A Trip To Tampa, Part One

So I went to Tampa.  I didn’t get a tan.  This should not surprise you.

This also should not surprise you.  I met some strangers.  Woney flew out to meet me there, but other than her, I knew nary a one of these people I was to hang out with for three days.  I am an excellent judge of character when I get to know you over email and/or Facebook.  I totally know the difference between someone who says “I promise not to steal your big sexy hair products and to leave your virtue intact” and someone who says “I am in Nicaragua with my mum who is sick.  I am sad.  I love you, please wire money.”  What I’m saying is you do not have to worry about me meeting strangers and picking roommates from Craigslist.

There’s a lot to discuss about this trip so I’m going to have to do this in parts.  It’s a lot to process. Plus I had a tasty beverage or two  while there and so some things are fuzzy.  I’m such a lightweight.

The flight out was lovely.  Fairly uneventful.  Crowded.  The flight attendant in my section of the plane was a nice man, although a bit of an Eeyore.  I usually fly Southwest and if I’m lucky I’ll get a flight crew full of fun.  I like the ones who sing, tell stories, and generally put some pizazz in the safety messages.  This flight attendant was nothing like that.  Following is the conversation he had with me and my seatmates.

Flight attendant, clutching his drink order pad, to those of us in my aisle:  What would you like to drink?

Seatmate1: Ginger ale.

Flight attendant:  You said Diet Coke?

Seatmate 1:  No, ginger ale.

Seatmate 2:  I’ll have a Diet Coke, please.

Me:  Do you have diet ginger ale?

Flight attendant:  No, we have Diet Coke.

Me:  I’ll have water.

Time passed.  We ate peanuts.  We waited.

Flight attendant, clutching his drink tray, to Seatmate 1:  Here’s your Diet Coke. 

Seatmate 1:  I ordered ginger ale.

Flight attendant:  I wrote down Diet Coke.

Seatmate 1:  I’d prefer a ginger ale.

Flight attendant: <heavy sigh>

Flight attendant to seatmate 2:  Here’s your Diet Coke.

Flight attendant to me:  Here’s your Diet Coke.

I opened my mouth to say, “No, I ordered water” but I saw his face, his Eeyore countenance, and the sigh that was coming, so I took the Diet Coke and clutched it in my hand until the garbage bag came around.

Then I arrived in Tampa and met some strangers and had the time of my life.

And then I had a flight home.  Boy, it was a doozy.  The flight itself was fine, no worries there, I’m alive.  But Woney and I ran into something interesting as we arrived at the airport.  We saw loads of people wearing black and bright green clothing and on all that black and bright green clothing was a green sparkly logo.  Now I’m a big fan of all thing sparkly, of course, so I was instantly captivated until I realized that the logo didn’t really say anything.  Then I caught on.   Ohhhhhh.  Stare at the logo, ask a question about it and immediately get sucked into a sales pitch.  I hate that!  Even though my eyes were drawn to the shiny, I walked quickly and firmly away from all those people.   It was a chore, let me tell you.  They were EVERYWHERE. 

I handled the walking away marvelously until I walked the gangplank to get to my plane.  There, in the bouncy walking tube, I was accosted by a husband and wife team as I began the slow crawl to get to the plane.  She was decked out literally from head to toe in her bright green and he even had his sparkly logo on a baseball jersey.  Die hards.  They were all up in my personal space, yapping at me about their product*, handing me crap that I clutched in my sweaty paw until the flight attendant came by with the garbage bag.  They wanted my contact info, etc., etc. and I politely declined as I boarded the plane, grabbing the first seat I could find in relief to be away from the vultures. 

I sat down with a whoosh in aisle two and do you know I sat right next to another one of those varmints?  She tricked me.  She had on a regular old black jacket over her sparkly green logo and only unzipped it after I sat down.  I just sighed and took the information, clutching  it in my hand until the flight attendant came by for garbage pickup.  I hate that mess.  If you are going to sell something and turn into your product, losing all your former personality and charm, go away from me.  I do not want what you are selling.

Oh, and speaking of flight attendants and charm, on this flight I had a Ricky Martin-type guy who was adorable.  He rattled off his safety spiel and suddenly, right in the middle of it, said “If you have any questions, please find a flight attendant.  Unless they are naked.  Never trust the naked ones.”  And then he went right on about his business.

So I’ve given you the bookend information on my trip.  There’s more to come.  I just have to get over my lazy haze that I got when I was down there so that I can write it all up for you. 

*I’m not going to tell you what the product was because they annoyed me.  It isn’t a product you want anyway unless you like people eyeing you critically and giving you low self-esteem with their suggestions about how they can fix you.  I like you guys too much to subject you to that.


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