Posted by: paywindow7 | June 26, 2011

Alien Encounters

Are you sure this is LaGuardia?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been blessed and cursed by the spontaneous contact and conversation with aliens. Don’t know why but I’m like a black hole that seems to draw in loopy, edgy and far out characters. Colorful I think they’re called.  These encounters usually happen at public events like football games, horse races, alligator wrestling, cheerleader smack downs and such. Places and events that typically generate large boisterous crowds. It’s also interesting that within seconds of the initial contact me and the loop de’jour are totally bonded with the ability to discuss most anything private or public and I’ve learned over the years to restrain my laughter to keep from changing the vibe of that particular moment. They don’t last long, a few minutes at most but I’ve come to look forward to them in a sort of whimsical way.

Case in Point:

Recently I’m at an airport in a far northern city checking my bags for the final leg home from a fishing trip when I realized that I had left a fly rod and case on the rent car shuttle bus. From my previous lost luggage experience with airlines and car rental agencies I figured that they were both gone for good. However I had a few hours to kill before my flight so I decided to try to find them.

So I got a cup of coffee from a counter close by and strolled back across the airport terminal lobby and outside to the curbside passenger drop off zone. Usually these stretches of sidewalk are a beehive of activity but for some reason at that particular moment this one was deserted with only one attendant in sight. He was just a kid who looked too young and out-of-place to be a uniformed Hertz attendant and he was focused on thumbing through a stack of forms and did not notice as I walked up. I began explaining my dilemma to him and as I was talking he glanced up at me and his face paled and his expression changed from boredom to that of absolute terror. I stopped talking and looked at him wondering how my lost luggage could possibly be that much bad news. Then I realized that he wasn’t looking at me he was looking at something behind me. I froze realizing that it must be a grizzly bear which is not unusual in that part of the world.

The kid was now making small whimpering sounds and I wheeled around expecting to meet my fate in the jaws of ol’ griz and found myself eyeball to tie tack with a huge 7′ tall Viking looking dude who looked to weigh well over 300 pounds. He asked me if he could help in a manner and appearance that were professional and he wore a badge just slightly smaller than a garbage can lid that said he was with airport security. He had been nowhere in sight just seconds before so where he had materialized from I still don’t know.

I explained my problem to him, he then stepped to the curb and pointed at a car rental shuttle bus that happened to be driving by at that moment. It was obvious that this was not a scheduled stop for this bus. He was going pretty fast and was already fully loaded but as soon as the security guy (lets call him Hagar) pointed at him the driver slammed on the brakes and slid to a stop right in front of us. The panic stop caused all of the packed riders on board to careen forward and slam into the front windshield amid flailing arms, legs and a din of obscenities in many languages. The driver quickly opened the door and looked across the pile of his passengers bodies on the floor at us with the same look of terror that the first kid had shown a couple of minutes before. Hagar ignored the tangled mass of humanity then pointed at him again and said “fly rod case …find!”  The poor driver nodded his head vigorously, slammed the door shut and gunned the bus away from us. Of course this caused the riders that had been creamed against the front windshield just seconds before to now be jerked backwards just as violently into a new state of mob rue against the back window. The bus and riders all  disappeared into the distance with shrieks and curses coming out of every portal.

It gets quiet again and we stood there a few seconds.

“Any chance in hell he’ll find it”? I asked”

“Him, maybe not, but one of them will” he said and I knew instantly that the “them” stood for the whole tribe of shuttle bus drivers.

“They all work for you, do they?” I asked.

” No,” he said, “but they’re all scared of me. They all think I’m going to kill ’em and eat ’em” .

“Why would they think you would kill ’em and eat ’em?” I asked.

“Because I told ’em I was going to kill ’em and eat’ em he said.

” I see,” I said.

“You like snow ?” he asked.

“Yeah I like snow OK I guess” I said.

“I hate snow” he said and I made myself a mental note to revisit my affection for snow if  by some chance I happened to survive this conversation.

Then he gazed into the distance with a slight smile on his face and began to recite some of the funniest most outrageous and most obscene limericks and short poems about snow that I had ever heard in my life. There was fresh snow. old snow,melting snow, yellow snow. Snow in every major and minor orifice. Santy and snow, Mrs. Santy and snow, even Rudolph and snow. He went on for several minutes without repeating himself or flubbing a line. I was laughing my ass off.

All the time he was in recital, various shuttle buses would drive up and, without stopping, the front door would pop open and the driver would shake his head in the negative in his direction then speed away as if to escape his possible wrath.

Then one drove up and ground to a stop in front of us. The driver stepped out smiling widely and handed him my fly rod case. Didn’t hand it to me, handed it to him then drove away.

“Much obliged” I said to Hagar.

“You ever catch any fish with that thing he asked?”

“Sometimes” I said.

“Next time you’re here look me up……..I know where to go” then he turned around and walked away.

“Any shuttle drivers buried there?” I asked. He bellowed a laugh and kept walking.

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