First of all I'd like to thank the Denver International Airport for the free wi-fi, without which, I would not, at this very moment, be able to tell you about the flight I literally just walked off of.
United Flight 156.
Albuquerque to Denver.
Just when I thought all the funny had left my life...
The lady next to me strapped Tigger into the empty seat between us.
Then, she used hand motions and verbal reinforcement to teach him the safety rules.
I was so stunned at first I couldn't even laugh. But then, I had laughter steaming out of my ears and trying to come out of my eyeballs. I have not been this tickled in a long, long time.
She whispered things to Tigger the whole flight.
And she talked to her husband, in the seat directly behind her, the whole flight.
And she smacked her gum... the kind of smacking you would do if you'd possibly like to lose a tooth or if you'd like the pilot to hear you or if you believe your smacking, might, in some small way help the plane stay in the air... she did that kind of gum smacking the entire trip.
So did her husband.
And when his ginger ale came out... he slurped. The kind of loud, prolonged slurping sound that an Ogre or hairy bushy mountain man makes after he's sucked down rabbit-feet stew. He slurps and slurps. And now I'm trying to get secret pictures of Tigger and audio of the slurping so that the rest of the world can know that these people were real....
and then he belches.
The nastiest belch I've ever heard.
And I have never had to laugh so bad in my whole life.
I'm biting my lips and trying to take deep breaths, the kind you take after a bad contraction when you have just tried to push a small, slimy head out of your body... I was taking those kinds of breaths and I was trying to think of something sad. Anything sad.
I was trying to focus on the horrible smell that seemed to be lingering in my part of the plane.
Trying to think of my third grade birthday party where no one showed up except the next door neighbor who gave me a used Barbie doll with lice and caused me to have to take baths with my sisters for months while mom and dad tried to get critters out of our heads.
I tried thinking of that.
Death. I can almost always think of a good funeral... so I tried to think about death... and it was starting to work but just as I got my laughter under control and zipped up tight in my mouth, the old man behind me (the slurper's seat mate) who had literally been singing "da-da-da-dee-dee" in a grumbly low voice for the entire flight said,
"Well, now that we're in the air, I'll need to get my bag out. My wife packed a fresh meatloaf sandwich for me and my tongue is excited!"
I lost it.
Shoulders uncontrollably shaking. Legs bouncing. Hands hitting my knees. I could not control myself any longer. I buried my head in my lap and died laughing.
The lady next to me leaned over and began whispering to Tigger.
Up until this point I did not realize that he was a Native American Tigger wrapped in a traditional headdress and outfit, but I was at eye level with him now, and realized he was wearing a small backpack and traditional Native American garb.
And, let's not forget, he is STRAPPED INTO THE SEAT BELT.
I felt like I was trapped on a flight that would end up being a Stephen King movie. If the universe were to suck up a plane and keep it frozen in time to commemorate the weirdness of humanity... this was the flight. I was on it. And I was surrounded by the three biggest nut balls I've ever experienced in my life.
The flight was only 50 minutes long.
The old man ate his meatloaf sandwich, and on the way out, the teenager two seats in front of me pulled out a family size bag of Popeye's Chicken from the overhead compartment.
Full of chicken.
Meatloaf. Chicken. Tigger. And a lady who whispered the entire set of emergency directions to her friend and checked to make sure his seat belt was secure. Did I mention she reclined his chair?
She reclined his chair.
Long live the crazies.