March Slice of Life No. 6.
Travel Journal — You can’t make this stuff up!
I am at Gate A22, waiting to board my last flight, PHX to PDX. Travelers are beginning the first steps of the boarding dance, pushing in toward the ropes that define the boarding lanes. Just behind me are two couples. Their banter rises and falls on the airport hum. There’s occasional laughter.
I muse about traveling for pleasure, of traveling with companions. Maybe someday. I’ve traveled a lot. I mean a lot! My mileage account is approaching the six million mile mark. But most of it has been alone. Perhaps someday, I muse.
The foursome pushes closer, and I find myself intentionally listening in. Some would say I am eavesdropping.
I think, this is too good and there is no way I will remember it. WIth iPhone in my hand, I open Notes and begin to transcribe.
Didya know, when you’re over 70 you don’t have to take off your shoes? That young man on TSA said I didn’t look like I was 70 years old. I said, “Look at my license! My birth year is 1945. Do the math, young man!”
I can hear a smile in her voice.
When I went through that scanner, I set it off. The TSA person asked me if I had anything in my pocket. I had a piece of paper and some lip balm in my pocket. I put them in that little dish thing. Then I went through the scanner again. And it beeped again. That’s when I realized my phone was in my other pocket.
They both laugh, and Lady 1 says something I don’t catch.
Oh, I didn’t tell you. Once I went through that scanner and the TSA person asked me what kind of white powder I had on my right shoulder.
I’m all ears now.
Lady 2 continues:
I told her, “None.” She said, “Are you sure?” I said, “Yes, there’s none.” She sent me through the scanner again to look. Then she said, “Hmm… I think you need to see your doctor.”
Really?! What did you do?
I discreetly lean in. The airport noise is increasing and I don’t want to miss any part of this story.
I made an appointment. I told my doctor that TSA said there was something on my shoulder. Ends up, I have a large calcium deposit on my shoulder.
Lady 1 replies, but I can’t hear her.
Lady 2 laughs:
My doctor said it was the first time TSA had ever diagnosed one of his patients.
Wow! So did you show your doctor the TSA X-rays.
What? TSA doesn’t just hand you X-rays to take to your doctor. My doctor had X-rays done.
Ladies and gentlemen. At this time we would like to begin boarding flight 952, service to Portland. Group 1 is welcome to board . . .
I’m still smiling as I step from the jet bridge into the cabin of the plane. You simply can’t make this stuff up!
Alice, I love to listen in on conversations. I hear an amazing one at PT – men banter that shocked me because it was in an open space. Your slice made me think of that. Your travel photo is amazing. Would you like to offer that for my winter gallery? (Maybe a poem on travel could accompany it???)
Loved this slice. Overheard snippets of conversation can be so rewarding. My wife and I still remember lines we heard in public places 30 years ago — especially those from the awkward first date conversations that happen at the adjacent table, for example.
Oh, yes, restaurants are good listening places. Problem today is so many people are on their screens, there isn’t much audible conversation.
Sometimes it is just fun to quietly listen to other’s conversations. Sometimes it is also hard to keep a straight face. You are right, these things can’t be made up.
And I wanted to watch their faces while they talked… but the way we were standing, it would probably have been considered rude.
You are certainly living a writerly life Alice. While others might call this eavesdropping you are simply doing human research! This was so great, I felt like I was right there with you at boarding. And OH that picture of Mt. Hood is gorgeous. Great wake-up slice today. Thanks.
So glad you enjoyed it, Paula. I like that “human research.”
Eavesdropping… I think it’s just something writers do.
I love the Mt. Hood photo.
Thank you, Diane.
The photo is absolutely breathtaking – if I find myself just wanting to sit and stare at it, imagine how I’d be taking in the full majesty of the real thing! This is a fun and lively slice, although I am a bit horrified by the scanner being strong enough to pick up a body’s calcium deposit -!
I thought it was kinda scary also. I’ve always avoid them. That’s why I keep my Global membership so I can always be TSA Pre-checked and only get sent through the smaller units.
At a recent shower I hosted, when I asked the older mothers present to write down a suggestion for the new Mom-to-be, her advice was; write down the things your child says that are funny or unusual. They make for great memories. I think that was great advice!
Thank you, Barbara. Definitely need to write these anecdotes down. We think we will remember, but we don’t.
So true. Most of what we say we can’t make up. I think about that in my classroom all the time. The stuff I say really should get written down. the other day I told a third grader that he could come back to class when he was ready to be human!
The same is true at home with my kids. I was at a piano competition with my 11-year old on Saturday. Our two neighbor girls asked their mom if they could be dropped off to listen. The youngest brought a squishy poop — like a 3D emoji. I found myself saying ridiculous things in public with a totally straight face. “Nora, let me hold your poop while you go to the bathroom.” later on… “Nora, where is your poop? Did you forget it in the concert hall?” Oh my.
Thanks for the post. It reminds me to write down the dialogue of life. It is much better than anything I could think up!
Hahaha! I think you have a good slice idea here.