Saturday, January 9, 2016

Passenger of the Day: Do Fries Come with that Shake?

A snowy day in Chicago
Nothing like flying over the holidays. Most people are in good spirits. They are on vacation off to visit loved ones they've not seen in some time. It's such a joy to be around those we love and miss, enjoying great meals together, exchanging gifts, playing games, singing songs, full of good cheer.

There are, however, holiday travelers who are the complete opposite. The holidays are stressful. They have to visit family, those miserable judgmental miscreants responsible for years of therapy and perhaps the biggest reason, besides a fear of flying, for now traveling with a service animal yapping at crew instead of flying with a more silent stress relieving stuffed bunny, which just looks ridiculous with that ensemble they are wearing to show up Aunt Bealle and that horrid pleather outfit she wears in an attempt to look 20 years younger. And if that's not one of the longest sentences I've ever written, it must be true!

One of the best parts of the holidays for people on a budget is shopping the post holiday sales. After just landing in Denver, I found myself in line at a store offering up big discounts. It's rare to find big discounts in an airport, but who wants to buy Santa scarves and snowman socks in May? I found myself looking at tired ornaments, frayed garland and stale cards with enough glitter to make a fairy puke. Maybe it was the bustle of the other shoppers, but I found a reason to be standing in line to make a purchase.

The woman in front of me had an armload of finds. She was a pleasant woman who offered a smile as I took my place behind her. The woman at the register wore a sweatshirt, which, surely was once as white as snow, but now looked like it had missed the weekly laundry for about 4 months. Her hair was a most unnatural color, something between a blonde and red; a look achieved after a few too many hair colorings.

A plane and ugly snow
She had been at the register for some time when the woman in front of me asked somewhat to herself, but out loud, if Miss Sweatshirt was changing her mind. It seemed as if she was buying items and returning them. Miss Sweatshirt turned to look at the woman in front of me, with a blank stare. She turned back to the cashier and said, “Don't shake your head at me.” For a split second I thought they might have known one another. The woman in front of me seemed nice enough, and her comment didn't at all sound rude. But Miss Sweatshirt turned again and with a face as ugly as that damned sweatshirt, she said, “You just keep shaking your head until if falls off your ugly body.”

It must have been the sudden shock at such hostility that had inside voice revolt its role and suddenly I found myself saying out loud, “Now, there's no need to get rude.” Others in line were just as appalled and the woman just behind me said, “I'm shaking my head...look, I'm shaking my head!”

Taking a look at the other line, I decided to move over to give it a try. No drama was to be found here. The cashier was cheery and very quickly I was on my way out. Having to walk past the other cashier with the old grump, Miss Sweatshirt was still in line doing whatever it was that she had been doing. The pleasant woman in front of me had also left that line. I have to admit, I found myself shaking my head; and no, it did not fall off my ugly body!

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