The Universe is trying to convince me that I am a hot bubblin’ cauldron of crazy, I shit you not. The story I am about to tell to you actually happened to me on a flight not too long ago.
Let’s take a moment to set the stage:
Picture a long line of passengers all crammed together as they board an airplane. I am one of those passengers. My progress down the center aisle is measured in hours, which means that there are moments where I am paused at a particular row long enough to notice quirks and peculiarities of the people who have already taken a seat. For example, the woman seated in 6D. Let’s call her Joan, and let’s imagine she looks like this:
(I found this pic by typing “pics of women who won first prize for casseroles at county fairs”)
Since I am only 4’11” tall, the view of the seated passengers is obstructed by the line of normal sized humans in front of me. This means that I can only see the people who occupy my peripheral vision, namely, people who are seated in window seats. People like Joan. Only when I move forward and the horde in front of me moves away am I able to see anyone positioned in an aisle seat. Hold onto that fact, folks. You are going to need it for later. Now let’s get back to the plane:
I make my way down the aisle toward Joan and notice that she appears sweaty and panicked. Rocking back and forth and wringing her hands, she demonstrates the classic signs of someone with a fear of flying. I also notice that taped up over the window at her side is an 8X10 photo of a man about her age. Let’s call him Paul, and let’s say he looks like this (I found this pic by typing “Dudes named Paul”):
Since my line is at a stand still I have time to ponder the reason as to why there is a picture of a man taped over Joan’s window. I watch her steal glances at the photo (when she’s not busy trying to rip her fingers off), and decide that this photo must function as a focal point for Joan in those moments when her fear of flying threaten to overtake her. This man Paul must be a source of comfort to Joan in her life, and it makes me smile to imagine the warmth and happiness he surely brings her. I think to myself that it would be quite an honor to know Paul in real life.
Well it didn’t take long for me to find out, because as the line moved forward the man in aisle seat 6C was revealed. A man who looked exactly like this:
No, I did not accidentally put up a pic of the same man twice, because the man seated in the aisle seat was none other than Paul, the same man whose face was taped over the window (if you had to read that sentence twice, you are not alone. I was there and I had to reread it to make sure it made sense). I’ll paint the picture once more for clarity:
Blue ribbon winning, casserole baking, pasty-faced Joan is seated in window seat 6D, flanked by a real-life dude named Paul to her left and a pic of the same dude named Paul to her right- his two-dimensional mug beaming proudly in all its comb-over glory.
Now some of you may be thinking, “So what, Hellis? She’s got a pic of the man sitting next to her. What’s the big deal? I’ve got pictures of people I know in my wallet. Did you really think there was enough meat in this moment to justify a blog post? I’ve just wasted three minutes of my life reading the sub-moronic ramblings of a semi-functioning illiterate. Eat shit and die.”
To which I answer, “But WHY did she tape up the picture?!? She didn’t need the photo as a proxy for comfort, THE DUDE WAS SITTING RIGHT THERE!” Oh, and also, “Fuck you. That last bit was harsh.”
By the time it truly registers what I’ve just seen I’m
seated confined to my own window seat three rows behind them, the winner of the annual John Goodman look-alike contest blocking my way to the aisle. Now I can’t even fake a bout of explosive diarrhea as an excuse to pass their seats on my way to the lavatory. Since I am not free to roam around the cabin I spend the next 2 hours and 45 minutes with my right temple pressed against the window, staring down the space between the seats and the fuselage, straining to catch a glimpse of Joan interacting with the photo taped over the glass. I am desperate for a clue as to why this woman has gone to the trouble of hanging a pic of a man to her right when that same man sits inches to her left.
Naturally, my mind tried to solve that puzzle but created more questions than answers.
Maybe she has neck issues and cannot turn her head to the left. But why didn’t they just switch seats? Maybe the picture was actually of Paul’s twin brother Peter, and maybe Joan was Peter’s wife. But why was Paul accompanying Joan and not Peter? Maybe Peter is dead and they were flying to his funeral. Or maybe, just maybe, they did this on purpose just to fuck with my head, to which I respond, “Mission. Accomplished.”
Needless to say, I never got my answer. Both Paul and Joan exited the plane before I had a chance to ask. To this day only one person believes this story, and that’s only because crazier shit happens to this person on a daily basis (stay tuned for blog posts on shouting matches in supermarkets over someone named Patrick Swayze). I guess I am hoping this blog post might catch either Joan or Paul’s attention so that they can give me an answer to the question that keeps me up at night.
I am officially running on two hours of sleep over the course of three days, so no guarantees on the cohesiveness or relevance of this post.
I put up a post not long ago about my new phone and my strange text message encounter with someone looking for whomever had my number last (you can catch it here. Remember the name “Lokepa”). Well, it turns out that I would only have that phone for about a month or so before I dropped it and broke it (please don’t ask me how. One embarrassing post a day is enough).
