A Jolly Good Fellow.

posted in: Day In The Life, Travel 0
A Dachshund. Photo: Rainer Spickmann, 2005.
Dachshund. Photo: Rainer Spickmann, 2005.

You spend lots of time in air travel, you’re bound to amass air travel stories. I’ve promised this blog will never be about one thing, but I’d better watch it or it will become Paper(Airplane)Girl before our very eyes. Unfortunately, the plane-related tale tonight is hardly as lighthearted as yesterday’s baby-on-a-crime-spree.

Our flight from Midway landed safely at LaGuardia last night. A delay at the jetway meant that everyone had to sit tight for a few minutes. I’m sitting in my aisle seat and suddenly I hear a barking dog. Not a real dog; I was hearing the sound effect of a dog. The barking was coming from a cell phone — it was the phone’s ringer.

The phone was inside the pants pocket of stout businessman of about fifty. He was standing in the aisle, his belt buckle too close to my head. His hand brushed my shoulder as he stuck it into his pocket to get at the phone. It was 8:30pm and folks were quiet and tired and everyone was hearing this barking dog.

“The bitch is calling,” he said with a chortle and silenced the ringer.

It was clear as a bell, or a gunshot: His wife was calling.

He had set his ringer to sound a barking dog when his wife called him and he thought this was so clever that he’d toss it out to a plane-full of people for our amusement, too. Sure enough, several men around the man sniggered.

She could be awful. Yesterday might’ve been the worst day of his life. Maybe “bitch” is a term of endearment for those two. You don’t know what goes on between two people. But I was coming in to town with a lot of questions, confusions, hopes, and fears about what comes next in life and his “joke” seemed so needlessly mean. We’ve all been cruel, me included. It’s nothing to be proud of. You can try to curtail that stuff, improve. Anyone can try to do better.

No special ringers.