Sunday, February 6, 2011

Arizona trip

 (Caution! Consider yourself warned...This post deals with abdominal pain, a subject that is unpleasant to all and yet experienced by most at one time or another. You may or may not want to read on. However, since this particular malady sometimes creates humorous situations and has affected me at least a couple of times, it's included. I had another unpleasant situation concerning said problem but I think I'll keep it under wraps for a decade or two.)

Immediately after I first posted this, one my sisters commented:   "Sick! Delete this immediately!"  

Wanting to be a good brother, I obediently followed her instructions, not quite understanding why she would request such a thing, I deleted her comment immediately. I hope she's happy now.

So my middle little girl Meg got married last summer. We were starting to worry that her chances in the matrimonial arena were dwindling as she was just about to smack the big 3-0 while still unattached but she finally stepped up to the plate and snagged a dude. The dudes name is Jake, I call him Jacob for short. He’s a great guy, has all the qualities I don’t. Truth be known, I should get a lot of the credit for helping her build her checklist of criteria of what she does not want in a man and maybe even some of the stuff she wants.

Anyway, to condense immensely, they are both CPA’s in Phoenix. They purchased new digs so Michele and I decided we would travel down and help them move from their little apartment to their large mansion. I harbored a secret hope that our fortunes would rise with our altruistic offer of helping transport their cardboard boxes and higher-quality-than-her parents-have-ever-owned furniture from one side of Phoenix to the other.

I figured if we funded our own way down to them and worked up a sweat in their behalf, they would feel so indebted that they would, should, could and must offer us lifetime winter residences in their guest bedroom in sunny Phoenix for the rest of our mortal lives. This would be a heck of lot cheaper than dealing with all the expenses and hassles that a regular snowbird couple incurs. Free meals, utilities, cable, internet, gas, lodging in a luxury resort…if only I could swing the deal, it would be great!

However, at the time of this journal entry, we have been moving their junk for 2 days now and nary a word. I’ve dropped several hints. Even though they both got their masters degrees, they must be a little slow. They did say “thank you” every hour or so but in my book, that ain’t enough.

The only thing I have heard besides a whole raft of thank you’s are instructions on where to put this box or that desk. We have only one more day of finishing the move and I still haven’t heard any invites emanate from their bean-counting lips. And I'm getting tired.

 I guess I need to step up the pressure a notch and do what most people do when they need to increase their standard of living. That is, fake a back injury.

If by noon tomorrow, I haven’t received an offer equal to or exceeding my modest expectations of October through April room and board, I’m going down! You can expect that I will be carrying the largest box left to haul and when I hit the floor, household goods will be scattered everywhere. The more, the merrier. I want the scene to look as impressive and back-breaking as possible.

I will insist I’m ok but I won’t be able to stand on my own. I will refuse to go to the hospital as I don’t want the authorities involved. I’ll play the role I’ve seen Meg’s mother play so many thousands of times in the past 32 years. And that would be a martyr. “Don’t you worry, I’ll be ok in a bit” I will utter every few minutes when Meg or Jake are close by. A small side advantage to these Broadway-quality theatrics will be that I don’t have to lug any more junk to the U-Haul.

So that’s all going down tomorrow. And this, after I just finished getting over my last lower-quadrant injury which was all the fault of Allegiant Air. It went down like this...

We got on the plane in Pasco 3 days ago. We had to rise early, pack and load the bags, drive 30 miles to the airport and deal with the whole security thing. I am a very regular kind of guy when it comes to taking care of the basic necessities, if you know what I mean. What I mean is between the hours of 8:00 and 8:15 every morning, it is time for me to take a sit and read the newspaper, if you know what I mean.
Well, it didn’t happen. We traveled to the airport, did all the pre-plane preps, pat downs, interrogations, and strip searches. Several times I put off Nature’s call. Now, I am acquainted well enough with myself to understand that I had already missed calls 1, 2 and 3 by the time we boarded. I knew that call 4 would come knocking around the time that we had been in the air for a half hour. And rest assured, I was not going to miss that final curtain call.