Now hold onto that thought. We’ll be getting back to it. Trust me.
Like I said, I have insomnia. And when I can’t sleep or macrame or watch the same episode of AUTOPSY over and over and over, I amuse myself with my surroundings- namely, my phone. I wish I could tell you that I lay in bed at night playing hours of Candy Crush or Words With Friends like a normal person but I can’t. My brain isn’t wired that way. You know, normally.
No, what I have to do instead is add people I don’t actually know to my contact list. People like Morgan Freeman. And Samuel L. Jackson. And Ninth President of the United States William Henry Harrison. And because God hates me, I do all of this the night before I break my phone.
For those of you lost on the significance of this fact, please keep in mind that someone is going to have to fix my phone, and that someone is going to see what I did to it. And that someone’s name is Trevor, and he is my resident Verizon Lackey-du-jour.
Trevor thinks I’m nuts.
Because typical me, I couldn’t just upload pics and leave it at that. No, I had to actually create relevant email accounts and job titles for each of the contacts because yeah, I’m that messed up.
From the collective sound of snickering coming from the Super-Secret-Verizon-Room-of-Cellphone-Repair, I am sure Trevor and his cronies downloaded my contact list while fixing my phone. I am also sure they will mock me to their friends and probably the world too. It is because of this possibility that I am going to share my list here, on my blog, and beat them to the punch.
Now, not all of my “friends” are celebrities or inanimate objects or random body parts, some are actual people from history that I have come to admire over the years that I think you might enjoy learning about. See? My weirdness is actually a good thing! (Yeah, Trevor didn’t buy that either). So here they are in no particular order…my imaginary friend contact list:
These next two contacts may need some explaining. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story of President William Henry Harrison, you can go here. Or, I can just tell you that he served the shortest amount of time in office (just thirty days) because he died of pneumonia. It seems President Harrison possessed a bit of machismo, and insisted he not wear a coat to his Inaugural Address.
Next we have our second President, John Adams. Back in the day he and Thomas Jefferson were the best of friends, but when they both decided to run for President, things got all Paris and Nicole. Thomas Jefferson, in a smear campaign that garnered near “Fire Crotch” attention was quoted to have said, “John Adams has a hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”
Yup. Tommy-J just called out J’Adams for having bitch tits. And we thought the Kardashians were bad.
Some called them villains, others called them geniuses. It is estimated that Genghis Khan may have reduced the entire world’s population at the time of his reign by 11%, and according to a famous 2003 genetic study, “Around one in 200 living men carry a form of the Y chromosome that may have originated with the Great Khan himself. If true, that would mean that 0.5 percent of the world’s male population are his direct descendants.” What I was most interested to learn is that he created one of the first international postal systems and was tolerant of different religions. No amount of admiration for his battlefield prowess would spare him from what I forced him to do in Reapers With Issues, though. Hehehehe….
The next contact we all know very well, mostly as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula. Some may know him as Vlad the Impaler due to his practice of impaling his enemy on spikes all around his land. Think this is nothing more than vicious propoganda spread by his enemy, the Ottoman-Turks? Think again. Beyond just impaling, he slaughtered women and children of his enemies and murdered a group of Turkish envoys on the pretext that they had refused to raise their “hats” to him. Want to know what he did? He nailed their turbans to their heads. Yikes. I will say this for him- he’s got some kickin’ hair.
Now, most of you may not know these next two at all, but I believe they deserve some recognition. The first is Guy Fawkes who, thanks to Alan Moore, is the man behind the face that spawned over a million “V for Vendetta” masks. Brits celebrate “Guy Fawkes Night” every November 5th by burning him in effigy to commemorate his failed attempt to carry out the Gunpowder Plot- a conspiracy which would have resulted in the destruction of the House of Lords. Fawkes was caught, questioned, tortured, and was nearly mutilated (as the Brits so loved to do back then) but he jumped off the platform where the evisceration was to take place and intentionally broke his neck to avoid it. Now that’s hardcore.
Most people do not know the next historian, but you may know of his achievements. Michael Andreas Barclay DeTolly was a hero of the First Patriotic War and Anti-Napoleonic Campaigns in Europe. But what he is best known for is the now famous scorched earth strategy of drawing the enemy deep into one’s own territory and then setting everything the fuck behind them on fire. Let’s think about that for a minute- this dude let one of history’s most aggressive and successful Military Commanders into his own land and then burned his own country to the ground. That’s some Daryl Dixon shit right there.
Yeah, I have no explanation for these last two. Don’t judge me.
So that about wraps it up. Now that my secret is out, I might just have to add a few more to my list. As for the insomnia, if any of you have any remedies out there that are less humiliating, please let me know.