love you. I am so thankful for you. You have made my life completely different from what it was just a few years ago. You are beautiful, smart, and I always hoped that you’d be the mother of my children. If I don’t see you again, just know that you were the best thing to ever happen to me. I love you. 
Panic raced through Allison’s heart as she read word after word, then read it again. She called up the keyboard and began inputting text at a blistering rate, not caring about the typos this time, he surely wouldn’t care about them this time.
•••
Before she could hit send, the three little dots popped up again, moving silently left to right, and for just a moment she was able to hear the ellipsis, boom boom boom, boom boom boom, boom boom boom, but then realized she was hearing her own heart, frenetically trying to leap out of her chest.
Allison whoah, don’t worry abou that I’m fin•••I’m fine •••I’m trying to set up an automated message on my phone, I was trying to say Allison, I love you. I am so thankful for you. You have made my life completely different from what it was just a few years ago. You are beautiful, smart, and I always hoped that you’d be the mother of my children. If I don’t see you again, just know that you were the best thing to ever happen to me. I love you.•••Ugh! I’m trying to text I open at the close but the freaking thing won’t send before it changes. •••
Allison’s anxiety faded, but her heartbeat didn’t quiet. When fear stopped pumping adrenaline through her system, chilling anger took its place, and it did a more than thorough job in fueling her outgoing text.
Why, Brandon? Why would you send me something like that? I thought you were dead or dying somewhere, why wouldn’t you just call? And what does I open at the close mean? 
•••
Allison, I’m SO sorry. I had no idea I’d saved it, and was just testing it to see if it worked. 
If WHAT worked, you idiot? 
•••
I set up a text replacement in my phone and the key phrase was “I 0pen at the close.” You know the line from Harry Potter? The one on the Golden Snitch that Harry looks at before he faces Voldemort? I just had to put a zero in ‘open’ so it wouldn’t send again.
•••
I thought it would be cool to use that as something I could text, then it would be replaced with all that other text, if, you know, if something happened to me on this trip or ever. You know? Just in case? 
Allison’s reply was sharp, and she hammered the rectangular screen as though each letter she typed was a hot coal she pressed against Brandon’s skin, and she envisioned him flinching as he read every word. She knew how important words were to him.
To be honest, the Harry Potter thing is getting a little weird. I don’t feel good, the commute was hell, and the last thing I need is my supposedly grown husband sending me texts telling me he’s dying and then telling me he’s preparing for the worst by referencing a teenager’s film series. 
There were no more dots.

Brandon sat back in his office chair, defeated. He knew Allison was going through a difficult time, and since she was going through a difficult time, so was he. He tried to lighten the mood as much as he could with humor, but that only worked so well before he became annoying. It wasn’t always that way; there was a time when Allison laughed at everything he said. He had felt like Dave Chapelle in the good years, before he got all preachy and walked away from television shows.
But the years passed quickly, and one dream after another had escaped her. College failed. The dream job failed. And finally, what she considered to be the biggest failure of all: she couldn’t get pregnant. Of course Brandon never saw that as a failure, not once, and in fact, he wasn’t even sure if he wanted kids. But Allison did.
At her insistence, they had tried for eight years to no avail. They had tried everything short of in-vitro fertilization, which was out of the realm of possibility because of the astronomical costs associated, and the risks of needing multiple treatments were too high. Adoption was out of the question because she wanted a biological child…lately it was all she wanted.
He was leaving today, heading to Washington D.C. for a work conference. Brandon was an information technologist for a mid-level security firm that did occasional work for the Department of Homeland Security, and part of his job included these trips to D.C. once a year for security briefings, which honestly would have been better disseminated in a five-paragraph email. But hey, it gave him a chance to drink a few Yuenglings, and that alone was almost worth the trip.
As for the Harry Potter obsession, he’d only recently acquired it. He was never allowed to read the series at home; his parents were convinced he’d try to put a spell on his younger brother. The movies were out of the question also, and as he got older and left the house, he never got around to either the books or the movies. That changed on his twenty-ninth birthday, when he picked up Sorcerer’s Stone. Less than two weeks had passed by the time he turned the final page of Deathly Hallows, and he was a fan for life.
Brandon was fascinated with two particular facets of the series, Harry’s loss of his parents at such an early age and his “Green Mile” moment in the final book. There were times, he admitted, when he felt like his life would have been easier with parents who were less strict, and he was certain the Dursleys were less strict than his own parents.
As Harry walked to his certain death in Deathly Hallows, Brandon couldn’t help but see the allusion to Christ walking to the cross in the final moments of His life. He also knew this was the kind of thing he could never say to his parents, or they would make his life—even his life away from home—seem like it was being orchestrated by Dolores Umbridge.
In Hallows, when he read the line “I’m ready to die,” he marveled. Here was a young boy who knew he was going to die, and he willingly walked into it in order to save the lives of his friends and extended family. In the moment, his fear of death was overshadowed by the concern he had for the well-being of those he held dearest. He’d thought about it over and over in the weeks that followed.
His phone buzzed. He looked down. It was Allison.
Babe, I’m sorry. I’m frustrated, and I took it out on you. You said a lot of nice things about me there, and even though they were meant to be your last words, it was still comforting to know that you felt that way about me, especially with all that’s been going on. And I really do want to be the mother of your children.
Brandon smiled. Maybe they were turning a corner.

