As regular readers of the blog may know, I was invited to this year’s Miami Book Fair. It was a wonderful experience–an honor to be invited and a pleasure to present. Air travel in our modern world, however, is always somewhat of an adventure.
Damn Shoe Bomber–Ruined it for Everyone
I have sensitive heels, so I own twice as many heel cups as I own shoes (do the math!). Other than Dr. Scholl, it’s hard to imagine that anyone is any more disappointed than I that you can’t wear gel heel cups onto an airplane. Stupid shoe bomber.
Do You Want Some O’s?
Jokes about crying babies on airplanes are as common as comments about the weather at the bank (have you noticed that tellers always want to know what it’s like outside?), but, of course, there was a child (around two years old) seated in the row right behind me for my two-hour-plus flight from Miami to Philadelphia (insert cheesesteak joke here). It wasn’t the child who was the problem, though; it was the parents.
Every time the child, who was very well behaved, made the slightest noise, the parents tried desperately to pacify him with “O’s.” I don’t know what these o’s were, but these parents were obsessed with them. Maybe they were Oreos. Maybe they were Cheerios. Maybe they were cold spaghetti o‘s. I don’t know, but I won’t be eating anything round any time soon. Do you want some o’s, sweetie? Do you want some o’s little man? How ’bout some o’s, little boy? That’s right. This special alphabetized child was both a little boy and a little man, and he didn’t want any o’s.
I heard about the o’s over Florida. I heard about the o’s over the Atlantic Ocean. I heard about the o’s over the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and I heard about the o’s over the Chesapeake Bay. Of course, the parents didn’t ask about the magical o’s in a normal voice–they used that silly high-pitched voice that almost all parents slip into when they talk to a child, and it was mixed with that slightly louder voice that parents often use when they’re trying to attract attention to how cute they and their children are when they interact as if they were, indeed, the first people to ever have had a child or that this child is cuter than any child who has ever been born.
Anyway, when they weren’t asking the boy if he wanted o’s, they were asking each other about the o’s. Do you think he wants some o’s, honey? Give him some o’s.
While we were circling Philadelphia (see below), I wanted to stand up and scream SHUT UP ABOUT THE O’S! THE LITTLE MAN DOESN’T WANT ANY O’S, OK! I DON’T WANT ANY O’S! THE PILOT DOESN’T WANT ANY O’S! NO ONE WANTS ANY FREAKING O’S!
Philadelphia is Still on Daylight-Saving Time
I enjoy learning, so imagine how happy I was to learn that Philadelphia remains on Daylight-saving time while the rest of us turn our clocks back. I know—I was surprised, too, but it has to be true; otherwise, how could they explain that the 9:55 a.m. flight to Miami left at 10:55 a.m. and was still scheduled on the airline marquee to be “on time?”
It Was Nice the First Time
Philadelphia is a city of great historical significance, so I was happy to see it from the air; however, the last 46 times weren’t as interesting as the first time. What would have been a 30-minute early arrival in the City of Brotherly Air Traffic Delays turned into a 25-minute late arrival as we flew ’round and ’round—-hearing all about o’s the entire time.
Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever