Monday, April 14, 2008

Nancy of Shreveport

Okay, I’ve had some bizarre travel experiences…who hasn’t? When I was flying from Minneapolis to Amsterdam, I sat next to a couple in their 50s who had never been on a plane in their lives. (“Looky there! It’s got seatbelts just like a car!”) We were in the front row of steerage and could see first class. I had to break it to them that the flight attendant wasn’t going to come back and give us champagne. I don’t think I made it past the Great Lakes before I moved to an empty seat.

By far the most annoying person I’ve ever been seated next to was Nancy of Shreveport, Louisiana. Yes, even now, seven years later I know her name. She said it about 20 times. Does anyone think it’s appropriate to proselytize on a cross-country flight? ‘Cause Nancy did. She plopped down next to me and my then two-year-old daughter, introduced herself and started talking about her boss, the Jewish carpenter. After we were up the air, I broke into our food supply. Sadly, it had been most of a day spent in an airport and my daughter’s lunch consisted of four Chicken McNuggets and a bad looking banana. As I opened the box of nuggets, Nancy leaned over and said, “I sure am hungry, little girl. I didn’t get a chance to eat my lunch.” I started to respond that hello, this was a child’s lunch but before I could finish, my daughter had surreptitiously taken a small bite out of each nugget. (You gotta teach ‘em young to guard their food.) I found this rather funny, but Nancy found it to be very un-Christian and told us in no uncertain terms. She forgave us, though, because she’s like that.

It was a long flight during which she offered us her lip balm (ewww!), gave my daughter a fistful of nickels (for the slots?) and tried to hold our hands and pray. She also talked on the phone with her boyfriend, “a sensitive man who’s a real sh*t, you know the type?”

Wishes for Nancy P: I hope things worked out with you and Mr. Sensitive Sh*t. I hope he got his money back for the leather jacket that you just hated. I hope he finally figured out that you can’t be bought off with stupid sh*t like that. Mostly though, I hope that you’ve developed an intense aversion to air travel. But, as you requested, if I’m ever in Shreveport, I’ll look you up. Somehow I don’t think I will be.

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