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The International Flight

April 7, 2010
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I am getting soooo excited. Excited enough to do extra homework, extra laundry, extra housecleaning, extra shopping and other various and sundry “extras,” just so everyone will be extra-happy in my absence.

I leave for Rome in two days. I have my “flying” outfit all planned: an extra comfy pair of sweat pants and an extra comfy tee shirt, along with a—you got it—extra—comfy pullover sweat shirt. That’s a lot of extras, because it’s an extra long twelve hours to Heathrow, and then an additional few to FCO, and I really don’t give a flying flip what I look like while I snore and potentially drool on some stranger’s shoulder: I plan on being as comfortable as humanly possible.

I remember fondly my first international flight to Heathrow. Somehow, I got stuck in the second of the five center seats on a Virgin Atlantic flight. My friend Kim was beside me, dead center, bless her petite heart. As I settled in, I thought I was the lucky one, because no one had taken the seat beside me yet. Kim was looking grimly at her fellow passengers as I smugly took in the contents of my little complimentary overnight bag.

Then he arrived. Six feet five, wide as a door, and smiling every bit as broadly, he reminded me of the man in The Green Mile. I smiled feebly in return as he began to wedge himself into the tiny seat neighboring mine. With much grunting, he finally managed. Beside me, Kim stifled laughter as I searched without success for space to redistribute my own somewhat mangled limbs. This, I recall thinking, is why people purchase two seats. Not that he was fat–he was just so immense. And airline seats were so small.

He spoke no English, which was probably a good thing because it prevented him from understanding my quite involuntary “Dear God, no” as he hitched himself forward and began removing his tennis shoes and socks. The words “body odor” have no meaning where this man was concerned. It’s more like fair is foul and foul is fair…it’s a puzzle how anything could actually stink that bad. You know how you don’t usually smell your own b.o. until you’re well past the point of no return? This guy must’ve smelled his own foulness, because he whipped out the complimentary vial of cologne that Virgin Atlantic had so thoughtfully provided in the overnight bag, and proceeded to have at it. Liberally. I was surprised he didn’t drink it.

I was choking, on assorted stenches so nasty they were flavored, as well as my own laughter encouraged by Kim’s poking me in the side. Around that time, he looked at me, grinned, and cocked the vial up as if to say, “nice, heh?”

I smiled weakly in return. Nice, indeed.

Two days. I can’t wait.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Tony permalink
    April 7, 2010 9:17 am

    Well, I hope you have a great trip. I also hope you don’t have any oversized ogres sitting next to you on this flight.

  2. April 7, 2010 10:48 am

    Oh. Hopefully the flight Gods will bless you with a better neighbor this time around.

  3. April 7, 2010 4:49 pm

    OH, wow. Wow. Woooo—-eeeee. Now. Stop ur’ belly-achin’. No sympathy. You are goin’ to Rome baby! 🙂

    Have a wonderful time!!!!

  4. April 7, 2010 11:42 pm

    the above example is exactly why we now fly first class (courtesy of frequent flyer mile credit cards). I won’t get into it here, but let’s just say it had something to do with a very large man with a sleep disorder, my lap child, a not very absorbent diaper, and an unplanned layover… NOT the best way to begin a vacation ;0)

    ROME! how exciting for you! have a great time. my husband went to Rome a few years ago with out oldest son, and he has been trying to talk me into going with him someday.

    HAVE FUN!!

  5. Anaise permalink
    April 8, 2010 7:33 am

    That story is so gross and so funny!

    May Rome be everything you’re hoping it will be.

    I was there nearly 20 years ago.

  6. April 8, 2010 2:32 pm

    That was hilarious. Oh, I hope you have better luck this time around. Have a great trip, Lori! I promise to catch up on your blog while your gone.

  7. Lori permalink*
    April 9, 2010 10:29 am

    Okay…I am literally late and running out the door, but I don’t know if I’ll have internet in Europe and wanted to say THANKS and ADIOS…or is arrive derci? Guess I should’ve learned some Italian. Oh, well. I’ll muddle along. Anyhoo…. mwuh, mwuh (those are smooches) and uuuhhh (that’s a hug). Have fun while I’m gone.

  8. April 10, 2010 10:10 am

    LOL! That is VILE! I hope you have a great time on your trip and that your flight is half near empty so you get an entire row to yourself.

  9. Super Sarah permalink
    April 12, 2010 11:51 pm

    Wow, I’m just a leetle jealous and SOOOO excited to hear about your trip!!!

  10. April 13, 2010 9:28 pm

    Have a great trip (though you’re probably back by now because I’m so terribly belated in reading up on blogs…

  11. Lori permalink*
    April 18, 2010 2:05 pm

    I wish!! 😉

  12. Lori permalink*
    April 18, 2010 2:06 pm

    I’m sure I’ll be posting a ton of stuff over the next week or so, Sarah…and don’t be jealous unless you like the idea of being stuck for an extra week or two–I’m thinking I’d rather be in Arizona!

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