2012.01.18 Flying with strangers is good for a laugh

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

Level 3, Brown, Zone E4

I texted that to three people when we parked at the Big Blue garage at Detroit Metro before flying to Savannah a couple weeks ago. And David wrote it on a piece of paper. And I repeated it over and over to myself until I had a chance to also write it down.

But do you think we could find our car when we arrived back in Detroit? We walked all over hell and half of Georgia, suitcases in tow, listening for the honking as David pressed the alarm button on the remote car door opener, before realizing that we needed to lug our suitcases up a flight of stairs. 

Echolocation is not the easiest thing in the Big Blue, but we’d probably still be there searching for our car if not for that alarm button. We’re in the market for a new-to-us car and, after this episode, “remote car door opener” rose to the top of the list of required features in any vehicle we buy. 

Locating our vehicle was the only blip in a very lovely long weekend in Savannah—except for GMO Guy.

We changed planes in Charlotte on our way to Savannah and sat across from a long-winded guy who seemed a bit full of himself—and full of talk about GMOs. His poor seatmate—she patiently listened as he went on and on about his company and what they were doing with the latest generation of seeds and how they were modifying them.

They were both around 60, I’d say, she with a long, long faded blonde braid all the  way down her back, dressed in cotton and wools and looking very earthy. GMO Guy finally took a breather and seemed to assess his captive.

“Do you understand genetics at all?” he asked.

“Well, I went to Oberlin...” she said, her voice trailing off, as if that explained why she might not understand what this guy was telling her.

Oberlin is a liberal arts college and conservatory of music in Ohio known for its academic and musical excellence and its commitment to social justice, sustainability, and diversity. If genetics was among the course offerings, Blonde Braid didn’t sign up.

But she was a real trouper of a seatmate, nodding her head and interjecting with an occasional “Huh,” and an “Oh,” and an “Ah.” She was reading “The Universe is a Green Dragon: A Cosmic Creation Story.” I never heard of it, but I’m guessing someone reading that probably isn’t tremendously interested in plant genetics.

He was reading “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” a book that says, I’m a literary kind of guy, a nice guy, a you-don’t-have-to-worry-about-me kind of guy. A book that wouldn’t let you know he was going to talk non-stop about genetic engineering. 

Planes are such weird places. You’re stuck. You’re sitting next to people you don’t know, cramped together for hours. It’s a rare plane ride these days when you can move to another seat; most flights I’ve been on this past year have been totally full.

But plane rides (especially on Southwest), are often a good source for an unexpected laugh. Flight attendants with a good sense of humor make flying so worthwhile.

As we took our seats on the return flight home, I noticed two high school boys a couple rows ahead of us rapidly scarfing down hamburgers as the rest of the passengers boarded.

Before the plane left the gate, one of the flight attendants was making her way down the aisle, helping passengers and closing the overhead bins.

She reached her hand out toward the boys as if to collect their McDonald’s bags. They each gobbled one more big bite and were putting the rest of the sandwich in the bag before handing it to her.

“Did you all see them giving me their food?!” she exclaimed to all of us within earshot.

The flight attendant looked bemused. 

“You boys need to know your rights!” she said. 

“I didn’t want your garbage, I just wanted a bite of your sandwich,” she joked.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Front.batter

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017