30 minutes after take-off, I felt the unfamiliar labor-like pain. It was time. The seat belt sign was needlessly still on. The plane was floating smoothly along, no turbulence present and an open aisle led way to the Relief Room . Now Michele is a stickler for the rules and because of the seat belt sign, she refused to move. I had to crawl over her which stirred things up even more before I could head for the lavatory. It was vacant. I noticed I was subconsciously grinding my teeth. I grabbed and opened the door, looking forward with great anticipation to the next few minutes. Just as I started to close the hatch, a snarly male flight attendant grabbed my door and said, “The seat belt sign is still on, please return to your seat.”

Now I don’t like taking directions much, especially when the direction doesn’t make any sense. This particular personal tendency was especially present at this suspense-laden moment in my life. The flight was smooth and I wasn’t going to be bothering anyone by sitting in the little locked room. I, better than anyone else, knew I was in the proper place at the way-past proper time.

However, this airline peddler with the Little Hitler complex was just getting ready to roll his cart laden with high-priced goodies down the aisle. He wanted me to get back to my assigned seat so I could be a potential customer. However, with his recent command, he had not made any points with me.  I was not in a buying mood. I returned to my seat and feigned disgusted sleep when he peddled by.

Now this 4th call was kind of a doozie. I could tell I was being given my last chance and it was quickly slipping away. But, like a good puppet, I obeyed the puppeteer and stayed belted in.

In my mind, I kept hopefully imagining the captain intercoming the following most welcome announcement…

”Well, folks, we have just reached our flight cruising altitude of twenty two thousand, two hundred and twenty two feet. In honor of this feat, we’d like to give a special opportunity to our very special passenger sitting in row twenty-two, seat two. And while we’re on the subject of two’s, this passenger may now make his way to our special room at the front of the plane which is known affectionately to the crew as the #2 depository.” I was in row twenty-two. I was in seat two. But the announcement never came.

Instead I sat and stewed.

30 minutes later the seat belt sign shut off and I bolted for the miniature rest room. I was at the door long before any other passengers could even unlatch. The former mood had long since evaporated but I was hoping there was still a chance. Once I got settled, I began to concentrate.

Just as the focus returned, the door handle started ratcheting up and down. After a good 30 seconds or so of this mood-altering noise, the percussionist outside started knocking, or rather I should say pounding on the door. I gave up. I rolled the long length of paper back up on the spool as I wouldn't be needing it now. I stood up, put myself back together, exited the door and forced a glare/smile at the little junior high-aged girl who had been so impatiently trying to trade me places.

I knew that I was now as locked up, blocked up and secure as the gold bars in Fort Knox. I knew I had a problem that those around me knew nothing about, unless it was my wife who had sensed my extreme irritability at being booted from the water closet multiple times. A sizable portion of the next 48 hours were spent in several different rest rooms but to no avail. For the last two days I have done nothing except move boxes and whenever I could catch a few minutes, deal with trying to exorcise the stomach pains while sitting on the throne. Both of these activities have caused me severe strain, pain and fear that I might pop a blood vessel before completion of the jobs.

 Finally, I can see light at the end of the tunnel. About 10:00 this morning while in Meg’s new house, I was finally able to finish the job I started somewhere over Burley Idaho several days ago. It took more energy than the move has. Actually, I guess you could call them both “moves”. Tomorrow I will finish the house-moving job, hopefully with a couple of cheap snow bird tickets in Phoenix for many winters to come.

Only then will this trip have been worth it.

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Chelsea said...

sick! I'm glad you did NOT follow my advice to post a picture with every blog post. This one did not need a visual aid.

Phil and Holly said...

Something I can agree with you on, airports and airport/plane personnel are the cause of most of life's grief!! (My wife was once an "airport personnel")