Allison stared at the dots, both wondering if her apology would be accepted, and knowing the last line was a lie. Just in front of her, the television they kept tuned to CNN burbled quietly. She moved to set the phone down on her desk when it vibrated.
Hahaha, it’s okay, babe. I’m sorry for getting you worked up. It’s just something I wanted to try. I love you, too. And all that stuff is still true, btw. 
His forgiveness did nothing to lighten Allison’s spirits. To be honest, she had been hoping for a fight to help her justify the recent decision she’d made, to give her a target for her anger and frustration. She needed to lash out at Brandon because he was part of the problem right now. Not directly, of course, but he had certainly helped create the problem.
Allison was pregnant. She had found out a week ago, after a missed period that she could normally set her watch by. Fourteen years she’d had that thing, and for fourteen years it showed up at exactly the same time. When it didn’t happen last week she knew something was up, and immediately thought it was cancer. A routine blood test—“There’s no way I’m pregnant, doc, it’s cancer”—had given her even more surprising news: after eight years, she was, in fact, pregnant. And now the problem was figuring out how to tell Brandon, because two days before she’d gotten the “big” news, she had decided to leave him.
Figuring out the date of conception wasn’t difficult, Brandon’s birthday had been a few weeks ago, and sex was the only thing he wanted, according to his hilariously inappropriate reply to her emailed question about potential gifts. That had been the last time—the only time—in the past six months that it had happened. It wasn’t that the sex was bad, really. It just felt like a wasted effort to her now. The end result should be pregnancy, and that hadn’t happened, so why couldn’t they both just watch television until one of them either died or got the nerve to file for divorce?
She once was of the mind that pregnancy would fix all their problems. A baby, she thought, would be the solution to the crumbling marriage, the lost love, and the constant bickering. But when she got the news, her first thought was “How am I going to raise a kid alone?” instead of, “Oh my god we’ll be so happy now.” That had only solidified her thoughts that the marriage wasn’t going to last, kid or no kid.
Brandon of course was as clueless as ever. An eternal optimist. Not that there was anyone else, Allison was a faithful spouse, and she wasn’t interested in other guys any way. There had been a few at the office she could have had if she wanted, and perhaps they thought they had a chance, until they experienced her brusque rejections to even the most innocuous flirting.
In fact, now that she knew she had a baby on the way, she had begun to think she wouldn’t need anyone else for a long time. She had always been a bit of a loner; someone who preferred the company of herself to others. She thought it might be fun to raise a daughter—or a son, but it would be a daughter, a mother knew—by herself. Sort of a them against the world, sitcom-type of thing. Allison smiled at the thought.
The phone buzzed again.
Alright babe, I’m pulling up to the airport. I’ll be leaving soon, I love you, and when I get back we can talk more about what I can do to stop annoying you with some of my habits, hahaha. My flight number is 298, Bismarck straight through to D.C., I’ll let you know when I land.
Allison shook her head, snapped back into reality by text. Oh well, she’d keep him in the dark until he got back.
I love you too. Be safe, and maybe just forget you’ve ever read Harry Potter, that would be a start. 😉
The message received indicator changed from Delivered to Read, but there were no dots. Well, at least he wouldn’t bother her for a couple of hours. She shook her head again, then remembered the tiny life—all the websites said she (or he) was the size of a peanut—growing inside her.
“Don’t worry,” she said under her breath, “I’ll make sure you never meet Harry Freaking Potter.”

