Friday, February 25, 2011

Pop Tarts and the Drop Palsey Flautist

Opportunity is cool, if you can collect just a few of them, it's easy to turn those experiences into something that will splash. For several years Klecko toured his "Bread Circus" to every Podunk flea market, truck stop and rodeo in the most remote corners of God's northern hemisphere.

"No good deed goes unrewarded" said the Monkey to the Baker, and with a thimble of fairy dust mixed in with the chalice remnants of Polish Christ.....Little Danny Klecko found himself at the airport ready to embark on a tour that would literally circumnavigate the globe.

Tonight's Epistle will focus on just one leg of this epic journey. It will be the first portion of flight 152 from Mpls to Amsterdam.

The end of this voyage is actually inconsequential, for right now its the process that is paramount.

If you ever want to write a novel that focuses on despair, just make sure that it starts with the government booking an international flight for you. Your plot line can become a dark comedy when you realize that the books protagonist is 6' 3" tall and 274#'s.

I forget the diff between 727's & 747's and what ever the biggest 7's are, but I was on the one that had 3 seats next to the window, 5 seats in the middle and 2 seats on the right.

So where do you think Uncle Sam plopped Klecko....uh huh, right in the middle of the 5 seat deal.

Even though I barely had room to move, I was feeling optimistic because somebody other than me (or Sue McGleno) was going to pay for me to talk about bread on a different part of the globe.

As I did my best to make myself comfortable, the seat on my direct left, and right filled with a total of 4 Dutch boys. When you fly w/o a partner, I have always found it to be a good practice to never say squat for the first 20 minutes. The silence is employed so you can have time to survey your travel mates.

One time I was flying to Vegas and I made the mistake of talking to a 20ish kid next to me, the guy wouldn't shut up.....

"Dude you gonna go large in Sin City?" and "Dude are you gonna score on the hot biotches on the strip?

It went on,and on, get it?

Finally, I looked at the kid and said "Hey, it's hard to say this w/o sounding like an A-hole but, I really hate you. shut up!"

The kid starts laughing...hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, then he stops to take a breath, and then Klecko expounds....

"Seriously, its really early and I have the impression if I'm not honest with you, you're gonna keep on talking. That just can't happen - so either shut up, or switch seats with somebody else.

The kid frowned and got puppy dog eyes. then I started to feel kinda bad. When the kid ended up inserting his I-Pod ear phones, Sue McGleno leaned over and said....

"I can't tell you how often I get sick of you, but you gotta know, it's moments like that when I love you the most."

But then I mumbled a confession of guilt and my wife just rolled her eyes while adjusting her doughnut pillow and saying...

"Don't ruin it for me. Let me go to sleep with the image of a real man on my mind, Leave me alone now, I want to sleep, but you can wake me up when we get there."

Every flight has an adventure, doesn't it? Can you think of a time where your commute through the sky was uneventful? I can't.

So I'm wedged between the 4 Dutch boys, and then a tall-lanky Abe-Lincoln guy drops into the chair right in front of me. The guys been talking in a voice that is easily 400 decibals louder than the rest of us. From the sounds of things, he's heading to Tulip Land to sing in a choir of Americans, most of which are 15-20 years older, and all of them are women.

"No....Peg couldn't make it! She's putting together the music for the orchestra."

I didn't hear a response, but Abe continued....

"No, no indeed she won't be playing. she was a Flautist, yes that's right, but she had to quit. It's not like she wanted to, but she acquired the Drop Palsy in her right hand."

No one said a word, I was trying not to laugh over the word "Flautist."

For reasons unknown to me, and those possessing minimal logic, the guy continued the rant....

"You don't want to get Drop Palsy. It is not a good thing to get. It is worse to get Drop Palsy though if you are a Flautist, because a Flautist has to use their hands to play the flute."

I would have looked at the Dutch boys for sympathy......but they were oddly enough starting to resemble that kid on the paint can, so I just prayed for a speedy lift off so I could watch an in flight movie.

This was my first experience with what I like to call the "Pop Tart" screen. You've seen it. They give you your own screen on the back of the chair placed in front of you, and then you pay $3 for headphones that you plug into your armrest to get the audio.

When we did get up, I began watching that movie starring Clive what's his head, the one where humans can no longer have children. One of the supporting actors was Michael Caine and he played a hippie recluse that had all the answers to life, but yet he was the first clown to get gatted by the bad guys.

Then I started to wonder.....who has been in the most movies ever, but without being anybodys favorite actor. I think Michael Caine and Gene Hackman are primo candidates, but to select a winner, its just too close to call.

But right when the movie started to come together, Abe (remember him? He was married to the Flautist with Drop Palsey). He reclined his chair which served as my screen. He lowered it to it's maximum. Typically on flights that are double digit hours, a traveling colleague will do a brother a solid and bypass this luxury. In Coach people usually realize that personal gain comes at a great cost to others, so they leave their seats erect.

So now I lean over and place my face through the crack and give this guy "The Guy Look" - This is just another way of one man asking another...."Do you really need to be such an A-hole?"

His silence indicated that he did.

When I started drifting off, I noticed a couple rows behind me sat a woman with black fish net stockings. I assumed she was familiar with the red light district.....and I kinda wishing I was too....just a bit though.

But then Sue McGleno's silhouette, it surfaced. Maybe I was dreaming now, but I saw a cloud bank full of thunder. And I couldn't find a silver lining, just a contract that said DIVORCE.

Hah,,,,,that's when Klecko woke up and his Dutch neighbors were totally engrossed with Disney's classic MY LITTLE MERMAID.

But before the story was completed, we were told by the Captain to fasten our seat belts for landing.

Now I'm sure you realize that this tale is just a time lapse version. I was feeling somewhat certain that you wouldn't want me spewing from my Klecko soap box for another 11 hours....or would you LOL?

When an international flight touches down, I really think it's the closest experience that will convey to civilians what it is like on a prison release day, or being emancipated from a P.O.W. camp, because once you stand up and stretch your legs. All sins and transgressions are forgotten. Everybody has survived this trial of patience together realizing that they are either in an exotic local, or even better home.

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