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Sunday, February 18, 2007

live from dfw

Well, here I am in the DFW airport (Dallas, Fortworth). I survived the three-hour flight from Dc in a middle seat and now, in about an hour, I have another two hours in a middle seat. And then I will drive an hour and then I will be home! I am remembering why I avoid the East Coast; this is ridiculous.
I am not afraid of flying in the way that so many of my friends are. I mean, sure, I am afraid of airplane crashes, but in a very "that would suck, I hope it doesn't happen, I never think about it" kind of way. Basically, I feel about it the way I feel about ebola. There but for the grace of God but, seriously, out of my control. What I don't like is the lack of personal space and breathable air. Airports, however, are a tiny bit fascinating to me (although the nonsmoking aspect of this one is a tiny bit tedious). all the bad food courts, generic bookstores, miserable-looking people. It's like the most undiluted experience of America I ever get.
On another note, US Sen. Pete Domenici, R-NM, was on my flight here (and, ostensibly, on my flight to Albuquerque... unless he's going somewhere else. Or unless the person I was trying so hard to eavesdrop on was just Domenici's doppelganger). I'm 99.9 percent sure it was him. I really did position myself in prime eavesdropping proximity while we waited to board, but either he wasn't talking to his companion (young aide looking guy) or he was talking so low that no one, not even the aide, could hear him). I have superior hearing, so I don't think it was me. Of course, he was in first class so my eavesdropping ended at that point. He smiled at me when I came on the plane, which confirmed for me that he had no idea who I was because Domenici has always been very unpleasant to SFR, and I've only interviewed him in person one time I can remember, years ago, and it lasted about a minute (by interview I mean I ambushed him at a public event, asked him a question he didn't want to answer and he walked away). Anyway, Domenici (or Domenici's body double) seemed perfectly fine, r.e. the health rumors swirling around.
The two gentlemen on either side of me kept to themselves. No one hardly ever talks to me on planes. It's one of the few times where looking like you just want every single person in the world to leave you alone comes in handy. The man to my right (window side) did strike up a conversation toward the end of the flight. And it went a little something like this:


MAN: You born and raised in New Mexico?
ME: No, I grew up outside of Philadelphia.
WEIRD MAN: I went there once.
ME: Oh
GEORGIA MAN: You been there?
ME: No, but my dad just moved to Atlanta, so maybe I'll get there

(Editor's note: This was my first mistake, revealing information that led to more questions)

GEORGIA MAN: Why'd he move to Atlanta?
ME: He's teaching at Emory.
GM: Oh! He's a doctor?
ME: No, he's an English professor.
GM: Well I bet you did good in English in high school then with a built in English tutor.

(Ed note: There are so many errors in this last statement that to even bother correcting them would have made me so tired I probably would have just died while in the middle of speaking.To correct the worst error, my father teaches literature, not high school English)

ME: Yeah.
GM: So how did he end up doing something like that?

(Ed note: At this point, began to wonder if something was wrong with this man or if I had inadvertently said that my father was a professional cat wrangler. Also, for what it's worth, I have no idea how my father became an English professor. Unlike this guy, it never seemed like an interesting question)

ME: I have no idea.
GM: Muttering, under his breath, "Wish I'd had an English tutor. Maybe I'd have done better in English. Did better? Done better? If I knew English better I guess I'd know which one was right."

For the record, the man to the left (aisle side) spent most of the trip eating South Beach diet products and reading some kind of FBI report. I read it over his shoulder for a while, but it was pretty boring. I'd like to tell you it was about security lapses, because oh my god irony! But it wasn't.