by Sean Pearson
I hate traveling.
Perhaps I should actually be more precise in my disdain for things that move across the earth, and specify that I generally just hate traveling by airplane, automobile, boat or train. I’ve yet to embark on any voyage via space shuttle or blimp, so I’m not sure I can speak intelligently to that mode of transportation. (I’m really not sure I can speak intelligently to much of anything, but I’m writing it down anyway.) Do with my musings what you will, but please keep in mind that I am no Travelocity Gnome. (I‘m not any other species of gnome either. I don’t do pointy hats.)
Still, if there are crying babies and seat-kickers on either the space shuttle or the zeppelin, I can pretty much guarantee I won’t be a fan. (In fact, I’m fairly certain the Hindenburg disaster was caused by a bored adolescent kicking the back of someone’s seat. I don’t really want to speculate any further on that, but I have plenty of other obscure and unfounded theories and rumors I’m willing to try to pass off as fact. Stop by sometime and we can have an engaging conversation about El Chupacabra.)
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love babies. And, most of the time, they love me. The only reason I can come up with for that anomaly is the fact that they probably can’t see or hear too clearly yet. (And they’ve never actually seen the hair on my back. Definitely a deal-breaker when you’re 8 months old.)
Maybe my bad luck in choosing seats on these various modes of transportation comes from being totally unprepared in most circumstances. I’ve learned – albeit fairly recently – that it’s always good to have a plan. It only took me 44 years to get to this point, but I really do think I’m finally there.
Quite possibly, one of the factors that helped drive the whole “plan” theory home for me was inability to find anything on an airplane to actually write on. I considered texting my entire Spiew via cell phone, but the pilot kept insisting that everyone shut those off; something about “navigational interference,” blah, blah, blah.
Instead, I opted for the inside of a barf bag. First, let me point out that this was an unused barf bag with a large, white surface on which to deftly spin my prosaic ramblings. And, after assuring the young woman (with baby) seated next to me that I had absolutely no intention of puking any time in the immediate future, I painstakingly ripped the bag at the seams and proudly displayed the perfect canvas for my mad musings and magnificent manifestos.
Now, some of you may already be aware that the inside of barf bags are coated with some type of substance that inarguably keeps puke juices safely contained. After all, nothing says “let’s be friends” on a cramped airplane like a dripping vomit bag.
Am I digressing again? I honestly don’t think I can tell any more.
So, this coated surface acts as a pretty crappy writing surface, which then takes me back to this incredibly innovative solution to life’s stressors that I developed called a “plan.”
I made plans – a few weeks ago – to take a vacation. It wasn’t necessarily a great plan, mind you, but it got me to Kansas and back without too many major, disturbing clinical diagnoses to overcome when I got back home to the Great Land.
(And if you feel that you absolutely must make any kind of joke about Kansas, do it now. Seriously, how could anyone get sick of Dorothy and Toto jokes after the 3,487th time?)
Sometime I’ll tell you all about my vacationing adventures in Oz. Unfortunately, I once again spent too much time explaining, expounding, qualifying and digressing to actually get to the point. I think that’s generally the story of my life. But remember, now I have that whole “plan” thing on my side.
Maybe growing up isn’t so bad after all.
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