Thanksgiving Eve--Misadventure at the Airport
Thanksgiving Eve Episode
It's every man's fantasy getting to lure his ex-wife out into oncoming traffic.
I, my friends, am here to tell the story.
Outside the airport terminal, where the hurly-burly of the madcap pre-holiday passengers, reunions, luggage, and shoving clash;
there, in a frenzied, Herculean effort to get into and out of the hell-zone of airport chaos;
my former spouse and I (hefting a 90lb chunk of luggage with it's too short "long handle" and "rollers" (probably square wheels) had but one simple task to accomplish.
"What is this task", I hear you asking?
My ex and I had to cross the KILL ZONE of traffic which loops around the Airport (craftily named "terminal") like the river Styx, and reach the
"Garage A" parking lot to fetch the car and go back into the hellish nightmare to retrieve her parents.
Sounds pretty simple, eh?
YOU FOOLS! Why would you think that??!!
My brilliant plan was noble, altruistic, and lunatic.
By saving her parents the ridiculous journey to the garage on foot, through trial and travail, we could escape the riot of airport insanity faster than otherwise.
"Yes, yes--go on, go on," I hear you breathlessly urging me to the action sequence about to erupt.
Very well, we're almost there!
I had, like all great masterminds of history, (Napoleon, the Unabomber, and Ernst Stavros Blofeld) had not reckoned on the flip-the-script disaster of hubris.
I didn't KNOW HOW to find my way back to the garage.
There! I said it.
Go ahead and nitpick.
So--(here is the important point) BEING A MAN--I ignored commonsense to achieve my goal even if a horrible death resulted. (Hey, a lousy plan is better than none at all, right?)
I urged my Ex (now capitalized as she achieves center stage status in my story) to bolt out into oncoming traffic as a canary in the coal mine scientific experiment!
Surely, I mused, fine citizens of Texas wouldn't run her over.
(I see the best in others. I'm just that kinda guy.
As all properly programmed former Christian men will tell you, I knew I must now step up and take the lead!
(Or admit failure. Shee-it, no!)
I bolted out into the troubled river of headlights, honking horns, screams of abuse, shaking fists, and snaked between vehicles jerking at that damned luggage as I progressed.
When I reached the other side there was a wall and only inches of safe space. I am wider than mere inches.
This was certain doom!
I twisted my neck to capture a glimpse of my Ex-wife for that final snapshot of appreciation I was sure to see emblazoned on her grateful face.
Here I was, sacrificing myself, my a career as a writer, a crow wrangler, gigolo and Parcheesi champ to save her parents an exhausting trek to the parking garage.
I would be crushed by the fender of an errant Buick any second now--but at least I'd have died in the way all men crave to depart this life: as a damn fool stubborn hero.
She was shaking her head in disgust and probably yelling, "Don't let the luggage get scratched!" as the thud of my body
colliding with disaster filled the air with manly screams.
Her lips were pursed in the classic "What a Putz" expression only former marriage mates have mastered.
A lady in a bulky black sedan rolled down her window and screamed, "Are you trying to get to the garage? Go back and take the pedestrian tunnel, it's the only way."
Surely this was a sign from Zeus, the gods had not abandoned our hero in his moment of triumph of will over practical common sense.
I thanked the angel of mercy and made a turnabout into oncoming traffic, dodging headlights, bumpers, and horns.
Heck--I was like O.J. in his football days. (Before he murdered his wife.)
We made our way through the pedestrian tunnel and located the car.
Mission accomplished, right?
A phone call in the car from her mother introduced a plot twist so diabolical only a Hollywood writer could have dreamed it up while high on absinthe.
My Ex's father had vanished!
My former father-in-law suddenly realized he had lost his Dopp Kit.
I know what you are thinking. "What's a Dopp Kit?"
That's not important at this moment. No.
Whatever a Dopp Kit might be, this man would risk everything to go back to the airplane and retrieve it!
Sure. Sure. You're probably imagining this is a fool's errand and it is impossible to get the damned Dopp Kit back from the frickin' airplane.
You'd imagine correctly.
I knew it. His wife knew it. His daughter knew it.
But--dammit--he is a MAN! We live for such moments--haven't I made this clear enough???
We pulled up to the curb and mother-in-law clamored into the car heaving curses and bringing down lightning bolts of reproach upon the husband who dashed away and left her all alone with hundreds of strangers as he quested for his beloved "precious" Dopp Kit like a latter-day Smeagle.
As the luggage is being hefted into the hatch of the car, the car phone rings and it is HIM, the wayward wandering seeker after Dopp!
He's yelling something.
His wife is yelling.
His daughter interrupts the yelling. She's yelling.
And now a summary:
1. Father-in-law is disgusted with being yelled at.
2. His wife wants to ditch him and go home.
3. My Ex has had enough. Too much of enough.
4. I'm thinking of all the sins I'm paying off in punishment and beginning to think I might end up in a penthouse in heaven.
5. We drive back to the garage to hibernate until the mysterious journey to the Land of Dopp Kit is completed.
6. My Ex needs to relieve her bladder most mightily.
7. I assure her this will trigger the phone call from her Dad because I've seen lots of awful disaster movies. She'll be gone to pee and her Dad will be waiting for us to snatch him and his Dopp off the curbside with much petulance.
8. My Ex leaves on a quest of her own, leaving me in the car with the much-disgruntled Mother-in-Law. (Imagine your own conversation at this point.)
