06 July 2010

chicken man

Heather and I took a trip to Arizona this past weekend.  While it was considered a "long" weekend it wasn't long enough for us to drive there and back, so we flew.

She and I travel well together.  Mainly because we can find humor in just about anything.  Including air travel.  Which over the past few years has become increasingly less fun; although at times it can be downright funNY.

Since the airlines advise you to be at the airport the week before your flight is scheduled to depart (OK maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration) we usually have plenty of time to people watch while waiting for our flight.  (As an aside, why is it that if you are running late your flight is on time but if you arrive at the airport the requisite week prior, your flight is delayed?)

We arrive at the airport and check our bags and head through security to our gate.  While waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  We check out all the people coming and going. 

I must say there are a lot of interesting people coming and going through DIA.  I'm no fashionista but purple suede ankle boots, why-bother shorts, and purple t-shirt are not what I would consider appropriate travel clothes. 

 unless of course you're Miley Cyrus and like looking like a hoochie mama

Of course you have the folks dressed to the nines.  My guess is they read the same article I did that said if you dress up, you're more likely to be offered an upgrade.  Believe me, as a former travel agent and frequent traveler, "because you're wearing a suit upgrades" don't happen all that much anymore.  If at all.

So as Heather and I are sitting there a man walks by and she and I simultaneously jerk our heads to look at each other with the "Um... did you just see THAT?" look on our faces.  Walking by was – CHICKEN MAN!

OK, so that probably wasn't his real name.

Imagine, if you will, a super dork guy.  (Please bear in mind that this is not a put-down or meant as an insult; it is merely a description. You may not have said these same thoughts aloud, but you have thought them.  You can't deny it.)  You know the kind I mean.  Pasty white skin, knobby knees, tennis shoes with dress socks, and the just got out of bed hairstyle.  This was our man.  And our man was sporting a green t-shirt with a rooster graphic on the front. 

 this is said graphic - kinda "manly" eh?

I look at Heather and Heather looks back at me, and I ask, "Did you see the man with the co rooster on his shirt?!" 

"Yes.  Sadly, I did."

Now mind you, Heather and I have minds that tend to veer to the far left and/or right of center.  Nothing is as simple as it appears. 

A t-shirt graphic of a mere rooster can conjure many, many images and thoughts and perceptions in our slightly warped minds.  This is the sort of shirt I would expect to see on a twenty something tough guy or tough guy wannabe.  Or maybe some Aussie rugby god.  Or even a hot European race car driver. 

Daniel Conn of the ARL

Not Milton Waddams.




So after a couple of glances back and forth at each other and some "we didn't get enough sleep" simples, we kinda put Chicken Man out of our minds.  Until it's time to board.  And we realize that Chicken Man is at our gate.

Heather likes window seats.  I like aisle seats.  The gate agent has announced that the flight is full, so we know the seat between us is unlikely to be unoccupied for the flight.

I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.


We get on the plane and take our seats; Heather next to the window and me next to the aisle.  The middle seat is ominously empty and we comment to each other that if Chicken Man shows up to take that seat we will seriously have some problems trying to keep from collapsing into a ball of hysterics.  But we don't seriously think out of all the empty seats and out of all the other passengers, that the odds will be so stacked that we will get Chicken Man for our seat partner.

Oh, but we are sooooo very, very wrong.  It's karma baby.

I hear a small voice say "Excuse me, that's my seat there in the middle."  I look up and there before my eyes is Chicken Man's rooster.  I smile and attempt to think very serious thoughts.  VERY, VERY serious thoughts.  As I get up, Chicken Man asks if Heather and I would like to sit together (so he can have the aisle seat) but to his chagrin, we demure.

As Chicken Man gets settled, Heather looks at me over his shoulders and pulls her hoodie up over her head.  She has formally checked out for the duration of the flight.  I pull out my book, pop in my headphones and am myself formally checked out for the flight.

So we thought.

Shortly after take off, I see out of the corner of my eye that Chicken Man is rummaging through his back pack on the floor, and then he sits back up.  I don't want to risk looking directly at him for fear of embarrassing myself in some idiotic fashion (you know, like snorting,) but I can see out of the corner of my eye and sense quite a few raised-arms-over-head gyrations (applying deodorant?); vigorous rocking of head from side to side (water in the ear?), leaning head waaay back (trying to clear sinuses?) motions, among others. 

Then all motion stops and Chicken Man gets very, very still.

So I sneak a peek.

As does Heather.

Chicken Man has adorned himself with a lovely burgandy eye mask and bright (as in glow in the dark neon) purple ear plugs.


Thank you Chicken Man for not attempting conversation.  I don't think I could have looked you in the eye and articulated anything remotely intelligent without first asking, "So, what's with the cock on your t-shirt?"

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