The morning after our wonderful Thai meal from Lotus of Siam, I was up at 5 am sharp. My brother John helped me down to the lobby with my luggage and we sat and chatted while I waited for the shuttle. John’s been my little brother for almost fifty years now (come August!) and I couldn’t adore him more; saying goodbye is never easy.
The ride to airport was interesting, as the young shuttle driver explained why he had traded life in Hawaii for Las Vegas. He dropped me at the Southwest terminal and after checking my bag I made my way through security. It always takes a few extra minutes, as I request a pat down rather than strolling through the all body scanner. I’ve heard various arguments as to the amount of radiation one is actually subjected to, but as I get spiral CT scans every six weeks, any additional exposure is not welcome.
As we queued up according to the complex algorithm Southwest has devised for boarding (status, an additional ten dollar fee, or how quickly you can reserve a spot twenty four hours prior to departure), I noticed Peter’s orthodontist and his son John (who is the receptionist) in the other B group. “Dr. Beinoras! Hello! Peter lost his retainer!” Funny that; I knew they were on vacation as I’d called the office a week earlier when the retainer first went missing. However, I didn’t expect to run into them in Vegas.
The first leg of the flight was totally uneventful: I slept. I wasn’t looking forward to a four hour layover in Baltimore, but figured I’d get a crab cake as consolation. However, our flight got in a few minutes early and when I consulted the console, I noticed an earlier flight to my destination in Manchester, NH. I quickly made my way to that gate (they were just about to board) and inquired as to whether or not they might have room for me. A moment later, Dr. Beinoras and and his son John (and wife Sandy) were by my side making the same inquiry.
As we stood and chatted I got a text message from my brother John, along with a photo. John and Amanda had a later flight than mine, and when John had gone out to the rental car to load their luggage, he noticed something odd. A police report was attached to the rear view mirror, the front end of the car was up on cinder blocks, and somebody had taken two of the wheels. OH Vegas.
I got on the earlier flight without a hitch, but the Beinoras family would have faced a hefty surcharge so they lingered in Baltimore. As I was the second to last person on the plane I took (the dreaded!) middle seat between a young man and an older woman. They were both holding books, and as I glanced at the young man’s I saw that it was titled Inferno. “A little lite reading?” I asked—assuming it was the Inferno, the one by Dante. Ha, the joke was on me. The author was Dan Brown, of The Davinci Code.
Well, it’s good to see a young person reading; just about any form of literature will do. And with that introduction, we were soon talking about everything under the sun. One thing led to another (as it always does in a good conversation). As he described some of his ‘adventures’ I countered with a few tales about my eldest son (no name mentioned). The young man asked me if I knew where Ipswich, Massachusetts was. Oh sure, we’d lived there for eleven years. He said his Grandpa was the police chief. I said I’d probably spoken to him (related to one of my eldest son’s indiscretions). And then I asked if he knew the harbor master, and the young man said sure, he’s my uncle.
“Your uncle is a hard ass!” I said (he heartily agreed), and I told him how my son and some friends had been seen throwing a traffic barrel into the harbor (by the harbor master), and he’d hauled them off to jail. Well, the young man asked me what my son’s name was, and when I told him he laughed and said, “I know August (my son)”. In fact, they’d likely been coconspirators a time or too. I turned to the older woman and said, “The next time I start gossiping about one of my children on an airplane, I better make certain the person I’m speaking to doesn’t know them!”. It’s a crazy small world sometimes.