It was really crowded in first class


Have you ever flown first class? I got to a couple of weeks ago. I had booked my flight online, and I don’t know why, but I got bumped up to first class. Man, you talk about a difference from where they usually seat me. They served food, and I mean so really good food.

And they had real knives and forks. Now I can’t say the company was much better, at least going, but when I flew back, man oh man, was it better.

All of this took place, like I said a couple of weeks ago. I was going to a big trade show in Florida.

The trip out there was somewhat uneventful. The guy sitting beside me was probably some big shot, and he kept looking at his Wall Street Journal, checking his stocks, and wiping the tears out of his eyes, while I looked around to see if anybody famous was seated around me. There wasn’t. But on the trip back….Wow!

I boarded the plane to head for home. I was escorted to my seat by a pretty flight attendant (that’s what they now call stewardesses for you folks that haven’t flown in a while).

“May I hang your coat, Mr. Mitchum?” she asked.

“You bet,” I said. Hangin’ is better than stuffin’ it up under the seat in front of you every time.

About that time, I noticed someone standing beside me, and I thought the attendant was back, and I turned to see if she wanted something. There before me was a tall lady with coal black hair and sky blue eyes. She was gorgeous.

“Excuse me,” she said. “I have seat there.” She was pointin’ at the window seat beside me.

I swallowed hard. “Yes Ma’am,” I said, and I moved my legs back so she could get through.

At first I thought she was wearin’ just a long shirt, but it was a dress, but not much of one. As she moved past me, I felt my heart palpitatin’. She sat down and wiggled into her seat. I was still watching her. She turned and looked at me.

“Hi,” she said. “I Helga.”

She spoke sort of like Tarzan, or maybe Tonto.

Now, Helga was not the name she said, because I can’t pronounce the name she told me, but I’m goin’ to use Helga, for the purposes of this column.

I smiled. “I Rusty,” I said, speakin’ like she did, so I wouldn’t seem uppity since I speak so good, or is it speak so well?

Oh well, who cares.

“I from…,” and she told me the country she was from. Did I ever tell y’all that I flunked geography? I couldn’t tell you what country she said she was from, but it had a name that sounded a lot like the sound your boot makes when you’re pullin’ it out of the mud.

Now, I’m goin’ to switch gears here for a minute, but I promise I’ll get back to Helga. The reason I’m switchin’ gears is to tell you somethin’ that I haven’t told too many folks. I hear voices in my head.

I’m sure I’m not the only one outside of an institution with this problem, but I’m the only one I know. Actually, it’s three voices. One of them sounds like Sean Connery, one like Curly of The Three Stooges, and the last one sounds like my wife Janet.

No, it’s not my conscience I’m hearing, because the conscience would be advisin’ me wisely. These voices I hear are tryin’ to get me in trouble. Well, at least the first two. The Janet voice just makes sarcastic comments. I’m goin’ to italicize their words so you’ll know they are the voices in my head. Now, back to Helga.

“Hi,” I said. “I’m Rusty.”

“Rusty?” she questioned. “Your name Rusty?”

“Yes?” I replied.

“Grab her hand and look deep into her eyes,” said Sean.

“Certainly,” said Curly.

“You do and you’ll never be able to use that hand again,” said Janet.

“I am model,” said Helga.

“But of course are,” I said, swallowing hard.

“Do you fly first class all time?” she asked.

“Lie,” said Sean.

“No,” I replied. “I’m usually on my own jet.”

“Brother,” said Janet.

“Good one,” said Sean.

“Certainly,” said Curly.

“Why not you on your jet now?” asked Helga.

“Ha!” said Janet. “Let’s see you pull yourself out of this one.”

“Uh, well, I had to take it in for an oil change,” I said.

“Nicely played,” said Sean.

“Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk,” said Curly.

“What a moron,” said Janet.

Helga pointed at my ring. “You married?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“You bet you are,” said Janet.

“Are you married?” I asked.

“No, no. I have boyfriend.”

“I see.”

“Ask her if she models bathing suits,” said Sean.

“Whup, whup, whup,” said Curly.

“Brother,” said Janet.

“What do you model?” I asked.

“Clothes, swimsuits, sometime nothing at all,” she replied.

“Whup, whup, whup,” said Sean.

“Moe! Larry! Cheese!” said Curly.

“Pull your eyeballs back in and close your mouth, you idiot,” said Janet.

I just stared at Helga, and shut my mouth. I couldn’t do anything about the eyeballs.

It was really quiet for a moment, and then Helga reached up and tugged on my beard. “My boyfriend has beard,” she said.

“Really,” I swallowed hard again. I could feel my eyeballs receding. “Does he look like me?”

“Oh no,” she said. “He young and pretty.”

“Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk,” said Janet.

“Eeowch!” said Curley.

“Bloody,” said Sean.

“How old you?” Helga asked.

“This ought to be good,” said Janet.

“Lie,” said Sean.

“Well,” I said. “My age is my business.”

“Good save,” said Sean.

“Hmmm,” said Helga. “You been in business long time, haven’t you?”

“Ha,” said Janet. “I like this girl,”

“Man overboard!” said Curley.

“You’re on your own,” said Sean. “I’m getting out of here.”

“Take me with you,” said Janet.

“But of course,” said Sean. “Have you seen Venice in the winter?”

“Don’t worry. I’ll stay with you, Rusty,” said Curly. “Now, poke her in her eyes.”

“I listen to music now,” said Helga, and she put on a set of earphones, and closed her eyes and didn’t speak to me the rest of the trip.

I just stared at the bulkhead in front me, feelin’ sorry for myself. Then I thought, “Man, Janet’s not goin’ to believe I got to fly First Class.”


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