The plane engines hiccuped once, twice, then roared back to their normal pitch. Brandon glanced up from The Goblet of Fire. He’d experienced turbulence before. This wasn’t turbulence. The in-flight map on the headrest in front of him said they were just over Michigan, getting ready to hit the final leg of the flight over Lake Erie. His view of the screen was suddenly obstructed, and it took a moment for him to recognize the object. It was the oxygen mask. He grabbed his phone from his pocket. He looked around and saw he wasn’t the only one with the thought.
“To hell with airplane mode,” he said. —
Allison glanced up from her work to gaze absently outside at the storm gathering dark clouds in the distance. It wouldn’t be awful, just another North Dakota spring shower. Maybe some lightning, maybe a few thunderclaps to make everyone here in the ten-story office building jump and give them something interesting to talk about as they passed each other coming in and out of the lavatory.
Her eyes caught her reflection in the glass—time for a haircut—then she focused on the background and a reversed image of CNN. “eirE ekaL revo nwod seog 892 thgilF :gnikaerB” is what the ticker said, and pieces of metal littered a dark blue background. Her curiosity piqued, she turned around.
“Breaking: Flight 298 goes down over Lake Erie.” It took a moment for the correctly ordered words to register. When they did, her heart jumped. She knocked over a stack of papers on her desk trying to find her phone, as an urgent knock sounded on her door and all of the lights representing different lines on her office phone lit up at once. She glanced up, still searching for her phone, and saw her boss enter the room, panic and pity etched into her face.
She felt the phone, finally. Looking down, she saw a notification.
MessagesBunnyHunch (1)
She hadn’t called Brandon that in years. Why was he still saved under that name? She pressed her shaking thumb nervously against the Home Button, hitting it twice on accident. Her Visa card came up, asking to be passed over the machine that would process her payment.
Allison cursed loudly, and pounded the button with her thumb, finally clearing her screen. She heard her boss say something, but her attention was now on the Messages icon, and the tiny red number “1” in the corner of it. She opened her messages.
It was a single line, something so simple, yet so complex, and something that perfectly encapsulated the entire marriage she was now not so sure she wanted out of.
I open at the closet. 


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I open at the closet. 
Allison pulled her phone out of her pocket and looked at the text, then looked again. It was from her husband, Brandon, and it lined up perfectly with the morning she was having: it didn’t make sense, and it kind of pissed her off.
She stared at the tiny pulsating dots at the bottom of the screen, and hoped that the forthcoming explanation would be something funny. Brandon was nothing if not funny, and at one point he made her life interesting, not that she needed any more interesting at the moment.
Hahaha, I’m sorry. 
•••
I was trying to type Allison, I love you. I am so thankful for you. You have made my life completely different from what it was just a few years ago. You are beautiful, smart, and I always hoped that you’d be the mother of my children. If I don’t see you again, just know that you were the best thing to ever happen to me. I love you. 
Panic raced through Allison’s heart as she read word after word, then read it again. She called up the keyboard and began inputting text at a blistering rate, not caring about the typos this time, he surely wouldn’t care about them this time.
•••
Before she could hit send, the three little dots popped up again, moving silently left to right, and for just a moment she was able to hear the ellipsis, boom boom boom, boom boom boom, boom boom boom, but then realized she was hearing her own heart, frenetically trying to leap out of her chest.
Allison whoah, don’t worry abou that I’m fin•••I’m fine •••I’m trying to set up an automated message on my phone, I was trying to say Allison, I love you. I am so thankful for you. You have made my life completely different from what it was just a few years ago. You are beautiful, smart, and I always hoped that you’d be the mother of my children. If I don’t see you again, just know that you were the best thing to ever happen to me. I love you.•••Ugh! I’m trying to text I open at the close but the freaking thing won’t send before it changes. •••
Allison’s anxiety faded, but her heartbeat didn’t quiet. When fear stopped pumping adrenaline through her system, chilling anger took its place, and it did a more than thorough job in fueling her outgoing text.
Why, Brandon? Why would you send me something like that? I thought you were dead or dying somewhere, why wouldn’t you just call? And what does I open at the close mean? 
•••
Allison, I’m SO sorry. I had no idea I’d saved it, and was just testing it to see if it worked. 
If WHAT worked, you idiot? 
•••
I set up a text replacement in my phone and the key phrase was “I 0pen at the close.” You know the line from Harry Potter? The one on the Golden Snitch that Harry looks at before he faces Voldemort? I just had to put a zero in ‘open’ so it wouldn’t send again.
•••
I thought it would be cool to use that as something I could text, then it would be replaced with all that other text, if, you know, if something happened to me on this trip or ever. You know? Just in case? 
Allison’s reply was sharp, and she hammered the rectangular screen as though each letter she typed was a hot coal she pressed against Brandon’s skin, and she envisioned him flinching as he read every word. She knew how important words were to him.
To be honest, the Harry Potter thing is getting a little weird. I don’t feel good, the commute was hell, and the last thing I need is my supposedly grown husband sending me texts telling me he’s dying and then telling me he’s preparing for the worst by referencing a teenager’s film series. 
There were no more dots.

