Things I Used To Do
Author’s note: I just now realized that I should have written about this on September 11th. However, it’s a bit in bad taste, so perhaps it’s better I waited a couple of days. I mean, I already know I’m going to hell for what I’m about to share with you. In my defense, I was about seven or eight years old at the time and was only starting to get smart assed.
My dad (the same one who scares me all the time) worked for the Big Business section of Corporate America. He had a fancy title and was constantly traveling half of this country to oversee 30 hotels’ worth of financial proceedures. I’d say he was only home about one week out of the month during this time period, so my mom and I spent a lot of time at LAX. (Mind you, this is way, way before 9/11. Non-travelers were still allowed to go into airports and sit at the gate while they bid goodbye to/greeted their travelers.) My mom had the route down to a science: with the usage of several residential areas, we were able to get to the gate in less than 10 minutes, counting the time it took us to find parking.
The times my mom would bring me to the airport with her were mostly at night. If his flight was delayed, chances were me nodding off in a pseudo-leather chair, dressed in my pajamas at the ungodly hour of 10:30 PM (eight year olds were required to be in bed no later than 8:30 according to my teachers; my bedtime was anywhere between 9 and 11). And heaven help my mom and the rest of the people in the airport if there was a delay. My attention span wasn’t much in those days, and the airport didn’t have that magical thrill it used to – going there at least once a week will do that. I would wander around, talking to strangers or scanning the headlines of magazines and newspapers in the gift shops. In her attempt to stop me from moving, my mom would ask me to check the flight board and see if dad’s flight was still delayed.
I walked over, found the flight number, and started making my way back. However, just saying that the flight was delayed wouldn’t eat up enough time. So I started prentend crying as I made my way back to my chair.
“The p-plane…it c-crashed. Daddy’s p-plane c-crashed,” I sobbed.
My mom was mortified (not that her husband could be dead but that I’d pull something like this). The crowd around us laughed.
I think I did this routine two more times before I got tired of it. A good comic knows when to retire a joke.
You know who keeps this joke running? My own mother. She loves to share this with her friends when she describes her daughter to them.