Sunday, August 24, 2008


I was horrified.
More embarrassed than I have been in a long while!

verb ( -fies, -fied) [ trans. ]
1 (often be mortified) cause (someone) to feel embarrassed, ashamed, or humiliated : [ trans. ] she was mortified to see her wrinkles in the mirror | [as adj. ] ( mortifying) she refused to accept this mortifying disgrace.

Seriously… oh, I am such an idiot. Moron this… I mean, more on this, in a minute.
But first Hey! I am back home at Bookpuddle Headquarters.
Spent ALL DAY in planes.
In a way it is good to be back home. I just arrived.
Jack is meowing like it’s the end of the world.
He had a superb cat-sitter in Val The Cat-Lady©, but it’s nice to know that he misses me, at least a bit.
He is on his perch nearby, looking at me as I type.

Anyhoo… so here is what happened.
After taking the small sort of commuter plane from The Island to Vancouver at an inhumanly-early hour this morning, I had just enough time to grab a grande-bold coffee at the Starbucks on the way to the next leg of my journey home.
This flight was to Toronto. Biggest jet I have ever been on. A Boeing 777-300.
This is Canada’s biggest passenger jet, by the way! They’ve only got nine of these babies in Their Fleet.
OK, so maybe I was in awe of the size of the plane, I don’t know. All I know is that when I got to my designated seat [35A] I sort of made a real suave move to get my backpack up into the overhead bin, and when I did so, I spilled my grande-bold coffee all over the guy that was sitting in the aisle seat.
Yes, you heard right.

And he was like sort of an executive-type looking guy.
In other words, he was dressed nice, in a suit and tie, and he was instantly NOT IMPRESSED…. nor did my immediate appeal to every deity known to mankind inspire any similar spiritual ejaculations from himself.
“Oh my God, oh my God, OH MY GOD!” I said, about twelve times over!
“Oh, my God, sir, I am so sorry….” [the cup is on the floor…. a big huge puddle spreading in the carpet….] “I should never have been born! Oh my God, I am SUCH an idiot…. Oh my God, I’ll get an attendant….” I ran away to arrest the attention of a stewardess.
The entire time [I am not kidding] this man did not say one word to me.
Just glared.
Glared with a wicked disdain of my existence.

The stewardess brought paper towels, wet and dry. The guy mopped himself up, [even the seat was coffee-soaked]. I wanted to kill myself with something. And I could tell that he would have helped me out.
I apologized several times as I took my window seat in the same row, and never once did he respond.
Just stared at me like I was an escaped lunatic.

It was a long while before the plane actually took off, it was still boarding, so this whole scene was extremely uncomfortable.
Redemption arrived in the form of an ancient woman.
She hobbled up and took the seat between us.
Now at least there was a person between me and this guy who wanted to kill me. I picked up my book which I had flung on my seat one second before the coffee fiasco. George Eliot’s The Mill On The Floss.
I began intently reading.
The old lady reached into her own carry-on bag which she had stowed under her seat, and she retrieved… of all things in the world, Eliot’s Middlemarch.
So I showed her the cover of my book, and we both laughed, while the man to the right of both of us was steaming from pants and ears.
It was an interesting day.
And as much as I loved my vacation, I am also glad to be home.
Everything in its season.



stefanie said...

Oh no! I would have been mortified too. You did everything you could though after the accident. Nice that you didn't have to sit right next to him but had a George Eliot fan to mediate.

Jeane said...

O dear. I would have been so embarrassed too! Good thing the nice lady sat between you- sounds like you got the best and worst of seatmates in one row.

cipriano said...

I am so trying to forget it all.
George Eliot saved the day!