It’s been a busy few weeks. A lot has happened, and I have found myself saying and hearing things I hope to never give audience to again. My top 10:
- “Could you please remove your (bare, hairy, smelly) foot from my armrest?” This happened last night, on a Frontier (You Get What You Pay For) Airlines flight from Denver to St. Louis. Dear Mr. 22A, I enjoyed so much your banging and kicking of the back of my chair, the way you stuck your legs all the way under my seat, past the bar that keeps stuff in place, and kept poking my ankles. But when you took your bare foot and shoved your toes up behind my elbow and onto my armrest, it was too much. I usually just talk about rude behavior loudly, hoping it will cease. This time I actually addressed the issue.
- On a related note, “What is that smell?” Our aisle mate, although less offensive than bare feet man, was quite amusing, yet slightly annoying, as well. Dear Mr. 21C, it is obvious that you thoroughly enjoyed your trip to Colorado and the opportunity to partake of marijuana legally. My first clue was your greeting of your seatmates. Yes, we are pretty cool, but seldom elicit the joyous freak-out you displayed upon meeting us. Our new friend then proceeded to eat an extremely malodorous Asian meal (props for using chopsticks) during takeoff, then opened a large bag of Fritos, demolished that, and finished by pouring the whole contents of a bag of peanut M&M’s down his throat. For more entertainment, he employed his ipad to first read a bit (I noted he was on the same page for about thirty minutes). Next he watched the Trolls movie, switched to Star Trek, then ended with a virtual reality game, riding a rollercoaster.
- “Are you sure this is beef?” I don’t know Colorado’s actual state motto, but I humbly suggest “The Alternative Meats State.” Okay, lamb is not really alternative, and many find it delicious, so I give it a pass. Buffalo is like those frozen veggie burgers you buy at the grocery store. It tastes okay if you put enough stuff on it. I do find it a bit strange that although live buffs look large and somehow pendulously fatty, their meat is almost fat-free. I imagine it is what an old, way-past-his-glory boxer would taste like, should anyone be so inclined to try cannibalism. Now elk, oh, elk. I love seeing you alive, and I admire your muscled, noble physiques, which serve in great contrast to your piercing bugle calls that somehow sound like middle-school girl screams when they see each other for the first time in like eight hours. But your taste? You are like a deer’s cousin, the one we don’t like to talk about, who never bathes and has very suspect personal habits. You put the “game” in gamey.
- “Come for the fires, stay for the floods.” An Estes Park, Colorado, friend advised us thusly, when we were discussing our big move. We figure we are giving up earthquakes, tornadoes, daily multiple shootings and horrible heat. Floods are a wash. It seems like a fair trade.
- Until you add in bears … “Do you think I’ll need bear spray when I walk the dog?” New neighbors report to us that there is an active bear community in the area, a mother and cubs. I’m not sure bear spray would help, as the only close encounter I have had with a bear so far was behind a locked door, and I was patently safe, yet still too paralyzed to utter a sound, much less move a muscle.
- “Where are all the elk?” Heard at Rocky Mountain National Park visitor’s center. The park is too crowded, even for elk. They hoofed it on out of there.
- “How much extra will that cost?” We are building a house, enough said.
- “No, thanks, we don’t want the upgrade.” (Also applies to #7, above.) We were on vacation with our besties a few weeks ago. As with typical Hagnauer travel luck, we were offered a room upgrade at our hotel, our friends were not. We declined, and then were told there were no rooms immediately available of our reserved type. Okay, if you insist …
- “Oh, God, how many stitches?” When I was growing up, my brother and sister always seemed to get into car accidents when my parents were out of town. Carrying on the family tradition, Son 2 seems to find himself in predicaments when we are away, especially if we are out of the country. It’s always bad when he starts off “Okay, I’m okay, don’t freak out.” So of course I do. It seems our young lad was leaving a downtown bar, by himself, (which I have set to repeat on the nag list of things NOT to do) and was sucker punched. Attempted mugging, knock-out game or drunken college kids, no one knows. He credits high school sports for saving him. He was accustomed to surprise hits (lacrosse) and still can run like the wind if need be (soccer). He says he won: They got nothing, he got 14 stitches. To add to the guilt, he was leaving earlier than his friends as he was dog sitting for us. Extra points for having a third interview with a great company three days later, and having to explain his new self-titled “badass Harry Potter” look. (Stitches cascading up from his eyebrow, and yay! he got the job.)
- “I am not getting in that car!” I feel like I need a bit of a lie-in after these few frenetic weeks. Lucky for me, it is 104 degrees here in St. Louis, and my car has no air conditioning, all the excuse I need to do nothing today. (Car’s worth, about $2400. Amount to fix air conditioning, $1200. Even this non-math person can come up with the correct answer to this equation.)
If you need me, I’ll be at home. In my pajamas.