Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Certain people I hate.
Number one on my list:
anyone who talks to me on an airplane.
Take my last trip.
I'm just settling in, taking a blanket
from the overhead bin
when this platinum blond, maybe 40,
sits down next to me,
whips out her lipstick and compact
arranges her face,
smiles at it and asks,
--Are you from Pittsburgh?
--Me either.
What a shit hole, Pittsburgh,
know what I mean?
It's really the pits. Like its name.
I'm from Lynchburg.
Have you been from Lynchburg?
--Nope.  Did they lynch people there?
---Of course not.  It's a gorgeous town.
It's the Chapstick capital of the world.
Do you use Chapstick?
--I thought everyone used Chapstick.
I never leave home without it.
Even Jerry Falwell used Chapstick.
Did you listen to Jerry Falwell?
He would slide some on his lips
right in the middle of a sermon.
I think he licked his lips when he was inspired,
like, by the Holy Spirit.
Did you know Jerry Falwell?
--Oh, he was divine.  I mean, for real.
He resided in Lychburg,
and he was on the radio and the TV.
He was on Donahue loads of times.
And he was the President's preacher.
George Bush, I mean.
Everyone I knew loved Falwell.
We listened to him on the radio on Sundays
if we didn't go to church.
What radio station do you listen to?
--I don't.
--Oh well, just so long as you don't listen to NPR.
They say it's news but it's not.
Jerry Falwell said they just make stuff up
and then say it on the air. Like global warming.
He said NPR tells folks cold is hot, and hot is cold.
You feel how cold it is this winter?
--And how hot it was last summer?
--I am talking cold here.
But maybe you don't notice it like I do.
You must be from the north. I can hear it
in your accent.  Just like my ex.
He was from Maine.
He stayed out in a blizzard one time,
and I kid you not,
he got frostbite on his extremities.
All of them.  I mean, really.
Said he never felt a thing.
That's a Mainer for you.
Icicles everywhere.
Not a heart inside them.
And they call this global warming.
Did you ever get frostbit?
--Well, you never met my husband.
I was with him until I was saved.
I don't even talk to him anymore
but sometimes he calls
and just starts talking and talking,
and I think, why do I have to listen to this?
Know what I mean?
--Yes, I think I do.


Glenn Ingersoll said...

Pretty brilliant. I don't think you need the last line, tho.

Nin Andrews said...

Good point. Thanks!

Lyle Daggett said...

Oh, this is funny. I'm sitting here remembering all of the conversations like that one, that I've found myself stuck in. Not (fortunately) on airplane flights, though from time to time on bus rides around the city.

Here in Minneapolis it's been an epic winter. 50 mornings, count 'em. when the temperature has been below zero. We eat frostbite for breakfast.

And, as it happens, I'm listening to NPR right now. I don't think they happen to have said anything about climate change yet this evening, but the night's still young.

I was born near Pittsburgh...

I'm catching up a little on the blog circuit. I'll have to go and check out your AWP cartoons now. :)

Urban Mermaid said...


TC said...

Fabulous from first word to last, Nin.

So relieved not have been on an airplane in this century.

I know these obnoxious God-pimping Americans can be found in many places, not just airplanes.

So relieved not to be frequenting any of those other places, either.

Desolation should never be confused with consolation I guess, but expecting to unearth any of the latter here in the proud citadel of the former would surely be insanely optimistic.

You've made me recall those airline vomit bags, do they still have those? Because if they still do, then that would suggest one form of "natural" outlet for the unpleasant experience of puking in one's mouth due to prolonged close-range exposure to the consciousness of "a fellow American".