I finished work on Friday and was scheduled to take the 11:30 p.m., red eye flight home from Los Angles. Because it was going to be a long flight, I wanted to walk or stand until it was time to board.
Even if I had wanted to sit, there wasn’t a single vacant seat in the waiting area. After wandering around for a awhile, I decided to queue up and stand in line for the last 10 or so minutes before boarding began. I was second in line, and the woman in front of me immediately turned around and began talking to me.
“Do you see that man over there?”
I looked to where she was pointing, and she continued without giving me a chance to respond. “He’s famous.”
“He is?” I look at the man again. He was well dressed, had gray hair, and appeared to be in his seventies. “Who is he?”
“I don’t know his name but I know that he’s a senator,” she explained, placing extra emphasis on the word ‘senator.’
Again, before I could reply, she continued, “Or a newscaster.”
“He’s a senator or a newscaster, but you don’t remember his name?”
“No—but I remember his face. If you give me a second, his name will come to me.”
She was so excited, that she literally couldn’t stop talking, it sounded more like a string of nonsense words as she tried to force his name out of her memory bank.
“Babble, babble, babble…Maybe John?”
I smiled and nodded, and silently wished that I had kept walking for the last ten minutes. Then I found myself wondering if she was going to be seated next to me on the flight.
“He’s the second famous person that I’ve seen tonight.”
“Oh yeah—what was that person’s name?”
“I don’t remember,” she replied thoughtfully, “But he was tall and black. He’s a basketball player.”
At this point, I was seriously considering stepping out of the line, but I was now wedged in by the people who had lined up behind me. An unnamed tall, black basketball player? An unnamed senator or newscaster? This was getting ridiculous.
She continued, “I looked at him with a look that said, ‘I know who you are.’ Then he looked back at me with a look that said, I know, that you know, who I am.”
Did you talk to him?” I asked, already regretting the question as it left my lips.
“No, but he knew, that I knew, that he was famous!” Repeating what she had already told me. As she finished, a man walked into the gate area, and she exclaimed, “There he is! Do you recognize him?”
“Ummmm…no, I don’t recognize him.” By this time, I was quite sure that neither of the men were famous, but I wasn’t about to tell her that.”
The loudspeaker crackled, interrupting our conversation, and the lady behind the counter announced that they were ready to begin the boarding process.
“Global service members can board now…”
The ‘senator’ and the ‘basketball player’ stepped forward and checked in. As I watched them disappear down the hallway leading to the plane, the lady turned around and declared, “See! I told you that they were famous!”
Of course, not all Global Service members are famous, but I have to admit that the situation was funny. When I boarded, I walked through 1st class, and saw that they were both already seated in that section. The basketball player smiled at me as I walked past him, and I smiled back. I wonder if he knew, that I knew, that he was famous?
I was seated in the row immediately behind first class, so I had plenty of leg room, but more importantly, SHE wasn’t seated next to me! 😃