8.21.2005

Flying the Friendly Skies

It's just too early in the morning to be doing anything productive other than sleeping soundly in bed. Yet, I am awake, standing in an airport with two traveling companions. I am saddled with lots of luggage and one pair of stylish, but very uncomfortable, shoes. At this ungodly hour there is only one thing to do -- head to the nearest Starbucks. Fortunately for my companions and I, Starbucks has managed to establish itself at most major airports around the country.

I take the drink orders from my friends and make the short stroll to the Starbucks counter. Just like everything else associated with airline travel, there is a long line ahead of me. As I make my way to the back of the line, a man dressed in business attire, positioned closer to the front, smiles at me. Without really thinking, I smile back and head to the back of the line. My mind drifts as I peruse the menu board. Do I want a latte or mocha today?

Suddenly, I am being summoned to to the front of the line.

"Miss, miss! What can we get for you today?" shouts the barista.

"Huh?" Then, I see the man in the business suit.

"I'd like to buy your coffee," he mouthes.

But I need THREE coffees, I think to myself. I make a snap decision and proceed to order one tall, smooth, house blend-- the sumatra, black.

We recieve our orders and proceeded to the condiments section of the bar. Awkward, idle chatter in the form of a series of questions ensues."What's your name? Where are you from? What brings you here? Did you have a nice vacation." I learned that the man travels frequently with his work.

I thank the man for my coffee and we part ways. My friends look confuse when I return with just one coffee. Without explanation, I hand over the sumatra and head back to the growing Starbucks' line.

I am surprised when the business man approaches me again.

"Look," he says apologetically. "I felt stupid just walking away like that. I'd like to give you my business card, but you have to promise me that you won't show it to anyone."

"Uh...ok." What else was I going to say?

The man hands over his card. I take a quick glance and promptly shove it deep within the bottom of my handbag.

He was an undercover U.S. Federal Air Marshall. I can't help but look at the large computer case at his side. My guess is that there really isn't a computer in the bag.
I then look up and see the man staring at me.

"Have a safe trip," he says sternly and rushes off.

Suddenly, flying the friendly skies takes on a whole new meaning. I was just picked up by a U.S.Federal Air Marshall! The thought of air marshalls picking up strange women at airport Starbucks doesn't seem to boost my confidence in airline travel.

I take a sip of my tall skinny, white mocha. The rush I feel has nothing to do with the caffine. And for the record, I won't be calling the air marshall when I return home. Before this trip I had two firm rules when it came to dating: I wouldn't date a man who had better hair or who weighed less than me. Now I can add a third rule: Don't date a man who could kill you with one well-placed body blow.

7 comments:

David said...

Sounds like the trip is off to a good start!

TamWill said...

Very delightful...I would have to call, he sounds intriguing to me.

Kara0303 said...

Wow, very flattering at least. Cool stuff like that never happens to me. Well, I take it back. Stuff like that happens to me, but instead of it being something romantic like a U.S. Marshall, the guy turns out to be the guy in the mouse costume at Chuck E Cheese, a carnie with a traveling fair, or something freakishly pathetic like that.

midwest_hick said...

Well....nothing wrong with getting a free cup of joe anyway....lol

Mister Hand said...

I hear they can kill with their thumbs. Which means he has well-trained thumbs, at least.

And no, I didn't mean anything dirty by that. Well, not until now, at least, when the thought hit me about the other thing a guy can do with his thumb. Now it's just dirty all over.

But imagine, if a guy can kill a man just by putting his thumbs in EXACTLY the right place...

...well, all I'm saying is, he's probably all about precision.

And yes, I'm more thinking of the dirty connotation of all of this now than any other possible perception of it. No matter what I do, for some reason, I can't ever stop being me.

Shutting up.

KOM said...

I'm late to the party, as always.

That's frick'n awesome.

My only concern, I guess, is that a US Marshall would divulge his identity so easily.

You must be some kind of lady.

(or, and I refuse to believe it, he is the Chuck E Cheese guy with impressive credentials)

Diane Mandy said...

David - A most excellent trip to be sure! Ready to be back and catch up on all of your lives...

Tam - I'm curious, but like KOM that there is something about divulging his identito so quickly that concerned me. I'm also a little gunshey these days...

Kara - oh, there are plenty of chucky cheese types (and worse) in my repertoire!! This was a fluke..no doubt about it.

Hick - A free cup of Joe is a free cup of Joe... as long as it comes without the Joe, I'm cool!

MisterH - I'm not even going there..this time...

KOM- Better late than never, besides it's fashionable to be late! I agree with you on the whole character issue... trust me, it is NOT because of me-- I'm ordinary. The pizza guy theory is highly likely....