Brandon sat back in his office chair, defeated. He knew Allison was going through a difficult time, and since she was going through a difficult time, so was he. He tried to lighten the mood as much as he could with humor, but that only worked so well before he became annoying. It wasn’t always that way; there was a time when Allison laughed at everything he said. He had felt like Dave Chapelle in the good years, before he got all preachy and walked away from television shows.
But the years passed quickly, and one dream after another had escaped her. College failed. The dream job failed. And finally, what she considered to be the biggest failure of all: she couldn’t get pregnant. Of course Brandon never saw that as a failure, not once, and in fact, he wasn’t even sure if he wanted kids. But Allison did.
At her insistence, they had tried for eight years to no avail. They had tried everything short of in-vitro fertilization, which was out of the realm of possibility because of the astronomical costs associated, and the risks of needing multiple treatments were too high. Adoption was out of the question because she wanted a biological child…lately it was all she wanted.
He was leaving today, heading to Washington D.C. for a work conference. Brandon was an information technologist for a mid-level security firm that did occasional work for the Department of Homeland Security, and part of his job included these trips to D.C. once a year for security briefings, which honestly would have been better disseminated in a five-paragraph email. But hey, it gave him a chance to drink a few Yuenglings, and that alone was almost worth the trip.
As for the Harry Potter obsession, he’d only recently acquired it. He was never allowed to read the series at home; his parents were convinced he’d try to put a spell on his younger brother. The movies were out of the question also, and as he got older and left the house, he never got around to either the books or the movies. That changed on his twenty-ninth birthday, when he picked up Sorcerer’s Stone. Less than two weeks had passed by the time he turned the final page of Deathly Hallows, and he was a fan for life.
Brandon was fascinated with two particular facets of the series, Harry’s loss of his parents at such an early age and his “Green Mile” moment in the final book. There were times, he admitted, when he felt like his life would have been easier with parents who were less strict, and he was certain the Dursleys were less strict than his own parents.
As Harry walked to his certain death in Deathly Hallows, Brandon couldn’t help but see the allusion to Christ walking to the cross in the final moments of His life. He also knew this was the kind of thing he could never say to his parents, or they would make his life—even his life away from home—seem like it was being orchestrated by Dolores Umbridge.
In Hallows, when he read the line “I’m ready to die,” he marveled. Here was a young boy who knew he was going to die, and he willingly walked into it in order to save the lives of his friends and extended family. In the moment, his fear of death was overshadowed by the concern he had for the well-being of those he held dearest. He’d thought about it over and over in the weeks that followed.
His phone buzzed. He looked down. It was Allison.
Babe, I’m sorry. I’m frustrated, and I took it out on you. You said a lot of nice things about me there, and even though they were meant to be your last words, it was still comforting to know that you felt that way about me, especially with all that’s been going on. And I really do want to be the mother of your children.
Brandon smiled. Maybe they were turning a corner.

