Below is the one illustration that I kept from my flight OUT to Oklahoma. There is a story behind it - want to hear it? I knew you did. Hang on - it's an involved one...
I was on a red-eye after a lay-over in Las Vegas. I was due to arrive in Oklahoma City about 4:20 in the AM, but the flight was delayed. It's the middle of the night.
Now, I'm a person that can normally sleep just about anywhere, but for some reason I CANNOT get any shut-eye on a plane. But I've got to try because I'm facing a long day of traveling after I land. With the seat tray down, I try resting my elbows on it while placing my head lightly on the seat in front of me. At this point I begin to feel a pulse of some kind, and I think, "I can feel my pulse in my hands!" But when I look up I notice that the (shaved) head in front of me is bouncing back and forth to some kind of silent beat. He has a set of head phones on is having his own little dance party through the night - all the way from Las Vegas to OKC. No sleeping that way.
Then there is the cart issue. The flight attendants are coming through with my one, and only, chance for a drink on that flight. "Do I stay awake so that I won't miss my opportunity, or do I let them slip by me in the dark of the plane?" That is the question. I can't stand the pressure. I want to try and get some sleep, but I can't let my one, and only, opportunity to slip by me.
On planes I generally partake of one of two drinks: 1. A coke (they NEVER have Dr. Pepper) or 2. tomato juice. I'd had enough soda (pop) for the day, so in my mind - there in the dark of that plane - while the shinny head bounced back and forth in front of me - I decided to go for tomato juice. But, I thought, "Wouldn't it be nice to have V-8!" I really did. I was thinking that it would be kind of nice to get some juice with a bit of a kick to it. BUT, when I tell the flight attendant what I wanted she said, "All we have is tomato juice or SPICY tomato juice."
Another decision! And this one REALLY troubled me. Not only did I have the pressure of the attendant staring at me - waiting for a response, but I also had the dilemma of not really wanting either of those choices. I didn't want plain-old tomato juice, and I didn't want tomato juice on steroids! I wanted something in-between.
I had to decide. The pressure was on me. What should I do... and so... I decided that... even though it was very late... to go for the SPICY variety. It probably was a bad omen.
The kind attendant gave me my drink. I took my little cup of spicy tomato juice... one sip, two sips, set it down and THEN!!... while reaching for it a third time, I some how managed to bump the cup over onto the top of the tray and spill out its contents!!!
Now, there is a moment, (You know what it's like because you've been there); a moment... in time... when you just did something that you're really regreting... AND!... time moves in S-L-O-W M-O-T-I-O-N. It's at that moment your mind says something like this... "I can't believe you just 'doing' that!!" The thought came somewhere in between spilling my spicy tomato juice and having spilt it. It's a sort of space-time-continuum thing.
So, there I was, in the dark of the plane, with a lap full of spicy tomato. Sick! What does one DO with a lap full of spicy tomato juice? More specifically, how does one get rid of a lap full of spicy tomato juice?
The flight attendants were busy running their service - no help there. I was on my own. So, I began to scoop up the red liquid with my bare hands and pour it back into the now empty plastic cup. It was NOT a very effective method of repair, to say the least.
Then, carefully, I got up and went to the micro-restroom facilities and used up a month's supply of jet airplane bath tissues. If "C.S.I." had happened by they would have cordoned off the crime scene with bright yellow ribbon as a sight for a murder investigation. There was red liquid everywhere - mostly all over me.
I did the best that I could, but I still reeked with the smell of spicy tomato juice. I think that the whole airplane reeked with the smell of spicy tomato juice. My one saving grace was that it was practically dark in the entire airship and most folks had no idea where the aroma came from.
Stranger than all this was that I began to ask myself, "What does a spicy tomato look like." My answer to that question is the included illustration. What do you think a spicy tomato would look like? After my experience with its juice I would certainly characterize it as anything but kind.
When I got off the plane in OKC, I was warmly greeted by my two daughters with a hug... which was interrupted by my oldest saying, "Ewe!!! What's that smell?" The answer: spicy - tomato - juice.