9. Suddenly, my Ex returns.
10. Her Dad phoned her-- has returned to the curb outside and is waiting.
11. The bladder rageth with fulsome plentitude as we exit the garage and tunnel through headlights, horns, and traffic toward the missing member of our Suicide Squad.
We reach the magic moment: our Finale.
Father-in-law climbs into the car and we speed away from the airport "TERMINAL" with much haste.
I head for the nearest bathroom in a nearby chicken franchise.
When relief has trickled its way into quietude, this car filled with escapees from Hellzapoppin finally hear the answer to the burning question we've all waited for.
What is a F**KING DOPP KITT that a man will abandon wife and daughter to seek it out in an impossible moment in time at a busy airport after a flight from New Orleans?
"Did you find the Dopp Kit?"
"What exactly is a Dopp Kit?"
"A shaving bag."
"Does it contain family heirlooms crafted in fine gold and silver?"
(Insert long drive home here. Insert me drinking like a sailor on shore leave when I get back home.)
Thus endeth my mighty tale of Thanksgiving Eve.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING Everybody!
Brilliant ! So human.... To some extent we have all been there .. but not so much and never so funny . I think the word is schadenfreude !
(I identify with the wife having a "bladder moment" at the very worst time.)
When she was pregnant, her bladder back then would hold about a tablespoon full of liquid before EMERGENCY was declared.
There's nothing more fun than being around an old married couple arguing. Except, of course, getting to risk your life and waste 4 hours picking them up at a busy airport.
My father-in-law told us the story of the man (He had met him at a gathering of devout Jews, back in the day) who invented the kit.
"Who is that man everybody is making such a fuss over?"
"Oh, that's Chares Doppelt. He made a lot of money off his invention. It's not the amount of money he earned which as accrued such respect and deference you are seeing here at the temple. It is the amount of $$ he has pledged! Now THAT will set you up for some real keester smooching."
Charles Doppelt, a leather-smith from Germany invented this handy little bag made out of leather back in the early 20th century. It was introduced as a “toilet bag”, however, over the years, a more appropriate name of “Dopp Kit” became more and more widely used. In American culture, the word "toilet" has more of a dirty connotation to it. During the second world war, the Dopp kit became widely popular as these kits were introduced into the military. Samsonite purchased Doppelt's company in the 1970s in order to produce and register a trademark on the Dopp kit.
And that,s my friend is why we started using this service each time we fly to and from DFW, to save aggravation from all involved. It,s amazing how they know their way around the multiple "terminals" and we can sit and relax as they smile and work us for a good tip...
This airport is LOVE FIELD where Southwest Airlines is based.
Today is Thanksgiving and I decided to feed myself the old-fashioned way.
What is it like to stand in line outside (to go stand in line inside) for a Thanksgiving cafeteria meal?
This is a question I can now answer!
First off, in previous years I've attempted to eat at LUBY's cafeteria on Thanksgiving and the line was always longer than Disneyland's Pirates of the Carribean ride.
The geriatric cavalcade of blue-haired grannies, balding dudes who remember Hoover as President and who display bellies in the 4th Trimester, queued up ahead and behind me.
These folks share one common trait. If they can't complain about something then life jest ain't worth livin'.
For instance? They are hungry and it is somebody else's fault.
I saw some sneaky human beans pretending to wander to the front of the line and penetrate the entrance as champion line-cutters.
WHAT A MISTAKE!
The starving old coots would not stand for such feckless folly!
The codgers surrounded the offending miscreants and used their canes and walkers as cudgels to pound them into dog food. Hardly a scrap of human flesh remained.
I was impressed.
The rest of us applauded. We spend so much time streaming soap operas and watching CSI re-runs, we consider violence and murder mere entertainment.
I had the foresight to accept my roommate (the cute one) Terry's offer of a stale jelly donut this morning. It was harder than a Baptist's head.
But, I accepted it with uncommon grace as I microwaved it on high for half an hour but when I took it out--it was fatter and heavier, possibly in violation of most of the Laws of Physics.
I consumed it (as locusts might well say) with appreciative heartburn.
So, standing in line at LUBY's was no problem as far as suffering starvation is concerned. Three pounds of sugar is like a whole season of BREAKING BAD rolled into a half hour of flashes of high-octane energy.
Once I pushed my way inside (scattering wheelchairs and dispirited white-haired fogies) and observed the timeworn patrons shouting repeatedly to the servers their list of demands (like Cuban hijackers), how they wanted it, and yelling for "MORE GRAVY," I knew I was in for some distractions.
1. The guy in line ahead of me who wouldn't acknowledge any of my conversation turned out to be Croation. Some excuse!
2. The food servers, if given weapons, might have caused some damage.
3. Soggy turkey and soggy ham aint' my idea of a tasty treat. I opted for fried fish with extra tartar sauce. In other words, a half-serving.
4. I declined a drink or dessert. That would have added another five or ten bucks to the bill. Momma didn't raise no stoopid childrin.
5. I ate quickly and exited, satisfied our Pilgrim forefathers probably annoyed the hell out of the indigenous peoples with demands for "MORE GRAVY."
All in all, it beats sitting down at a large table with pesky relatives waiting on some straggler to wander in and take their seat so the REST of us can eat our cold food.
And that's the cork in the bottle of that Thanksgiving experience!