Allison stared at the dots, both wondering if her apology would be accepted, and knowing the last line was a lie. Just in front of her, the television they kept tuned to CNN burbled quietly. She moved to set the phone down on her desk when it vibrated.
Hahaha, it’s okay, babe. I’m sorry for getting you worked up. It’s just something I wanted to try. I love you, too. And all that stuff is still true, btw. 
His forgiveness did nothing to lighten Allison’s spirits. To be honest, she had been hoping for a fight to help her justify the recent decision she’d made, to give her a target for her anger and frustration. She needed to lash out at Brandon because he was part of the problem right now. Not directly, of course, but he had certainly helped create the problem.
Allison was pregnant. She had found out a week ago, after a missed period that she could normally set her watch by. Fourteen years she’d had that thing, and for fourteen years it showed up at exactly the same time. When it didn’t happen last week she knew something was up, and immediately thought it was cancer. A routine blood test—“There’s no way I’m pregnant, doc, it’s cancer”—had given her even more surprising news: after eight years, she was, in fact, pregnant. And now the problem was figuring out how to tell Brandon, because two days before she’d gotten the “big” news, she had decided to leave him.
Figuring out the date of conception wasn’t difficult, Brandon’s birthday had been a few weeks ago, and sex was the only thing he wanted, according to his hilariously inappropriate reply to her emailed question about potential gifts. That had been the last time—the only time—in the past six months that it had happened. It wasn’t that the sex was bad, really. It just felt like a wasted effort to her now. The end result should be pregnancy, and that hadn’t happened, so why couldn’t they both just watch television until one of them either died or got the nerve to file for divorce?
She once was of the mind that pregnancy would fix all their problems. A baby, she thought, would be the solution to the crumbling marriage, the lost love, and the constant bickering. But when she got the news, her first thought was “How am I going to raise a kid alone?” instead of, “Oh my god we’ll be so happy now.” That had only solidified her thoughts that the marriage wasn’t going to last, kid or no kid.
Brandon of course was as clueless as ever. An eternal optimist. Not that there was anyone else, Allison was a faithful spouse, and she wasn’t interested in other guys any way. There had been a few at the office she could have had if she wanted, and perhaps they thought they had a chance, until they experienced her brusque rejections to even the most innocuous flirting.
In fact, now that she knew she had a baby on the way, she had begun to think she wouldn’t need anyone else for a long time. She had always been a bit of a loner; someone who preferred the company of herself to others. She thought it might be fun to raise a daughter—or a son, but it would be a daughter, a mother knew—by herself. Sort of a them against the world, sitcom-type of thing. Allison smiled at the thought.
The phone buzzed again.
Alright babe, I’m pulling up to the airport. I’ll be leaving soon, I love you, and when I get back we can talk more about what I can do to stop annoying you with some of my habits, hahaha. My flight number is 298, Bismarck straight through to D.C., I’ll let you know when I land.
Allison shook her head, snapped back into reality by text. Oh well, she’d keep him in the dark until he got back.
I love you too. Be safe, and maybe just forget you’ve ever read Harry Potter, that would be a start. 😉
The message received indicator changed from Delivered to Read, but there were no dots. Well, at least he wouldn’t bother her for a couple of hours. She shook her head again, then remembered the tiny life—all the websites said she (or he) was the size of a peanut—growing inside her.
“Don’t worry,” she said under her breath, “I’ll make sure you never meet Harry Freaking Potter.”

The plane engines hiccuped once, twice, then roared back to their normal pitch. Brandon glanced up from The Goblet of Fire. He’d experienced turbulence before. This wasn’t turbulence. The in-flight map on the headrest in front of him said they were just over Michigan, getting ready to hit the final leg of the flight over Lake Erie. His view of the screen was suddenly obstructed, and it took a moment for him to recognize the object. It was the oxygen mask. He grabbed his phone from his pocket. He looked around and saw he wasn’t the only one with the thought.
“To hell with airplane mode,” he said. —
Allison glanced up from her work to gaze absently outside at the storm gathering dark clouds in the distance. It wouldn’t be awful, just another North Dakota spring shower. Maybe some lightning, maybe a few thunderclaps to make everyone here in the ten-story office building jump and give them something interesting to talk about as they passed each other coming in and out of the lavatory.
Her eyes caught her reflection in the glass—time for a haircut—then she focused on the background and a reversed image of CNN. “eirE ekaL revo nwod seog 892 thgilF :gnikaerB” is what the ticker said, and pieces of metal littered a dark blue background. Her curiosity piqued, she turned around.
“Breaking: Flight 298 goes down over Lake Erie.” It took a moment for the correctly ordered words to register. When they did, her heart jumped. She knocked over a stack of papers on her desk trying to find her phone, as an urgent knock sounded on her door and all of the lights representing different lines on her office phone lit up at once. She glanced up, still searching for her phone, and saw her boss enter the room, panic and pity etched into her face.
She felt the phone, finally. Looking down, she saw a notification.
MessagesBunnyHunch (1)
She hadn’t called Brandon that in years. Why was he still saved under that name? She pressed her shaking thumb nervously against the Home Button, hitting it twice on accident. Her Visa card came up, asking to be passed over the machine that would process her payment.
Allison cursed loudly, and pounded the button with her thumb, finally clearing her screen. She heard her boss say something, but her attention was now on the Messages icon, and the tiny red number “1” in the corner of it. She opened her messages.
It was a single line, something so simple, yet so complex, and something that perfectly encapsulated the entire marriage she was now not so sure she wanted out of.
I open at the closet. 


