“Can you literally take those headphone plugs and plug it them INTO your phones, so we don’t have to listen to that nonsense? THANK YOU!” shouted the Fed-Up Airline Dad (FUAD), who, alongside the rest of us, was looking at the obnoxious teenagers sitting in the row ahead of ours. You see, the teens were listening to somethings that, I suppose, could be referred to as music, with their headphones perched atop their heads, but not connected to their phones. So, we all had the pleasure of listening to this cacophony just after boarding a SouthWest Airlines flight that was a few hours late (I have unfriended SWA, more on that below).

The teenagers on this flight slowly turned around, rolled their eyes at a glacial pace, and plugged their headphones in, and there was peace on earth again, to all men, good and bad.

FUAD-1: Grumpy teenagers -0

Ps: A note for SouthWest Airlines (SWA).

SouthWest Airlines. We are going to have to take a break. You are not treating me right. Because of you, I have spent hours and hours at airports, waiting for my plane to arrive. And when one finally does, you nonchalantly inform me that that plane is not flying to my destination. Instead, you casually inform me that it is going to Amarillo, Texas. Texas, where, by the way, I was going a few months ago, and at the time, you informed me that my plane was going to La Guardia, New York. How is it that your planes are always going where I am not? Add to that the events that unfolded below AND the anxiety of having to check in exactly 24 hours before boarding time, lest I am cast into the purgatory of the C Boarding Group, and I have reached the end of my rope. Your flights have resulted in my very very late-night arrivals, hours when the only people walking outside are what the Kenyan police would categorize as thieves, dogs, or ladies of the night (I am none of the aforementioned)

I can take a hint SWA. Goodbye!!!

While on one of my flights on a rival airline, a gentleman who was sitting next to me decided to get comfortable. He removed his shoes and arranged himself so that his smelly feet were resting in my foot space. I nudged him a few times and eventually gave up, resigned to sharing my space with a complete stranger. Before we departed from the gate, the flight attendant came over and asked him what his name was. She then informed him that he was sitting in the wrong seat, and would he like to move. At this moment, I felt like the heavens had pre-emptively answered my prayers. My pesky seatmate was moving! Alas, he looked over to where he was supposed to sit, and found another gentleman deep in conversation with a woman, he then made the decision to be an aerial wingman and let the potential couple get to know each other a bit better. And that is how I ended up sitting next to the World’s most rigorous nose picker. I was surprised he had a nose left when we landed.

On my return journey, I decided to grab a bite to eat at the Austin Airport. A couple asked if they could sit at my table, as the other tables were taken. Sharing is caring so I said why not. I then had the pleasure of eating my lunch while watching an Oscar-worthy groveling performance by the man. It is a testament to the woman’s nerves of steel that she was able to resist the charms of what I learned was her ex-boyfriend who may or may not have cheated on her. Speaking of cheating spouses, a man in Miami was hit over the head by a laptop while aboard a flight to California (his wife may have thrown it at him- Google it, it’s true)

On my way back from Texas, the seat next to mine was empty, and that was very exciting. As the flight attendants were getting ready to close the door, a man rushed in, sweat pouring down his face, and in that moment, I knew I was being punished for being disloyal to SWA. The sweaty man deposited himself on the seat next to mine and immediately removed his shoes and belt. He then proceeded to sporadically flap his shirt to cool himself off, each flapping motion wafting sweaty body odor my way. No amount of air blasting could mask that smell, and any attempts I made at finding another seat were unsuccessful as it was a fully booked flight. Just as I was finally getting respite from the odor and settling in, he would flap his shirt again, releasing a new wave of rancid odor. I will say, though, that this flight was on time, always the optimist, see?

While we are on the subject of strange occurrences,

Our HOA recently decided to give our homes a fresh coat of paint and other bells and whistles. They requested that we move any outdoor furniture to facilitate the painting sessions. We dutifully removed the furniture and then returned it outside once the painting was done. One afternoon, as I was sitting on the patio and attempting to paint my nails, I took a close look at the patio paint job and found it to be wanting. Now, I am nitpicky about paint jobs. I can’t paint to save my life, but I can critique the heck out of a paint job. I looked at my nails and it looked like I was painting them in the dark, using a very large brush. Oh well, such is life when you are a paint critic who cannot paint.

I wrote to the HOA about the shoddy paint job (not the one I did on my toes, the other one). HOA guy assured me that he would ask the contractor to come back and finish the job. One sunny afternoon, two weeks later, my husband went out on the patio and returned inside, remarking, “looks like the painters came back and finished the job. It also appears that our furniture is missing.” He said it so casually that I thought he was joking.

“What do you mean our furniture is missing???” I asked, shocked, and walking outside to see this disappearance for myself. Sure enough, the patio was as empty as it had been when we moved in, and there was no ransom note left behind.

One afternoon, as I was working from home, I heard a scraping noise just outside my window, followed by a sharp knock on the patio door.  Two gentlemen had replaced our furniture, and seeing as my Spanish is very limited, as was their English, we resorted to sign language. After much signaling and arm waving, I gathered that our furniture had been stored somewhere below us, seeing us that would be the flowers, I didn’t bother to figure out any further details. With an Adios and a Muchas Gracias, I bade the men goodbye and wished them well.

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