(Hey guys and gals. It’s Memoir Monday time! This is where you write down a story about yourself, steal my button down there, drink a beer, and call it all a win. The only rule is that it has to be true, other than that, there are no rules. I need you to join this week! Once you post, let me know, and I will link you up down there for all my kick ass bloggy followers to go and read! Y’all are the greatest, and I love you. If you want to see all the Memoir Monday posts, just click on the brand new button!!)image

I really don’t like American Airlines.

This hasn’t always been the case, and truth be told, wasn’t even the case when I took off from Tulsa. Although it sort of blossomed there. Let’s go back to the beginning…

It was Tuesday morning. Our flight was a 9:45 in the morning and I didn’t want to be late. We left our house at 8 to make the hour drive to the airport. When we got there we were met by a sweet little old lady that was around 237 years old. I don’t remember her name, but she had a voice that you’d want in your head all the time.

“Let’s just go right over here, guys. Okay, we’re just gonna slide this card right in here…okay, now see? It’s not charging you anything at all, no it’s not. It’s just checkin to see who you are. That’s right. See? Yeah, just finding out who you are. Is this you, Alicia? Well isn’t that just a pretty name? And are you Travis? Yes you are. So we’re just going to push a few more buttons…and there you go! Look at you! All booked up! How easy was that? Yes it was.”

I’m pretty sure she scratched my head and kissed me on the cheek. I loved that lady.

However, that was the last nice person we met.

Enter airport security.

Yeah. I haven’t flown since the 9/11. I’ve heard all the jokes about security, but I just thought maybe they were exaggerations. I was wrong.

We just tried to do what everyone else did, but for me, that wasn’t good enough. I left my cell phone strapped to my belt and my money clip in my pocket.

I beeped.

“Do you have any metal on your person?”
“Umm… Yes?”
“Is that a cell phone?”
“Yeah.”
(shakes head) “Sir, you ought to know you can can’t carry that through a metal detector. And a money clip? Sir.”
“Can we please take it easy on the people who haven’t flown before?”

At this point, a line started to form behind me, and I’m pretty sure I saw the glint of a sniper scope in a birds nest ready to take my head off, so I quit my bitching, stripped balls naked and did the helicopter with my cash and prizes through the detector.

Okay, not really.

We were seated together for our 2 flights to New York. I gave her both the window seats on the way, so that I could get them on the way back, not knowing what would happen…

The seats on airplanes are really small. I will use a quote from Family Guy about “Anal Point” as a reference. “It’s like a really small parking space. At first you think there is no way you’ll get in, but then you tuck in the side mirrors, and whadda ya know, you’re in there.”

I got the buckle on in my first 2 flights with some trouble, but not much.

We landed in New York, and the trip happened, which is another blog for another day. Then we got snowed in a day. So our flight (and EVERYONE ELSE’S EVER) were switched to Thursday out of Newark, NJ airport.

That flight was headed to a layover in Chicago, and I got a window seat.

But.

Since there were so many people, we wound up getting this response to what turned out wasn’t actually a ticket in our hand.

“Folks, you’re promised a spot on the plane, but only if there aren’t enough people on it already and only if that guy over there by the window comes up to me and tells me that a pink cow has just wandered across the tarmac carrying a suitcase full of oranges and wanting a connecting flight to Montana.”

Um. Yeah.

It wasn’t that bad. But it was pretty close. I’ll spare you the details of the wait, but I had a long talk with Ginger Mandy while I was there. If you don’t read her blog, you should. (shameless blog plug, FTW!)

I also tried to purchase a t-shirt to wear home because I was wearing a hoodie with a sleeveless shirt under it. At the place of business I was in, I said, “Do y’all have anything bigger than an XL?” The attendant said, “No.” And I said, “Do y’all not get many fat people through Jersey?” The room went completely quiet. So yeah. I guess being husky isn’t allowed in the Newark airport. And while it may be tolerated, jokes about it certainly aren’t.

Since EVERYONE AND THEIR FUCKING MOTHER is utilizing carry-on space now, and since we were in GROUP FUCKING SIX and pretty much the last people on the plane, it so happened that they ran out of carry on space, and we had to check our bag. I was furious, but what can you do?

We got on seats near the front of the coach section, close enough to smell what first class was getting to eat, which pissed me off. I also couldn’t get my seatbelt buckled on this plane. Which adds credit to my theory that they don’t like fatties in Jersey. I tried for 20 minutes to get the flight attendant’s attention, but she was up front suckin off the first class people. I finally got the extender, (heh) and I calmed down a bit.

Then we just sat there.

And we sat there.

And we were just sitting there and I was starting to get the swamp thighs because I have husky thighs and they don’t like to be stuck together for that long because they start to sweat and make my balls feel like they’re in a humidifier and that’s no good for anyone.

Then the captain comes on.

“Folks, this is your captain and I just want to say that we are currently waiting on the catering for this flight. It was supposed to be catered in Chicago, but it has to be done here. I know that currently one of our fat coach passengers is suffering a case of sweaty balls, and I’d just like you to all join me in making fun of him for being fat and asking for the seatbelt extender.”

Cue laughter.

Not really, but he did say the part about the catering. We were waiting on the damn FOOD. My thing is, if I’m the fattest person on the plane, and I can go 2 hours without cramming food down my gullet, then you can too. That’s real.

Finally we took off, and get to Chicago without incident. We go through a similar ticket experience. We find out that we aren’t sitting together, which upsets me, but then The Missus pulls off the best bullshit she has EVER done.

“What seat do you want?”
“Well, I want the window seat. You owe me.”
“Okay.” (pretends to do some calculating) “They’re both window seats.”
“That’s fine, just pick one and I’ll take the other.”
“Okay, I want this one because it will board quicker.”

She boards the plane.

Then I board the plane.

As I am walking to my seat, I look up at the chart, and I find out that my seat is NOT a window seat.

That’s okay, because it’s an aisle seat.

NOT.

I AM IN THE MIDDLE FUCKING SEAT.

So of course I start wondering what the people in the seats beside me will think about a 350 pound guy sitting  next to them. As it turns out, that should have been the least of my worries. You see, the man to my left weighed about 350 pounds, and the man to my right probably tipped the scale at about the 300 mark.

Did you read that?

That’s 1000 pounds of man in one row.

Have you ever driven a car that’s really needing alignment, and you almost have to keep the wheel turned the whole time you’re driving so that it keeps the car going straight?

Yeah. I’m pretty sure that’s what the captain had to do to balance us out THE ENTIRE FLIGHT.

I plopped down between those two fatties, and we formed a super suction seating arrangement that allowed me to not even have to fasten my seat belt. If that plane had crashed, our row would have been the safest one on the plane. The g forces required to suck me out of that spot cannot be calculated even by the smartest of computers. It was the safest I’d felt the entire trip.

The Missus? She was in a window seat at the back of plane chatting it up with a Chapel Hill fan.

I pulled out my iPod to try to make the trip go by faster, but lo and behold, the guy to my left wanted to chat it up about everything from what I did for a living, to what I was doing in New York, to how my dad died. Seriously. I’m going to let everyone here know what the etiquette is when someone behind you puts on a pair of headphones.

You ready?

SHUT THE HELL UP!

There. You’re all caught up, and now you know why I hate American Airlines.

Other Non-Squished Flights Down Memory Lane: (GO READ THEM!)

Bambi’s Memoir Monday: And This Is Your Name?

BigSis’ Memoir Monday: Old And Dried Up? Not Yet!

Greg’s Memoir Monday: At The Train Station.

Corrie’s Memoir Monday: The Unimaginable Happened.

Josh’s Memoir Monday: Inked.

Daffy’s Memoir Monday: If You Can’t Take The Heat, Get Outta The Kitchen.

Kat’s Memoir Monday: Memories.

Kate’s Memoir Monday: Busted. (again)

Juicebox’s Memoir Monday: Old School Style.

LB’s Memoir Monday: More Mardi Gras Mayhem.

Scribe’s Memoir Monday: Welcome To The Chop Shop.